A new immigration law took effect in Mexico on Tuesday aimed at better protection of undocumented migrants passing through Mexican territory on their way to the United States.

The new law will permit undocumented migrants to obtain a special visa when entering Mexico from either Guatemala or Belize and tries to enact reforms in the country’s immigration ministry, which has been implicated as complicit in criminal acts such as kidnapping migrants.

“Today, Mexico is doing its part to improve the immigration system in North America,” President Felipe Calderon said during a ceremony in which he signed the law. “This, without doubt, is advanced legislation, bold legislation, immigration legislation with few precedents in the world,” he said.

Migrants have been attacked and kidnapped in increasing numbers in Mexico. The National Human Rights Commission has reported that 11,333 migrants were abducted by criminal groups, including Los Zetas, during a six-month survey period in 2010.