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MEXICO — As the US Congress mulls legislation to increase fencing and manpower on the United States southern border, migrants from Central America face increasing perils as they cross Mexico. The Mexican crackdown on drug trafficking, partly financed by the US government, is prompting criminal gangs to exploit other revenue streams such as kidnapping and extortion. And these gangs are now tapping migrant streams for new recruits. Those fleeing poverty back home find it hard to resist the lure of a life of crime, and some are being given no choice.

On Location Video: Mexico’s drug cartels recruit migrant labor