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Mexico sentences 5 Hondurans for kidnapping other migrants

July 9, 2021 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A court in Mexico sentenced five Hondurans Friday for kidnapping at least 13 migrants in northern Mexico and demanding ransoms for their release.

The four Honduran men and one woman preyed on migrants from Honduras, Cuba and El Salvador, forcing them to call relatives in the United States to send ransom money. Their victims included a pregnant woman.

The five were each sentenced to 75 years in jail after they were found guilty in the 2019 abductions, according to Sonora state prosecutors.

They had demanded between $500 and $5,000 for each of the kidnap victims, all of whom were freed in a police raid in the northern border state of Sonora.

Migrants from El Salvador and Honduras, where street gangs rule some areas, have complained in the past they are often preyed upon by their countrymen while crossing Mexico in a bid to reach the United States.

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Also Friday, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said 186 migrants from Central America were found at a warehouse in the central state of Puebla that was apparently used a trafficking base to smuggle migrants in a fleet of modified pickup trucks. Six suspected Mexican migrant traffickers were also detained.