Marines rescued 14 Central American migrants being held captive in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas and arrested two suspected kidnappers, the Navy Secretariat said Monday.
The migrants were found on Saturday at a house in the city of Altamira after a citizen notified authorities that several people had been kidnapped, the secretariat said in a statement.
Marines arrested two individuals who “were guarding the property” and found the migrants, who said they were abducted in different places in Tampico, Madero and Altamira, the secretariat said.
The suspects were handed over to the special prosecutor’s office that handles kidnapping cases in Tampico.
An investigation has been opened and officials will determine the immigration status of the Central Americans, the secretariat said.
Migrants headed for the United States are often targeted by Mexican criminal organizations, which kidnap them or try to forcibly recruit them to join their gangs.
Gunmen on the payroll of the Los Zetas drug cartel murdered 72 migrants from Central and South America at a ranch outside San Fernando, a city in Tamaulipas, in August 2010.
Mexican marines found the bodies of the 58 men and 14 women after a shootout with gunmen at the ranch that left a marine and three criminals dead.
A caravan of Central American mothers whose children disappeared on the journey to the United States is traveling around Mexico to demand that officials take action to protect migrants.