Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mexican army frees 165 kidnapped migrants

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican army freed 165 migrants from an armed gang that had kidnapped them as they attempted to make their way to the United States, authorities said Thursday.

The migrants, mostly from Central America, were being held at gunpoint inside a small building in a part of Mexico's northern border state of Tamaulipas that is controlled by the notorious Zetas drug and smuggling cartel.

Twenty children and teens and two pregnant women were among the victims, Eduardo Sanchez, the government's security spokesman, said at a news conference.

He said the migrants told authorities they had been "held against their will" in filthy, overcrowded conditions for two or three weeks. Most had been intercepted when they attempted to reach the northern border and cross into the United States, and their captors telephoned their families to demand ransom money, Sanchez said.

One suspect, presumably the armed guard, was arrested.

Mexico's national human rights commission estimates about 10,000 migrants have gone missing each year since 2008 — kidnapped for ransom, shanghaied into forced labor for drug traffickers or killed. Many are killed when their families can't pay ransoms.

Mexican army frees 165 kidnapped migrants 06/06/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 6, 2013 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two Kissimmee police officers shot to death


    KISSIMMEE — Two police officers were shot dead in Kissimmee Friday night, Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs said.

  2. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  4. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.
  5. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire



    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, relies on the help of her mother, Tranda Webb, 62, as she recovers from the burns covering her body.