JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Chihuahua state authorities on Tuesday said an audio recording widely circulated on social media alerting people about the abduction and sale of women and girls for sexual exploitation is false.

The posts started circulating on various social media platforms last month and include the audio of someone purporting to be a government official urging women to stay home because bus drivers are kidnapping and “selling” them for $500 and $1,000, the Public Safety Secretary said in a statement Tuesday.

“The intent being to create psychosis among the population, audios are being circulated on social media regarding girls and women who have been abducted (and are available) for sale for 10,000 and 20,000 pesos,” the police statement said.

The state police Cyber Crimes Unit characterized the postings as “fake news” meant to destabilize the social and political environment in the state.

The unit is investigating to learn who posted the audios and state authorities are asking the population not to share the postings with online friends or followers and avoid spreading rumors, said Ana Antillon, a spokeswoman for the state police.

Police detain 20 migrants holed up at Juarez hotel

Juarez police and the Mexican National Guard on Tuesday pulled 20 foreign nationals from a hotel being used as a stash house by migrant smugglers.

The raid at El Paraiso Motel in Southeast Juarez involved a room-by-room search after police received a call about a possible kidnapping, officers at the scene said. The nationalities of the migrants taken into custody by local and state police were not immediately available.

Police said they did not find any smugglers on the scene and said there was no evidence of people held against their will.

The state of Chihuahua last month signed an agreement with the governor of Texas to step up border security. This includes the apprehension of human smugglers and unauthorized foreigners in Mexican territory.

2-year-old girl shot in the head in possible cartel attack

A 2-year-old girl remained in a Juarez hospital on Tuesday, after gunmen attacked the vehicle she and her father were in, police said.

The man was driving in a South Juarez neighborhood when another vehicle pulled up and someone fired shots at him; the man received gunshot wounds in the stomach area and his daughter sustained two bullet wounds to the head, police said.

A group of people outside the hospital where a man and his 2-year-old daughter were brought in with gunshot wounds on Tuesday grieve. (Border Report photo)

The girl remained in critical condition at a Juarez hospital late Tuesday.

“I have no words… why (shoot) children?” asked a woman named Rosa Isela, who lives in the Anahuac neighborhood where the shooting took place. “I don’t know what is going on (in Juarez). We are very worried because we have children, too.”