Guests abducted from hotel in Mexico by gunmen, later found

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Police in northern Mexico found 38 people, including 22 Haitians and Cubans, who were abducted from a hotel early Tuesday.
The chief prosecutor of the northern state of San Luis Potosi said the victims were found alive by the roadside, apparently abandoned by their kidnappers.
Prosecutor Federico Garza Herrera said the group included 16 Mexicans and 22 foreigners, including three children and a pregnant woman.
At first it was not clear whether the foreigners were migrants. Initial reports suggested that some were Venezuelans. The immigration authorities checked their status in the country.
The kidnapping took place early Tuesday at a hotel in Matehuala city. Prosecutors said three SUVs with armed men arrived at the Sol y Luna hotel before dawn and kidnapped the guests.
Some of the victims' identity papers were found in rooms. The kidnappers apparently also took the hotel's guest book with them.
The abductees were later found on a street outside Matehuala by the National Guard and police after a caller said a group of people asked for help on the street.
More expensive migrant smugglers often place their customers in small hotels when they move north. Organized crime gangs traditionally impose a tax on every migrant who moves through their territory. If this tax is not paid or if a rival smuggling group sees an opportunity, such abductions can occur.
Rival gangs also sometimes simply kidnap groups of migrants from other human traffickers.

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