14ymedio, Havana, 29 May 2022 — “A miracle we are alive,” said Bárbara Rodríguez Téllez. This Cuban woman told CNN en Español the nightmare she experienced while being held captive for 26 days in the border city of Ciudad Juárez across from El Paso, Texas. “Seeing that they could kill my son… They would point a gun at me here [pointing at her neck] and make him kneel down. If I didn’t say what they told me, they would kill my son.”
Rodríguez and González left the island on March 17. They flew to Nicaragua and began the journey in search of reaching the United States. After almost two months of travel and a few kilometers from the border in Ciudad Juárez, an armed group stopped the bus in which they were traveling.
“There they take us to a place on the left side of the highway, a few kilometers inside, which is like a desert,” said González, keeping them in the bus for 26 days. And it was thanks to her aunts, her mother’s sisters living in the US, that they were able to pay the money they demanded to be released. “They’ve spent almost $30,000 on the two of us.”
Human trafficking is one of the most profitable illicit activities. Recently, it has been estimated that the income of smugglers who traffic migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States was almost 7 billion dollars per year, according to figures from the National Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.
This mother and son crossed into the United States, but were returned. Gónzález insisted that they will remain in the refuge, waiting for a resolution, because to “Cuba, I will not return.”
The area of Ciudad Juárez, where Rodríguez and González were kidnapped, is controlled by the Juárez Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the latter under the command of Nemesio Oserguera Cervantes, El Mencho , for whom the US State Department is offering an award of 10 million dollars.
Faced with the flow of migrants seeking to reach the US, Mexican cartels have extended their tentacles to illegal human trafficking. In December of last year, the Government of Mexico recognized that there were networks operating from countries in South and Central America, which charge each migrant between 5,000 and 15,000 dollars with the promise of taking them to US territory.
“It is a criminal organization that is putting many people at risk,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told the media that same month.
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