NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — Mexican troops have freed 179 undocumented Central America migrants bound for the United States, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Soldiers discovered the migrants in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas from April 9-13, the state prosecutor’s office said.
Five people handling the migrants, who were from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, were arrested, an official in the prosecutor’s office told AFP.
Migrants passing through Tamaulipas are often abducted by the Gulf drug cartel and robbed, subjected to extortion, rape and other abuses.
Every year nearly 140,000 undocumented people, most of them Central Americans, enter Mexico en route to the United States to seek work in a bid to escape grinding poverty.