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Authorities locate 76 abducted migrants in Isla Mujeres hostel

Isla Mujeres, Q.R. — A state operation in the municipality of Isla Mujeres has lead to the rescue of 76 people being held against their will. The 76 located late Friday are reported to have been undocumented migrants from India and Peru.

The 73 men and three women were found being held inside a hostel in Punta Sam, an area belonging to the mainland municipality of Isla Mujeres.

During the rescue operation, one woman was taken into custody who is believed part of the human smuggling group. The group, according to local authorities, has been operating in the Isla Mujeres, Cancun area for more than a year-and-a-half.

In an official statement, the State Attorney General (FGE) of Quintana Roo said the rescue operation was a joint effort between State Police and National Guard. At the hostel, 76 undocumented immigrants, 73 men and 3 women, were freed while one woman was detained.

“A female person was detained for her probable participation in events that could constitute of the crime of deprivation of personal liberty,” they reported. The arrested woman has been identified as Abri “N” of foreign nationality without specifying where she is from.

“The victims were transferred to the FGE facilities in Quintana Roo where they were provided with humanitarian care and once their health status was assessed, they were placed at the disposal of the National Migration Institute (INM) for the corresponding procedures,” they added.

“The first investigations involve the detained woman identified as Abir “N” of foreign nationality, as part of a criminal group that has been operating for a year and a half in the municipalities of Isla Mujeres and Benito Juárez (Cancun).

“The captured person was placed at the disposal of the Public Ministry, who, within the established legal term and in accordance with the law, will define her legal situation.

“It should be noted that the way this gang operates is by contacting its victims through digital platforms, offering them accommodation in these destinations. Once in the place, coming from Lebanon, Turkey, Nicaragua or Guatemala, their passports and cell phones are taken away,” the FGE reported.