Immigrant advocates in Mexico denounced a possible mass kidnapping of immigrants traveling by train by armed men in black luxury cars in the southern part of the country last week, according to news agency EFE.
The advocacy group is known as Hermanos en el Camino or Brothers on the Way, in English, said the train carrying passengers left on Thursday morning from the city of Ixtepec, Oaxaca, according to El Universal.
The train the suddenly stopped four hours later in Medias Aguas, Veracruz, according to the report. Ten armed people intercepted the train.
The advocates said that according to two witnesses, about 250 immigrants including women and children, were traveling in a train that runs from south to central Mexico on June 24 when it suddenly stopped in Medias Aguas, Veracruz and about ten armed men in four vans approached the rails and began kidnapping them.
Get off you mother f***s, get off quickly and get in the vans, the kidnappers told the immigrants, the advocates said. Brotners on the Way runs a refuge in Veracruz.
Some were captured, others ran to nearby bushes to escape and made it to the refuge.
Los Zetas a drug cartel known for grisly killings, could be behind the kidnapping since it occurred in a territory they dominate, the advocates speculated.
Kidnapings of immigrants that travel through Mexico to get to the United States are common and have surged in the recent years. From April to September 2010, at least 11,300 immigrants were kidnapped in Mexico, according to Mexico's Commission of Human Rights.
The cartels carry out kidnappings to seek ransoms from families living in the United States, or recruit the people they capture into their criminal organizations. The cartels have previously killed their captures.
The news comes as Mexican President Felipe Calderon battles to cool off alarming levels of violence in the country sparked by the war against organized crime which has caused at least 40,000 deaths since 2006.