NEW YORK – In an effort to divert Border Patrol from their smuggling, Mexican drug cartels are forcing children and other illegal immigrants from Central America to swim across the Rio Grande, at the risk of drowning, rather than cross a bridge and surrender to U.S. authorities, according to a veteran Border Patrol agent.
“The Rio Grande is getting more dangerous every day,” said Chris Cabrera, an agent for nearly 13 years and a vice president in the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307.
Cabrera also told WND that Mexicans on the south side of the border were firing weapons now on a daily basis at Border Patrol agents patrolling the Rio Grande in boats.
“U.S. law enforcement doesn’t matter to them,” he said.
The intent of the gunfire isn’t necessarily to hit the agents, Cabrera explained, but to clear the area so the smugglers can run their cargo across without getting apprehended.
“That seems to be happening more and more all the time,” he said.
Cabrera said agents suspect .50 caliber rounds are being fired at Border Patrol on the river from Mexico.
Pushing them into the river
He advised against underestimating the increased danger.
“Unless one of our guys gets hit, you don’t know for sure the Mexicans across the river were aiming at you,” he said. “But it’s better to err on the side of caution.
“For anybody from Mexico to fire on the Border Patrol is a very serious issue that needs to be stopped now,” he said. “If not, we’re in for a long, hard road.”
Cabrera said he’s almost certain the increased violence is due to the Mexican drug cartels, “both with the weapons fired on Border Patrol on the river and the Central American kids and families being forced to cross the river instead of walking across the bridge and surrendering themselves to U.S. authorities.”
Cabrera explained that at any port of entry “these kids and families could just walk up and say, ‘Hey, I’m here to declare asylum, or whatever,’ and they would be processed by Border Patrol without having to go through all the perils crossing the river.”
“But the cartels are pushing the Central Americans into crossing the Rio Grande, knowing it will occupy the Border Patrol agents, so they can run the drugs or whatever they’re running around the ends without being bothered when our guys are tied up,” he said.
Cabrera emphasized how dangerous crossing the Rio Grande can be.
“This past Sunday, a group of kids and family units were crossing the Rio Grande on a raft,” he explained. “One of the kids fell off, and they just left him behind. Luckily, a game warden was nearby, and he went into the river to rescue the kid. Had it not been for that game warden, the kid would have drowned.”
Cabrera confirmed drownings occur frequently in Rio Grande crossings.
Written by Jerome R. Corsi
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