HomeNewsAnalysisMigrants Accuse Mexico Immigration Officials in Kidnap Case
ANALYSIS

Migrants Accuse Mexico Immigration Officials in Kidnap Case

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 12 MAY 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

A group of Central American migrants who fell victim to a kidnapping scheme in northern Mexico has accused immigration officials in the country of handing them over to drug gangs.

The migrants -- 81 Mexicans, 33 Central Americans and six Chinese nationals -- were traveling northward on separate passenger buses in northern Tamaulipas earlier this year when they were stopped and detained by Mexican immigration officials. According to El Milenio, the officials then handed them over to an armed cell of the Gulf Cartel, who held them hostage in houses throughout the border region.

The migrants were freed in a series of recent military raids on sites throughout Tamaulipas, and have since begun to speak out about their experience. As El Universal reports, the group has filed a lawsuit with the help of the Federal Institute of Public Defense (Instituto Federal de Defensoria Publica- IFDP), which prompted an official investigation into the incident.

Because of this investigation, at least six officers of the National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migracion - INM) have been arrested in the past month, all of whom were picked out by the migrants from photographs shown to them by federal investigators.

In a May 9 press conference, government security spokesman Alejandro Poire confirmed to the Associated Press that these INM agents have been arrested in connection to the case of the kidnapped migrants, but provided no specific details of the case.

"We emphasize that there will be no tolerance of anyone who calls themselves a civil servant while violating the law or participating in such crimes," Poire said.

Most likely as a result of the scandal, on May 12 the federal government fired the directors of regional INM offices in the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Mexico State, San Luis Potosi and Quintana Roo. Although officials have stopped short of claiming that similar kidnapping schemes have spread to other states as well, El Universal reports that at least two of these officials are currently under investigation for links to organized crime.

Such corruption is not a new phenomenon, as Mexican police and immigration agents have long been known to be involved in extorting and kidnapping Central American migrants traveling along the dangerous routes through Mexico to the United States. In February, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos) issued a special report on migrant kidnappings, which alleges widespread collusion of government authorities with organized crime.

According to the report, at least 11,333 immigrants were abducted during six months of 2010, while journeying to the U.S., and many of these cases involved corrupt officials. The state that experienced the most kidnappings was Veracruz, followed closely by Tabasco, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi and Chiapas.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 FEB 2021

A dozen police officers have been implicated in the massacre of 19 people along the US-Mexico border at the end…

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 2 DEC 2011

The number of bodies dug up from hidden graves in Mexico has been rising steadily over the past four years,…

CANADA / 16 OCT 2017

US authorities have arrested a Honduran national for allegedly smuggling several migrants from Central America and Mexico into the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…