Agents of Mexico's INM immigration agency rescued 16 Salvadoran migrants who were abandoned by traffickers in the southern border state of Chiapas.

The group included six women and a minor, the INM said.

Traffickers left the undocumented immigrants inside a van parked at one end of a soccer field in the municipality of Comitan.

"According to the testimony of some of the Central Americans ... they were abandoned on the sports field by the people who were taking them to the U.S.," the INM said in a statement.

The agency provided the migrants with food, water and medical attention and put them in contact with the Salvadoran Consulate in Chiapas to "expedite the process of repatriation," the statement said.

Tens of thousands of Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States. The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican authorities say. EFE