14ymedio, Havana, 13 July 2022 — Hundreds and hundreds of people in a line, from one side to the other of the Rio Grande, in an incessant flow like the waters that cross. The images, recorded on the river border of Piedras Negras (Mexico) with Eagle Pass (Texas) and shared this Monday by the American journalist Bill Melugin, illustrate the cold numbers.
According to the Fox News reporter, last week there were more than 13,000 illegal crossings in the same area: “That’s almost 2,000 a day.” A federal source told him that 2,258 illegal immigrants arrived on Wednesday. Matías, a source from the Mexican prosecutor’s office in Coahuila who prefers not to give his last name, told 14ymedio that between Sunday and Tuesday more than 8,000 people crossed the border strip of about 90 kilometers between Ciudad Acuña and Piedras Negras, among them, “several families”.
The official also says that the Northeast cartel has taken over the traffic of Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans in the place. “They have hawks – children, vendors, bartenders – who inform them about free points to cross migrants through the Rio Grande,” he details.
Two coyotes were seen in the images shared by Bill Melugin, revealing the way they operate: once the coyotes leave one group, they return to Mexican territory to guide another.
The arrival of Cubans in the US has reached unprecedented numbers during the Joe Biden Administration. Data offered by the Department of Customs and Border Protection show that in the last eight months a total of 140,602 Cubans have entered the United States by land, an number that already exceeds the Mariel Boatlift exodus of 1980, when 125,000 people reached the United States in seven months.
Matías knows that the undocumented immigrants who come in a caravan “reach their limits and some residents near Rio Grande support them free of charge so they can reach their American dream.”
Those who arrive by bus are “detected by the hawks, who notify the coyotes about the places where people are. Either under threat or extortion, but they end up agreeing to cross the river with these smugglers,” says Matías. “They charge them between 600 to 1,000 dollars to pass them and they leave them there.” This network also brings migrants from Tabasco and Yucatan.
The Northeast cartel – a split from the old Gulf cartel – is a bloodthirsty group that is not only dedicated to transporting drugs, but also to extortion, kidnapping, homicides, fuel theft, bank robbery and human trafficking.
The Cuban Francisco Torné Martínez is not part of the group filmed on Monday, but he could have been. He stepped on US territory this Wednesday. “They took names and divided the group of more than 200 people, the Peruvians and the Guatemalans were put on a bus to return them over the bridge,” he refers to this newspaper.
Torné was taken along with 22 other Cubans, 39 Venezuelans and 9 Nicaraguans to a church. “Texas is returning those from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti and Guatemala, but this could change as a result of Texas Governor Greg Abbott intensifying his campaign,” says official Matías.
Translated by Andrea Libre
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