31 migrants who had been abducted over the weekend by armed men are rescued in Tamaulipas

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On Wednesday, January 3rd, Mexican authorities rescued 31 migrants who had been abducted over the weekend by armed men near the border with Texas, officials said.

Presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez said via X that the migrants were now under government protection. The operation was carried out by the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office, the army, and the National Guard, he said. The rescue was confirmed by Interior Secretary Luisa Alcalde.

Armed and masked men on Saturday stopped the bus on the highway that connects the border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros, Federal Security Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez said. They made all 36 people aboard get off and then took 31 of them away in five vehicles.

The abducted migrants were from Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, and Mexico, she said. Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Tuesday that four Colombians were among the abducted.

Rodríguez said Wednesday that the search for the abductees included tracking their cell phones, reviewing surveillance video from the bus, and scanning the area by helicopter for signs of the missing.

The bus had left the northern city of Monterrey and had a final destination of Matamoros. It was intercepted near Rio Bravo.

Organized crime groups that control the border area regularly kidnap migrants to hold them for ransom.

Tamaulipas state has seen large groups abducted before. In March 2019, some 22 people were taken from a bus and not seen again.

Source: AP

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