Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drug Gangs Kidnap over 11,000 Migrants in 6 Months

By E. Eduardo Castillo (CP)

At least 11,333 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico during a six-month span of 2010, the majority of them Central Americans, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission said Tuesday.

The governmental rights commission said Mexico's drug cartels snatched many of the migrants either to extort money from their relatives, or to recruit them to work for the gangs.

Forty-four per cent of the migrants kidnapped during the period studied — April through September — were from Honduras, 16.2 per cent from El Salvador, 11.2 per cent from Guatemala, and 5 per cent from Cuba.

A previous study by the commission had found 9,758 migrants were kidnapped from September 2008 to February 2009, but it was not clear if seasonal variations caused the increase seen in the latest study.

The commission said the cartels usually demand families pay from $1,000 to $5,000 to win the release of a migrant.

It also said fellow migrants are sometimes used as informants by the gangs to help in kidnappings.

"There are Central American migrants in the organized crime groups that kidnap migrants," said commission president Raul Plascencia.

The infiltrators mingle with other migrants to find out who has relatives in the United States able to pay ransom, and sometimes even lead groups of fellow migrants to points where they can be kidnapped.

Migrants are often subjected to extortion, robbery and other abuses as they cross Mexico trying to reach the United States.

Plascencia said Mexican authorities had taken some "isolated" actions to combat the kidnappings, but called for stronger efforts.

The Mexican government has taken steps to try to guarantee better treatment for migrants, but a new immigration law being discussed in the Mexican senate could mark a step backward, some critics say.

The bill would guarantee rights like education, health care and equal treatment for migrants, but would also allow federal police to detain migrants without proper documents. Mexico's immigration officers are currently the only officials with such power, and the Mexican government has opposed the use of police to detain migrants in the United States.

The proposed legislation would also impose fines on those who hire undocumented migrants, a tactic also used in the United States.

The kidnapping issue came to a head after 72 migrants from Central and South America were slain last August in a massacre in the northern Mexico state of Tamaulipas that authorities blamed on the Zetas drug cartel.

On Tuesday, Roman Catholic priest Tomas Gonzalez Castillo reported that at least a dozen migrants had been kidnapped by an armed gang in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco late Saturday.

Gonzalez Castillo heads a human rights group that defends migrants. He said he was told about the abduction by three migrants who escaped captivity and sought shelter in his parish.

The Invisibles: by Gael García Bernal and Marc Silver


  1. Kidnapping the Central American undocumented immigrant trying to make his/ Her way to the US has become unfortunately the low end to the Mexican kidnap industry. This work originally started with the Mexican government itself basically contracting with the US INS to rob and persecute these CA workers on behalf of the US government, but now low level cartel sub contractors have gotten more and more ruthless and have largely, many coming out of Mexican policing and military groups themselves, taken over this line of criminality. Few have shown any real concern about it though.

    11,000 kidnapped in 6 months? Don't expect Hillary or Barack to lodge a complaint with the US or Mexican government here about this. They just won't. It's just as much a wall as the concrete US Border Wall is.

  2. One might think why people aren't commenting on this story. I speak on behalf of everyone! WE DONT GIVE A F*** about some illegals CA.

  3. You ain't speaking for me pendejo. You wouldn't be saying that if you had to do the work immigrants do.

  4. Pendejo, you are not speaking for me either... i'd kick you ass for saying that shit iff i knew where you were

  5. LEGALIZE DRUGS then the kidnapping will stop,robbery,cartheft,extortion,murder,corruption,all gone--RIGHT ?? Mexico is morally bankrupt the drug trade is the high profile business ,but its everything else that has made Mexico a hell hole.

  6. Props to Gael Garcia Bernal for this marvelous video that brings to light the plight of these individuals. The cruelties they have undergone as a result of the cartel presence is a testament to how far these rings will go to advance their ends.

  7. hey ardent..the story was about
    MEXICO...and MEXICO'S treatment of CA migrants

    thought i would point that out to you as you somehow dragged the USA through the mud and into the story.


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