Three ‘Coyotes’ Kidnapped 50 Cubans and Threatened To Hand Them Over to Drug Traffickers

Fifty Cuban migrants were held for one week in a house in Oaxaca / FGE Oaxaca

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 27 March 2024 — The Mexican authorities rescued 85 migrants, including 50 Cubans, after coyotes demanded $300 each to allow them to continue to the United States. They had been in a house located in Bahías La Ventosa, in the port of Salina Cruz (state of Oaxaca) for at least a week, and according to municipal policeman Felipe Santiago, “the coyotes threatened to hand them over to drug traffickers if they didn’t pay.”

It was thanks to a telephone complaint received by the municipal police that the house could be located. The Police requested the support of the Mexican Navy and the State Investigation Agency to free the kidnapped migrants. During the operation, Santiago reports, two women and a man were captured.

One of the victims said they paid 2,500 dollars per person for their transfer from Guatemala to the U.S. border

According to the official, the detainees are accused of the alleged crimes of “illegal deprivation of liberty, threats and extortion.” One of the victims told the officers that the group had paid 2,500 dollars per person for their transfer from Guatemala to the U.S. border.

The coyote they paid led the group to Bahías La Ventosa, where a man and two women detained the migrants and asked them for more money, in addition to 20 dollars a day for food and water. “Among the things they found with the human traffickers were the identification papers and cell phones of the migrants,” explains Santiago.

The authorities transferred 50 Cubans, 30 Ecuadorians and five Dominicans who were part of the group to a house in Oaxaca de Juárez. A Migration source reported to this newspaper that the nationals of Ecuador were offered the option of repatriation. If they accept, the Government of Mexico will provide them with $110 a month for six months and help them find a job.

The Migration official told 14ymedio that the Cubans requested assistance from the Mexican Refugee Aid Commission to avoid deportation but “were told that it was only for people who wanted to stay in Mexico.”

The Cubans have been in the immigration station of Oaxaca de Juárez / FGE Oaxaca since Monday / FGE Oaxaca

The Government of Mexico reported this Tuesday that to stop the migratory flow, it agreed with Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador to provide economic support for six months to returning migrants. In addition they are offering them employment in the subsidiaries of the Mexican companies Bimbo and Femsa established in these countries.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported at the beginning of March that 56% of migrants who crossed Mexico in 2023 suffered some type of abuse, 27% were victims of robbery and 15% of physical threats.

According to data from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior, last year 782,176 “events of people in an irregular migratory situation in Mexico” were recorded, 340,000 more than in 2022.

Translated by Regina Anavy

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