Tuesday, August 12, 2014

México: 24 Hostages, Including Eleven Central Americans, Released in Reynosa

According to The Latin American Tribune, Mexican forces have rescued 24 people who were being held as hostages, including eleven Central Americans, and captured two of the kidnappers in the city of Reynosa in northeastern Tamaulipas state, officials said Tuesday (August 12).

In a joint statement, the Interior, Defense and Navy ministries and the Public Prosecutor’s office said the rescue operation took place on August 8 after an anonymous caller reported the suspected abduction of two Honduran migrants.

Intelligence work led federal agents to a house where they found thirteen Mexicans, five Hondurans, five Guatemalans and a Salvadoran “who were released," the statement said.

“In the operation, in which no shots were fired, two alleged kidnappers were arrested, one Guatemalan and one Mexican, who said they were working for a criminal group," the statement read.

COMMENT: The Mexican and Guatemalan governments should assign their best interrogators to debriefing both kidnappers arrested in order to address the following areas:

-- What technique was used by the kidnappers to abduct their victims?

-- The kidnappers should walk their interrogators through the entire process of the strategies used to lure and abduct the victims;

-- How and why the ransom demand was determined?

-- Who was behind the mass-hostage-takings? Which cartels?

-- Those arrested should be encouraged and motivated to disclose all persons who played direct and indirect roles in the mass-hostage-taking.

The hostages reported they had been abducted from different places and under different circumstances and said the kidnappers had demanded up to $7,000 for their release.

Thousands of migrants, largely from Central America, cross into México each year on their way to the US in search of job opportunities.

During the arduous, challenging and high-risk journey, they face abuse and harassment from corrupt officials or criminal groups, which sometimes recruit them by force or capture the migrant women for prostitution.

The northeastern state of Tamaulipas, which borders the US, has been the scene of violent clashes between the "Golfo" and "Los Zetas" drug cartels in their fight to control a territory considered key for their illegal activities.

In August 2010 seventy-two illegal immigrants, mostly Central Americans, were killed in the town of San Fernando in a mass murder attributed to "Los Zetas."

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government last May ordered the deployment of federal agents in the state and a purge of state security institutions.