Every day, hundreds of Central American immigrants try to cross from Mexico to the United States, according to National Migration Institute of Mexico.
Gunmen in Mexico have kidnapped at least 60 people who were on a freight train trying to illegally cross the border and enter the United States.

About 250 immigrants were traveling in a train from south to central Mexico on June 24 when about 10 armed men in four vans attacked them.

Alejandro Solalinde, a priest who heads the Brothers Along the Road hostel in the southwestern state of Oaxaca, told AFP that "at least 60 or 80 people, if not more, were kidnapped" from the freight train, including women and children.

But many of the travelers managed to flee, he added.

Notorious drug cartel "Los Zetas" is believed to be behind the kidnappings since the incident occurred in a territory under its control.

According to Mexico's Commission of Human Rights, at least 11,300 immigrants were kidnapped in Mexico from April to September 2010.

Los Zetas was founded in the late 1990s by a small group of Mexican and Guatemalan Army Special Forces deserters.

The group is engaged in the trafficking of drugs and immigrants as well as kidnapping, extortion and fuel robberies.

The cartel carries out kidnappings to seek ransoms from families living in the United States, or recruit the people they capture into their criminal organizations.

President Felipe Calderon, who launched an offensive against drug cartels shortly after taking office in 2006, has admitted that last year was "a year of extreme violence" with 15,273 drug-related deaths.