Photo: Mexican police
Police arrested 11 Central Americans and a Mexican on people trafficking charges in Hidalgo, a state in central Mexico, officials said.
The suspects were detained as they tried to extort money from a group of migrants, the Hidalgo Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
Officers took seven migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to a shelter in the city of Atitalaquia, the AG’s office said.
The migrants, who were hoping to reach the United States, were “recruited” by the people traffickers while traveling on a train in Orizaba, a town in Veracruz state, the AG’s office said.
The gang forced the migrants to change trains and head to Hidalgo, making them pay a “protection fee” of between 600 pesos and 2,000 pesos ($46 and $155), the AG’s office said, citing statements from the migrants.
The people traffickers were arrested in a joint operation conducted by state and federal law enforcement agents.