Tens of thousands of Central American migrants are being kidnapped, abused and extorted by Mexican gangs just yards from the United States in a growing racket that may be worth up to $250 million a year.
Arriving in ragtag border towns like Reynosa, Mexico's migrant kidnapping capital where police in armored vehicles patrol the streets and daytime shootouts are commonplace, migrants are picked off buses by gangs who federal authorities say are in cahoots with local officials.
They are then held captive in small houses packed with dozens of fellow migrants, where they are ransomed for up to $5 . . .