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Mexican navy frees 14 kidnapped migrant workers in Mexico

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 30th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Mexican navy has found and released 14 Central American workers who were being held against their will in Tamaulipas. Many migrant workers trek across Mexico in the hopes of reaching the United States but are frequently detained for slave labor near the U.S. - Mexico border.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Worried mothers from Honduras, Guatemala and other countries traveling across Mexico in search of missing relatives are being directed to identify the 14 people who are believed to have been kidnapped by suspected drug traffickers.

Migrants who hope to cross into the U.S. from Mexico usually meet grim fates. Illiterate, with little to no money, many are often kidnapped by Mexican gangsters, held for ransom, forced to work for cartels or on marijuana farms -- or killed. They frequently turn up in mass graves in border towns.

Acting on an anonymous tip over the weekend, Naval marines discovered the 14 migrants being held in a shack in the town of Altamira, in the violent border state of Tamaulipas, which has been the scene of several massacres of Central American and Mexican migrants.

Judging from a video, the men and women look young and under-nourished. The captives told authorities they had been kidnapped in different places in Tamaulipas and were from Central America. A breakdown of nationalities was not offered and said that their "migratory status" would be corroborated. Many will probably be deported to their home countries.

The two men who apparently were holding the migrants were arrested, the navy said.

The announcement has given groups searching for the missing that more victims may still be alive.

A caravan of mothers this month embarked on a 19-day, 14-state journey through Mexico. The group of 40 or more are looking for children, spouses or other relatives who vanished on their way north. Organizers say they've staged a caravan every of the last several years and other migrant-rights activists, a few missing relatives have been found and reunited with relatives.

Human rights groups say government neglect and refusal to recognize the problem of the missing result in families left with the task of searching on their own, sometimes going state to state to offer DNA evidence when bodies turn up.

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