Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More than 11,000 migrants were abducted in Mexico over a six-month period in 2010

Most of the victims were Central Americans trying to reach the United States. Many were snatched by criminal gangs, either to extort money from their families or in some cases to force them to work for the drug cartels. The plight of migrants was highlighted in August 2010 when 72 people were found murdered on a ranch in northern Mexico. Mexico's human rights commission, CNDH, said migrants were exposed to kidnapping, extortion, discrimination, exploitation, as well as physical and sexual abuse. Based on accounts from victims and witnesses, the CNDH documented 214 cases of mass kidnapping from April to September 2010, involving a total of 11,333 people. The commission said the drug gangs often demanded a ransom from families of $1,000 to $5,000 to ensure their relative's release. The report also found that migrants were sometimes used as informants to help gangs carry out abductions. The CNDH says that 44% of the victims were from Honduras, 16.2% from El Salvador, 11.2% were Guatemalans, 5% Cubans and 4.4% from Nicaragua, while 10% were Mexican nationals. Testimonies collected by the CNDH related how armed groups ambushed the migrants as they rode trains northwards, how they were forced to hand over money or give contact details for their families. There were also numerous accounts of rape and other sexual abuses.

No comments: