Agence France-Presse

Mexico authorities rescue 81 kidnapped migrant workers

Male undocumented immigrants rest at the US Border Patrol detainee processing center on April 11, 2013 in McAllen, Texas. In the last month the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector has seen a spike in the number of immigrants crossing the river from Mexico into Texas. With more apprehensions, they have struggled to deal with overcrowding while undocumented immigrants are processed for deportation.
Credit: John Moore

Authorities in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas rescued 81 migrant workers who were kidnapped and held against their will in a two-story building in the border city of Reynosa, they announced on Wednesday.

Officials said all but one of the migrants were from Central America, with 39 of the men and women coming from Honduras, 38 from Guatemala and three from El Salvador. One was from Mexico. All 81 had hoped to cross the McAllen, Texas border illegally.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico's Zetas boss nabbed. Cue the brutal backlash.

The unidentified kidnappers escaped.

Mass kidnappings are common in Mexico and are typically carried out by armed groups who demand money from the migrants' families in order for them to be released.

In June, 52 migrants were rescued from a different home in Reynosa. Another 165 migrants were rescued that same month from the city of Gustavo Diaz Ordaez, also in Tamaulipas state.

Tamaulipas is controlled by the notorious Zetas gang, whose leader, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, was captured on Monday.

The Zetas are known for their brutality, including beheadings, massacres of migrants, torture and dismemberment of live victims. The gang was formed years ago by leaders of the Gulf cartel who were recruited from a group of Mexican army deserters. They eventually left the cartel and spread throughout southern Mexico and Central America.

Related Stories