IRAPUATO, Mexico – Six Hondurans and a Cuban who targeted migrants for kidnapping were arrested in the state of Guanajuato, in central Mexico, Mexico’s Municipal Office of Public Security reported Sunday.
Enrique Ramírez Saldaña, director of public security at the municipality of Irapuato, said a Honduran man who was abducted managed to escape from the gang after being kidnapped and seek help from police.
Ramírez said victims were held captive in five houses and two hotel rooms in Irapuato. During a raid, police rescued eight Central Americans and seized several firearms.
The seven detainees said they belong to a gang called “Los Negros,” which engaged specifically in kidnapping Central American migrants trying to get to the United States.
Gang members nabbed migrants while they were trying to board the infamously dangerous trains that travel north to the U.S. border.
Police reported that during the operation they also found a Central American man who was being tortured to extort money from his family back home.
More than 140,000 migrants enter Mexico illegally each year trying to reach the United States, according to Mexico’s State Commission on Human Rights.