The Mexican Attorney General's Office and U.S. immigration authorities have broken up a network that smuggled undocumented Latin Americans to the United States, arresting 42 people, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico announced Thursday.
On Monday, the 42 people arrested were charged with people trafficking, rape of an unaccompanied minor, sexually abusing migrants, illegal deprivation of freedom and other crimes, the embassy said.
The network was broken up thanks to cooperation between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Mexican AG's Office and during the course of the investigation, authorities were able to clear up the circumstances surrounding the death on March 11, 2014, of an Ecuadorian girl, the embassy said.
The investigation, U.S. authorities added, led to locating and arresting the main leader of the organization and accomplices who participated directly in transporting and sheltering migrants from Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
Others in the network were tasked with operating its financial structure and they also participated in trafficking, physically assaulting and sexually abusing migrant women and girls.
The network found victims and collected illicit fees from migrants in Ecuador, various cities in Central America, Mexico and the United States.