Mexico: 61 Men Held By Zetas Drug Cartel For Forced Labor

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A U.S. Border Patrol vehicle sits along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, opposite the American-style football stadium in neighboring Piedras Negras, Mexico, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. (AP/J. Michael Short) | AP

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's military says soldiers freed 61 men being held captive by the Zetas drug cartel for use as forced labor.

The army says the men were found guarded by three Zetas kidnappers in a safe house in the border city of Piedras Negras on Saturday. Soldiers made the discovery during a security sweep in the area that also turned up an abandoned truck filled with 6 tons of marijuana.

In a press conference Sunday, Gen. Luis Crescencio Sandoval Gonzalez said one of the captives was from Honduras and others were from various parts of Mexico. He said the three kidnappers were arrested.

Piedras Negras sits across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, which has been the scene of ongoing battles between drug gangs.

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