Accused of Smuggling Migrants From Mexico, a 26-Year-Old Cuban Woman Faces Trial in the United States

Seven migrants were found in a van driven by a Cuban woman, Nahara Candelaria Milan. (Facebook/Maverick County Sheriffs Department)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 31 August 2023 — The 26-year-old Cuban Nahara Candelaria Milan faces trial in the United States for the crime of human trafficking and, if guilty, must pay $10,000 and serve 10 years in prison. The young woman was arrested on Monday for a traffic violation while on her way to Eagle Pass (Texas), and during the search of her vehicle, the police discovered that she was transporting seven illegal migrants picked up in the vicinity of the Rio Grande.

According to Lieutenant Efrain Valdez from the detective corps of Maverick County (US), Milan admitted to being Cuban while he was examining the vehicle, a 2019 Honda. At the moment, the authorities have not revealed the nationality of the people she was transporting.

The agents of the US Border Patrol took care of the seven irregular migrants and, after taking their data, took them to a detention center in Eagle Pass before returning them to Mexico.

Eagle Pass is one of the coyotes’ favorite areas for transporting migrants in small and often precarious vehicles, such as vans. This Wednesday, one of these transports overturned while trying to escape from the Police. The trafficker, whose identity was not revealed, is seriously injured in a hospital in San Antonio (Texas), and the nine undocumented people he was transporting were handed over to the Border Patrol.

Nahara Candelaria Milan, a Cuban woman,  faces charges for trafficking migrants in the United States. (Facebook/Maverick County Sheriff Department)

Last June, Sheriff Brad Coe warned of the participation of Cubans in migrant smuggling networks. According to the Kinney County officer, near Brackettville (Texas), some drug trafficking organizations are putting pressure on people whom they helped enter the United States, in order to turn them into coyotes at their service.

Coe stressed that Cubans participate as part of “some payment they have pending or for extortion.” The US authorities opened an investigation folder last April, when Rainel Lázaro Silies and Lima Gálvez González were arrested in Kinney. They were prosecuted for transporting five undocumented people in their van.

Two months later, in the same region, Julio César Aspiazu Gómez was arrested and prosecuted for carrying five migrants in his car. This Cuban-American was released after paying a fine of $5,000.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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