By Chris Covert
A total of 165 migrants from central and south America were rescued Monday by a Mexican Army unit in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, according to Mexican news and official sources.
A news account in Milenio news daily of a press conference conducted by the Mexican Secreteria de Gobierno (SEGOB) or interior ministry said a Mexican Army road patrol was dispatched to Diaz Ordaz municipality Monday on an anonymous tip about the presence of armed suspects in the area.
On arriving in the area, a lone armed suspect was observed, who then tried to escape only to be detained at the scene.
The migrants, among them 77 Salvadorans, 50 Guatemalans 23 Hondurans, 14 Mexicans and one Indian, had been kidnapped and were being held captive in a safe house in Las Fuentes colony.Included in that number were 20 children and two pregnant women.
The kidnappers had forced their captives to call home and demand ransom while they were at the safe house. According to the report, migrants were afraid they would eventually be turned over to local drug cartels gangs that likely operate in the area.
The fear is well founded. Three years ago 72 migrants from central and south American were massacred by a local Los Zetas group in San Fernando when some of the migrants refused to give ransom. That murder was a precursor to an even more gruesome mass murder which took place over six months ending in June, 2011 which took the lives of 193 in San Fernando municipality. The San Fernando mass murder is one of the worst is Mexican history.
One suspect was detained at the scene, identified as Juan Cortez Arrez.
The Mexican government plans to move the migrants to a holding facility in central Mexico.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com. He can be reached at email@example.com