Would-be Immigrants Face Kidnapping in Mexico

As Many as 20,000 a Year Don’t Make It to the US

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MEXICO CITY, JULY 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Every year, almost 20,000 Central Americans planning to seek a better life in the United States have their plans disrupted: Kidnappers along their passage through Mexico impede their run to the north.

The plight of these would-be immigrants was discovered and reported by Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights and republished by the Latin American bishops’ council.

During the six-month investigation, the commission found 198 cases of kidnapping, and was informed of 9,758 more. The report affirmed that the frequency of the kidnappings indicate «criminal activity of enormous proportions, which represents huge revenue for delinquency.»

According to the commission, the average ransom is $2,500 per person, thus the migrant kidnapping «industry» brings criminals some $25 million a year.

Though acknowledging that federal interventions during the course of the investigation resulted in freeing 410 victims, the report goes on to note the cooperation of some Mexican authorities with the criminal gangs.

«The participation of Mexican authorities in at least 91 migrant kidnappings reveals that there are ties between delinquency and some state agents,» the report affirmed.

Furthermore, local authorities were shown to be remiss in freeing the victims. Investigators found that the locations where victims were held often were known to residents of the region, and therefore, local police could also be assumed to know the whereabouts.

The complexity of international migration makes it difficult to bring a stop to this crime. The report affirmed that «there is inefficiency in the justice systems to prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish the kidnapping of migrants, as well as evident apathy on the part of authorities to prevent this crime, protect the victims and compensate for damages done.»

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