Group of Cubans Denounce Scammer Who Offers Visas and Entry to United States for $6,000

Image of Cuban and Venezuelan migrants in a shelter in the Mexican state of NL. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 13 January 2022 — “It’s a scam,” Facebook users warned Roberto when he asked how reliable the announcement that Andrés Ramiro Naranjo Pardo uploaded to social networks might be, in which he offered to cross migrants to the United States. “I’ll pass you to the US with ’parole’* included,” read this Cuban who is together with his wife in the Mexican state of Baja California.

“Don’t believe anything,” Internet user Ana María warned him. “He has several profiles and mobile numbers. He is a fraud.” Ana María shared her case with 14ymedio: “When you’re desperate to leave Cuba, you look for the ways and this guy knew how to deceive us. He sold a family member an appointment at the embassy. It was all a lie. I don’t know how we believed.”

Naranjo, who presented himself as a native of Havana, made two deposits of $3,000 to the BanCoppel account 4169160813668085. “When we looked for him to make a demand he wanted more money. He is a very skilled scammer,” warns Ana María. continue reading

Yanet, another of the scammers, was contacted by the same scammer through the same social network. He introduced himself as Andrés Naranjo and said he worked at the National Migration Institute (INM). He offered to transfer her to Mexico from Guyana, where she works in a hospital.

For the paperwork, Naranjo asked Yanet for $5,000. “It is very difficult to leave this way, there is a lot of jungle and dangers, that’s why I shared his name in a group of Cubans, and a girl alerted me to this guy and others asked me not to do any business” with him.

The person identified as Andrés Ramiro Naranjo Pardo has at least 20 profiles on Facebook. In some he appears as a naturalized Mexican, in others as a lawyer, teacher, referee and even soccer coach. In March 2021, he stated that every weekend he shared barbecues with technical directors of Mexican soccer: “Miguel Herrera, José el Profe Cruz, Rafael Puente (the son), Francisco el Gatillero Palencia.”

A migration source tells this newspaper that the people who have been victims of this trickster “are innocent” by sending money without guarantees. “They can flood the networks with accusations, the unfortunate thing is that this subject is laughing because he knows that we cannot act against him. Mexico does not sell visas. The way he has stolen them is even childish.”

In October, a Facebook user identified as Sombra de Luz denounced Naranjo in the group Foreigners in Mexico. “He is an unscrupulous thief,” they stressed, saying that every time he scams he changes his phone number and profile. “He is discrediting the Mexican embassy in Havana by saying that he has contacts there and that he can get a visa in Cuba for Mexico.”

Over time, in another Facebook group, Anielis Torres exposed Naranjo as “a scammer” who even offered “apartment rentals and offered work to women.” He scammed the woman from Sancti Spiritus with the promise of giving her documents to process her visa. “Today, before 10 pm they are delivered to me, we stay late-night, can’t eat yearnings, thanks and greetings,” was one of the last messages received before he disappeared.

Internet user David AlBaqq shared another of Naranjo’s announcements on the networks on December 4, in which he asked “truly interested people” to send him 10% of the cost of the $6,000 visa to a Banco Azteca account. “The rest of the money is paid after being authorized by the Mexican consul in Havana.”

Currently, Andrés Ramiro Naranjo Pardo appears on social networks as a retired worker from the Petróleos Mexicanos company. And now he guarantees through social networks the crossing to the United States through the Mexicali Centro port of entry, in Baja California, a border state with the United States. He even promises to take the migrants “to the door of your house in Miami or whatever city ​​in the United States where your relatives live.”

For years, Cubans in their desperation to leave the Island, have been victims of scams, extortion, kidnapping and even rape. In October 2021, this newspaper received the testimony of several migrants who were victims of rape during their journey through Darien. Ana, a 45-year-old Cuban told Doctors Without Borders her bitter experience. She, along with other migrants, were threatened with guns. The women were not searched, they were taken directly to the top of the slope and raped.

*Translator’s note: In this context “parole” means legal entry.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Cubans Pay up to $4,000 to Cross from Guatemala to the Mexican State of Veracruz

At the Casa del Migrante La Divina Providencia there are currently three Cubans and 39 other migrants. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 9 December 2021 — The Grijalva River has become one of the routes most exploited in recent months by coyotes to pass migrants from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, in western Guatemala, to Tenosique, in the Mexican state of Tabasco. Cuban Ernesto Rodríguez told 14ymedio that this is how he crossed in a boat with his wife, his son and 15 other foreigners on November 18.

The group got together on the 17th, he says. “We were in a room without light, we only heard that the route was ’hot’ and that the sailors were already leaving.” Rodríguez, who paid 1,600 dollars to the coyotes to get him to Mexico, says that for getting him to Veracruz they “asked him for 4,000 dollars.’’ Some did pay it. Migrants are taking this route to avoid entering Chiapas, where thousands of Haitians are creating chaos.

The same coyote that left them in Tenosique contacted a truck driver who took them hidden among the load of bananas that he transported to the state of Nuevo León. “On the 20th he left us in a room and only charged us $60, but we soon left for fear of being arrested.” continue reading

The humanitarian visa was processed in Coahuila. “As everything was getting ugly, we left there and traveled until we reached Sonora.” Originally from Holguín, Rodríguez left this Thursday from the La Divina Providencia refuge, located in San Luis Río Colorado, in the state of Sonora which borders the United States, heading towards the immigration station located in the same town, to request information about his wife and his son, who on Sunday were detained by immigration police while he was buying food.

“The humanitarian visa arrived late. With the Stay in Mexico everything was complicated. What I want is that my family gets out,” he explains. The program implemented during the government of Donald Trump —  questioned for putting migrants and refugees in danger — was the way for the United States to send 13,000 asylum seekers there, according to a source from the Mexican Foreign Ministry. Since this Monday, it began to be implemented again in cities bordering Texas, Arizona and California.

Given the return of Stay in Mexico, the shelters located in the border area of ​​Sonora are full, “since due to the pandemic we cannot receive more than 42 people,” says Sara Sánchez, who works with the La Divina Providencia refuge. “They are given accommodation for three days. Right now we are full and we had to channel 14 Haitians from the caravan that arrived on Wednesday.”

The Cubans Aledmys and Raúl are also in the refuge. The first also hopes to hear from his family, which was picked up during a detention, and he, to avoid being detained, filled out a form requesting refuge. According to the latest statistics published by the National Commission for Refugees of Mexico (Comar), as of November 30, 8,148 Cubans had requested refuge and 2,538 have been approved. Many carry out the process in order to obtain a humanitarian visa to be able to travel through the country towards the northern border, cross into the United States and request asylum.

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.