Illegal immigrants claim abuse by captors

Twenty-one Guatemalan immigrants told authorities that they were abducted from a smuggler's safehouse by five armed men, threatened, beaten and in some cases raped.

Border Patrol agents found the illegal immigrants packed into a mobile home east of Edinburg in the Rio Grande Valley on November 25th. According to interviews, they had been stolen from another smuggler's safehouse in the border town of Hidalgo.

Their captors threatened them if they did not help obtain ransoms from relatives for their release. Three female immigrants told authorities they were taken into a back room and raped.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested four Mexican nationals in with the case. Andres Perez Moshan, Humberto Alvarez Cheo, Roberto Salinas Martinez and Euclides Moreno Dominguez all face federal human smuggling charges. Perez and Moreno will also face aggravated sexual assault charges.

A 16-year-old juvenile was being held as a witness but hasn't been charged.

The defendants were scheduled to make a preliminary court appearance later today.

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