A tip from an escaped slave reportedly led to the rescue of more than 100 people from a banana plantation in Tapachula, Chiapas this weekend. Most of the former captives are Central American nationals. At least 5 are Mexican citizens. Dozens , including the informant, are under the age of 18. Federal agents arrested 8 people in the operation, including plantation overseers and administrative staff.
The plantation is located in a region near the border with Guatemala, along a route often used by migrants headed towards the United States. Undocumented transmigration through Mexico has grown increasingly dangerous in the past few years as organized crime has consolidated control over the most heavily trafficked routes. This has led to an explosion in migrant kidnappings for ransom or forced labor.
One of this year’s most extreme examples of the dangers the undocumented face in Mexican territory is the massacre of 72 migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas; a crime attributed to the Zetas drug cartel.