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Sin Nombre's Terrifying Political Reality

Posted March 27, 2009 to photo album "Sin Nombre's Terrifying Political Reality"

Slide 1: The world of Sin Nombre
Slide 2: The State of Mexico
Slide 3: Between the USA and Central America
Slide 4: The Border Issue
Slide 5: "A very big monster"
Slide 6: Fighting Back
Slide 7: No Place to Go
Slide 8: The Fate of the Poor
Slide 9: A History of Poverty
Slide 10: A History of Violence
Slide 11: Honduras and Others
Slide 12: Gang Violence
Slide 13: More Gang Violence
Slide 14: A Cycle of Violence
Slide 15: Empty Mexican Towns
Slide 16: What Their Eyes Have Seen
Slide 6: Fighting Back

Slide 6: Fighting Back

Rafael Lara Grajales citizens fight back police suspected of being connected to the kidnappers.

Just how monstrous became clear on October 12, 2008, in Rafael Lara Grajales, a town outside of Puebla, Mexico, where local residents rescued more than 60 Central American migrants who were being imprisoned by kidnappers. The victims had been sold to the kidnappers by local police officers for $100 a head. The kidnappers had demanded that the captured migrants give them the names and phone numbers of relatives in the United States or Central America. Those relatives were then called and told to pay ransoms of up to $5,000. Those who refused to cooperate with the kidnappers and provide contacts for their relatives were burned and beaten.

Mauricio Farah, who works for Mexico's national Human Rights Commission, told the Los Angeles Times: "We're seeing an increase in organized crime against migrants. They know the migrants' route. They assault them, pull weapons, threaten them and take them to safe houses."