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Authorities rescue 10 Cubans allegedly kidnapped in Mexican border city

Authorities rescue 10 Cubans allegedly kidnapped in Mexican border city
BY ABEL FERNÁNDEZ
abfernandez@elnuevoherald.com

A group of 10 Cubans who had been kidnapped while traveling from Reynosa
to Nuevo Laredo in Mexico were rescued Wednesday, according to a
high-ranking official from Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ernesto Soberón, director of consular affairs at the ministry, known as
MINREX, issued a Twitter post Wednesday evening stating that the Cubans
were in contact with the Cuban Consulate in Monterrey and that they were
in good health.

The Cubans were reportedly kidnapped in Reynosa, across the border from
Hidalgo, Texas, last week, after being stranded in Mexico following the
end of the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy, which
allowed entry to Cubans who made it to U.S. soil.

Several initial reports indicated that 11 Cubans had been kidnapped,
including a child, but later reports said it was 10.

The kidnapping was allegedly carried out by organized crime gangs, which
inspected buses where the migrants traveled. According to a relative of
one of the victims who spoke to local Mexican media, the kidnappers were
heavily armed.

Details of the rescue were not made public but reportedly involved
negotiations. It is not known whether the Cubans or their relatives had
to pay ransom or if any arrests were made in the case.

The Cubans were placed under the custody of Mexico’s immigration
authorities, who then released them to the care of a nonprofit organization.

Local media reported that Héctor Silva, the director of the Casa del
Migrante organization, said that all 10 wanted to return to Cuba because
they “were scared.”

But Miami reporter Alejandro Condis, of Mega TV, who interviewed the
Cubans, said the group did not want to return to the island and instead
made their way to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum. However, as
they neared the border crossing, the group was detained by Mexican
authorities because the documents allowing them to temporarily stay in
Mexico had expired.

Condis reported that the Mexican immigration authorities gave the Cubans
the option to go back to Cuba or to remain in Mexico. The group
petitioned for a humanitarian visa that would allow them to stay in Mexico.

FOLLOW ABEL FERNANDEZ ON TWITTER: @ABELFGLEZ

Source: 10 Cubans allegedly kidnapped in Mexican border city | Miami
Herald –
www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article131822409.html

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