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Mexico arrests alleged leader of kidnapping cell

By CNN Staff
September 10, 2013 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
The border between the U.S. and Mexico at Tijuana.
The border between the U.S. and Mexico at Tijuana.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Serafin Medina-Angel was arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, on September 1
  • He is accused of targeting Mexican citizens on their way to the United States
  • Medina-Angel is charged with three counts of kidnapping

(CNN) -- Authorities have arrested a man they say was the leader of a kidnapping cell responsible for kidnapping, raping and torturing victims along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Serafin Medina-Angel was arrested at his home in Tijuana, Mexico, on September 1, according to a Monday statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

He is accused of kidnapping Mexican citizens attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico. His victims were tortured and raped while accomplices tried to collect ransoms from their families, CBP said.

Medina-Angel was arraigned last week and charged with three counts of kidnapping, the statement said.

Many migrants moving through Mexico on their way to the United States are victims of violence along the border, but the journey is perilous from the moment it begins.

The danger has grown as Mexico's drug gangs expand their reach.

Slayings frighten Ciudad Juarez bus drivers, commuters

Mexico arrests 'Ugly Betty,' alleged leader of New Juarez Cartel

CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

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