MEXICO CITY – About 50 Central American migrants were abducted by gunmen earlier this month as they were traveling by train across Mexico, Juan José García, El Salvador's vice minister for Salvadorans abroad, said.
The kidnappings have been under investigation since Alejandro Solalinde, a priest who heads a shelter for migrants, told government officials what he had learned from several of the victims who managed to escape from the gunmen. The kidnappings are thought to have occurred on Dec. 16 in the town of Chahuites, in the state of Oaxaca, close to the border with Guatemala.
García said about a dozen men armed with guns and knives took migrants off a train and divided them into two groups of 25, and they haven’t been seen since.
Mexican officials said the train company reported nothing out of the ordinary when its train reached the area where the suspected abductions happened.
“We cannot confirm or deny it. We are acting on the complaint we received,” Irma Pineiro, Oaxaca state's cabinet chief, told CNN en Español.
[Milenio (Mexico), 25/12/2010; ElNuevoHerald (Mexico), 26/12/10; CNN en Español (Mexico), 26/12/2010; EFE (Mexico) 26/12/2010]