Colombian migrants were kidnapped in the border area between Mexico and the United States on December 30, according to information released yesterday. The Colombians are part of a group of 31 people, of different nationalities, who were seized by an unknown criminal group. This was reported by the Colombian consul in Mexico, Andres Hernandez, who revealed that at least four of the people who were kidnapped are Colombian nationals, one of them a minor.
According to the authorities, the kidnapping took place in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, a border region with the U.S., while the migrants were traveling in a Senda bus on the Reynosa-Matamoros highway. Colombian consular sources in the U.S. informed that contacts have already been established with Mexican authorities to work together to clarify the facts and free the hostages.
Mexican drug cartels reportedly responsible
According to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the group was intercepted by armed individuals possibly linked to cartels involved in drug trafficking operating in the area.
Colombian and Mexican authorities are working together to ensure the rescue of all those affected, amid a situation that highlights the risks faced by migrants following the Central American and Mexican migration routes on their journey to a better future.
It is believed that the migrants had crossed through the Darien Gap, in the border area between Colombia and Panama, and would have arrived in Mexico after a dangerous journey through several Central American countries.
“In this multiple kidnapping in Mexico there are 4 Colombians. The Colombian embassy in Mexico is cooperating with the Mexican state to rescue them safe and sound,” wrote Colombian President Gustavo Petro on his social networks.
Five other migrants released
Mexican authorities announced yesterday that, on January 1, they had secured the release of up to five of the 31 kidnap victims, but there was no information on the health status of these people, nor the nationality to which they belonged. It was learned today that these five migrants were not part of the group of hostages on the bus.
According to police sources, they are also trying to clarify the exact date of the event, because although it has been announced that the kidnapping took place on December 30, there are some sources that place it on January 1.
“We received a report from the driver of a Grupo Senda bus in which he indicated that he had been intercepted by five vehicles driven by armed men and they took 31 of the 36 passengers”, revealed Jorge Cuellar, Secretary of Security of Tamaulipas in a press conference.
Regarding the motives for the kidnapping, Cuellar said that “there are hypotheses, however, I cannot make them… it would be irresponsible on my part”.
The state of Tamaulipas has reported that dogs are being used, as well as the film from the security cameras of the bus and other sectors where the kidnappers may have crossed. So far these actions have not provided any significant information on the whereabouts of the kidnap victims, or on the nature of the armed group that perpetrated the criminal act.