Mexico City – A special division of Mexico's INM immigration agency rescued a total of 38 Mexican migrants abandoned in the Sonoran desert by the traffickers they paid to guide them across the U.S. border, authorities in the capital said.
Grupo Beta agents found 26 migrants in an unpopulated area 13 kilometers (8 miles) west of Nogales, Sonora, which lies just across the border from Nogales, Arizona.
The other 12 migrants were tracked to La Rumorosa, a remote highland area 24 kilometers (15 miles) from Nogales, Sonora, the federal interior ministry said in a statement.
The migrants told the INM the traffickers abandoned them several days ago, leaving them to wander in the desert.
While one migrant was hospitalized for dehydration, the rest were in good health, the statement said.
The INM provided the migrants with food and water, put them in contact with their families and gave them money for bus fare back to their respective homes.
The five Grupo Beta units assigned to Sonora state rescued a total of 3,563 migrants in the first eight months of the year.
In July, Beta agents in Sonora recovered the remains of "about eight people" who apparently died from sunstroke and dehydration while trying to reach the U.S. border.
No More Deaths, a humanitarian group based in Arizona, says 168 migrants died in the border region between October 2010 and the end of August.