Some 50 Central American women kidnapped in Mexico
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - About 50 Central American immigrants were kidnapped in Mexico when armed men stopped the cargo train they were riding and abducted all of the women aboard, El Salvador said on Tuesday.
Mexico's interior ministry said it had found no evidence backing the Salvadoran claims of the disappearance in the state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico.
El Salvador's foreign ministry said the mass kidnapping occurred on December 16 around midnight on a northbound train, citing interviews conducted by consular staff in Mexico. It was unclear what had happened to the men on the train, although El Salvador said many of the immigrants had been robbed and beaten.
"The foreign ministry demands that the Mexican government investigate this," the ministry said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear which countries the immigrants may have come from, although Honduras has also asked Mexico for information regarding the abductions, said deputy foreign minister Alden Rivera.
Some migrants pay as much as $10,000 to smugglers who promise to get them into the United States. Many others see their journeys end in robbery, assault or arrest. Women often report rapes during the voyage, and some have been forced into prostitution.
Corrupt Mexican police are often accused of playing a role, turning illegal migrants over to drug gangs for a price.
Countless Latin American migrants journey some 1,900 miles through Mexico hoping for a better life in the United States, some clinging to the top of cargo trains or hiding in secret compartments built into tractor trailers.
(Reporting by Angelica Carcamo; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia en Tegucigalpa; writing by Jason Lange in Mexico City; editing by Philip Barbara)
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