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Mexican navy frees 104 kidnapped migrants

March 10, 2013|By Richard Fausset

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican navy announced that it had freed 104 Central American migrants who appear to have been kidnapped by an organized crime group in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.

The navy announced Friday's rescue of the hostages in a news release to Mexican news media Sunday.  According to reports [link in Spanish], the navy was acting on a tip from residents near a home where the migrants were being held.

In all, 91 men and 13 women were freed. Two of them were from El Salvador, and the rest were from Honduras, the reports stated.

Mexican crime groups have moved aggressively into kidnapping and extorting Central American immigrants who head north through the country on their way to the United States. 

Sometimes the migrants are not just kidnapped, but massacred.

In a separate example of the troubling crime that continues to affect both the lowest and highest strata of Mexican society, gunmen assassinated Jose de Jesus Gallegos Alvarez, the tourism minister of Jalisco state, on Saturday. The slaying took place in a suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city.

Gallegos Alvarez had held the job for only a few days. State officials said his slaying was probably not linked to his job, but to business he had conducted before taking the position, the news website Milenio reported.

richard.fausset@latimes.com

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