Wagswoofs – Mexican officials are currently engaged in a frantic search for 31 migrants hailing from five Latin American countries. These individuals were forcefully abducted by armed gang members while traveling on a bus en route to the US border over the weekend.
A group of armed men, wearing masks, halted a bus on the highway in Reynosa city, as reported by Federal Security Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez.
The bus journeyed from Monterrey to Matamoros, a city situated just across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
It is not clear what the motive behind the kidnapping is, but it has become a common practice for cartels to abduct migrants and demand ransom for their release.
Rodríguez reported that the migrants who were abducted originated from Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, and Mexico.
Four Colombians were confirmed to be among the captives, as announced by Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Tuesday.
According to local reports, the passengers were on their way to the border for scheduled asylum hearings with US officials.
The Mexican National Guard, Army, and Navy have made extensive efforts to locate the missing migrants. They have employed various methods such as tracking their cell phones, analyzing surveillance video from the bus, and conducting thorough searches of the area by helicopter. Despite their diligent efforts, there have been limited leads thus far.
Rodriguez expressed the hope to swiftly locate the victims.
Migrants and human rights activists have been expressing concerns for months about the growing kidnapping crisis in the crime-infested Tamaulipas border region. Particularly in Reynosa, rival gangs are vying for control, making it a hotspot for this issue.
Tamaulipas state has unfortunately experienced its fair share of kidnappings. Tragically, in 2019, almost twenty individuals were forcibly taken from a bus in the region, with no trace of their whereabouts since then.
Zetas drug gang members are known for being very cruel. In 2010, they killed 72 Central American migrants after forcing them off of buses near the city of San Fernando.