SALTILLO, Mexico -- Migrant worker Carlos Vasquez's journey through Mexico to find work in the United States has posed one danger after another.
The Honduran was been robbed and assaulted almost immediately after crossing into Mexico from Guatemala. Not long after he was hauled away at gunpoint from the railway line near the Mayan ruins at Palenque and taken to hotel room full of other kidnapped migrants in Villahermosa, Tabasco.
"I knew that I was going to die there," Vasquez recalled in late March, while resting at the Belen Inn of the Migrants shelter in Saltillo in northern Mexico.
"I thought, 'I have to escape.' Thanks to God, I had the opportunity," he said.
Vasquez bolted from the hotel when his guard stepped out for a cigarette.
Migrants such as Vasquez frequently fall into the hands of kidnappers as they transit Mexico on their way to the United States. The Mexican National Human Rights Commission reported 11,333 migrants were kidnapped over a six-month period in 2010 as organized criminal groups -- frequently abetted by corrupt cops and public officials -- abduct Central Americans and demand ransoms from the victims' relatives.