Mexico's violent drug gangs are increasingly kidnapping illegal migrants for ransom and forcing them to carry narcotics into the United States as they muscle into the lucrative trade of smuggling people across the border. Traffickers armed with automatic weapons are snatching weary Mexican and Central American migrants on both sides of the border and holding them in cramped houses with little water or food until families pay ransoms of up to USD 12,000. The Mexican army and U.S. border officials say that those who cannot pay are killed, stripped and dumped in shallow graves in remote stretches of the desert frontier. (Reuters)

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