http://www.thenews.com.mx/home/tnhome.asp?cve_home=734 "Cubans sent home under new accord By JULIE WATSON Associated Press Mexico sent home the first group of illegal Cuban migrants under a new accord aimed at cutting off an increasingly violent human-trafficking route to the United States, the government said Thursday. The 41 migrants left the resort city of Cancún aboard a Mexican Navy ship taking them back to Cuba, a statement from the Navy and the Interior Secretariat said. Before Mexico signed the agreement with Cuba in October, authorities rarely sent migrants back to the communist island. Until now, Cubans were detained briefly in Mexico, then given 10- to 30-day exit orders. That allowed them to continue on to Texas, where all that is required of Cuban migrants are identity documents and medical and background checks before they are welcomed to the United States. As it became harder to dodge U.S. Coast Guard vessels and reach Florida by sea to qualify for U.S. residency, Cuban migrants in recent years have increasingly chosen Mexico - often heading to the coast near Cancún - as their route to the United States. But the government has become frustrated with the migrations as violent traffickers increasingly got involved in moving them across the country. Several Cuban-Americans believed to be involved in smuggling have been killed in recent years in or around Cancún, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) southwest of Cuba. In June, gunmen snatched 33 Cubans off a government bus headed to an immigration station in Chiapas, possibly to extort money from them or their smugglers. Many of those migrants later turned up in the United States. The government now provides armed police escorts for all detained Cuban migrants. Immigration authorities can still grant asylum on a case-by-case basis to migrants under the accord, which has no guarantee that those returned to Cuba will not face reprisals."