Gunmen Stormed a Hotel in Mexico and Kidnapped 38 Guests, Including 22 Foreigners
Police in northern Mexico have found 38 people, including 22 foreigners, who were kidnapped at a hotel in San Luis Potosi state.
The chief prosecutor of San Luis Potosi noted that the victims were found alive on a roadside on late Tuesday, seemingly abandoned by their captors, Aljazeera reported.
The victims, which include 16 Mexicans and 22 Haitians and Cubans, were kidnapped when gunmen stormed the Sol y Luna hotel in the city of Matehuala before dawn Tuesday.
Prosecutor Federico Garza Herrera said among the victims were three children and a pregnant woman. Authorities were uncertain whether the foreigners were asylum seekers or migrants, but initial reports suggested that there were also some Venezuelans, Reuters reported.
In a statement, the attorney general of the state said the Mexicans were released sooner, while the foreigners were found by police officers beside a road in a remote area outside Matehuala after a caller said a group of people was asking for help.
The foreigners were reportedly brought to the city of San Luis Potosi, where they were fed and received medical assistance. Herrera said he's going to notify the migration institute to determine the migratory status of the victims.
A local media reported that officials found some of the victims' ID cards in their rooms, but the hotel's logbook of guests was missing since the armed men took it.
Migrants in Mexico
Around 3,300 migrants were stranded in Mexico since January due to a U.S. border policy, according to another Reuters report in June. A human rights group reported that these migrants have been kidnapped, raped, assaulted or trafficked.
New York-based Human Rights First released the report on cases of migrants and asylum seekers stuck in Mexico since President Joe Biden took office. From around 500 incidents in April, it increased to 3,300 by mid-June.
Ana Ortega Villegas, a lawyer and researcher at Human Rights First, said most people do not make complaints to the authorities, making the figures inexact.
The human rights group noted that almost 83 percent of asylum-seekers who were returned to Mexico had suffered attacks or threats, NBC News reported.
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier denied the Biden administration's request to pause the implementation of the "Remain in Mexico" policy, which was initially implemented by former President Donald Trump's administration.
This means that U.S. authorities will have to continue the practice of returning asylum-seekers to Mexico, while they wait for their cases to be processed in U.S. immigration courts.
Biden had earlier suspended the implementation of the policy, while the Department of Homeland Security assured that it would be finalized in June.
More than 70 organizations from Mexico and the U.S. had written a letter to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, asking him to oppose the reinstatement of the policy.
More than 70,000 migrants were returned to Mexico by the Trump administration in 2019. Most of the migrants were Central Americans, Cubans, and Venezuelans, among other nationalities.
Kennji Kizuka, associate director of research and analysis at Human Rights First, said the "Remain in Mexico" program cannot be carried out legally or humanely.
Kizuka noted that it will only increase the danger to those seeking safety in the U.S. He added that it will also cause more kidnappings, assaults, and torture.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Kidnapping in Mexico - From BBC Newsnight
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