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Mexican police raid immigrant shelter in Nogales, group says

Mexican police raid immigrant shelter in Nogales, group says

  • Updated

An immigrant rights group said a shelter in Nogales, Sonora, was raided by local and state police Thursday night, with officers allegedly threatening residents and robbing them at gunpoint.

Twenty migrants, mostly from Central America, were asleep at La Roca Christian Shelter when at least eight marked patrol units swarmed the building. Officers broke down the door and ordered the immigrants to get on the ground, said members of the Kino Border Initiative, a binational organization that works with migrants in Ambos Nogales.

The family that runs the shelter was asleep on the second floor when they were also rousted by police. The armed group included 19 men in ski masks and a woman who appeared to be leading the operation, a news release said.

The officers went through the immigrants' belongings, allegedly taking their money and cell phones, before locking them in a room and threatening to deport them. After approximately 90 minutes the group left.

Shelter residents called the city's emergency number for help, but instead of aid the original group returned.

The officers demanded that the person who made the call be turned over to them. When shelter residents refused, they took a picture of every migrant at the shelter and said they would be beaten or killed if any of them talked, the release said.

Rights groups have filed complaints with Mexican state and federal authorities, as well as with state and federal human rights commissions.

A call to the Nogales municipal police went unanswered Saturday.

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