MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police in northern Mexico found 38 people, including 22 Haitians and Cubans, who were abducted from a hotel early Tuesday, authorities.
The chief prosecutor of the northern state of San Luis Potosi said the victims were found alive on a roadside, apparently abandoned by their captors.
Prosecutor Federico Garza Herrera said the group included 16 Mexicans and 22 foreigners, among them three children and a pregnant woman.
It was not immediately clear whether the foreigners were migrants. Initial reports suggested some were Venezuelans. Immigration authorities were checking their status in the country.
The abduction took place early Tuesday at a hotel in the city of Matehuala. Prosecutors said three SUVs carrying armed men arrived before dawn at the Hotel Sol y Luna and abducted the guests.
Some of the victims' identification documents were found inside rooms. The abductors apparently also took the hotel’s log of its guests.
The abductees were found later by National Guard and police officers on a road outside Matehuala, after a caller said a group of people were asking for help on the road.
Costlier migrant smuggling operations often put up their clients in small hotels as they move them north. Organized crime gangs traditionally charge a tax for each migrant moved through their territory. If that tax is not paid or a rival smuggling group sees an opportunity, such abductions can occur.
Rival gangs also sometimes simply hijack groups of migrants from other traffickers.