Mexico: the migrants’ path of peril

Posted by: Phineas on December 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Mexicans are not the only immigrants trying to enter the United States illegally; many of them are from Central America. Most of those come by land, passing through Mexico on their way to the US. The dangers they face on the way, both from criminal gangs and Mexican authorities, is notorious.

In today’s Houston Chronicle, Dudley Althaus recounts the harrowing experiences of people who, in search of a better life, dare to cross the river of woes:

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala — Juan Bautista Castañeda stepped aboard a makeshift raft to cross the shallow Suchiate River into Mexico from Guatemala, the beginning of a more than 1,100-mile trek he hopes will end on the South Texas border.

And not in abduction, torture or death.

On two earlier tries, he has been attacked by thugs and arrested by Mexican immigration agents, Castañeda said. But nothing good awaits the field hand back in his El Salvador village, so he has girded himself for another, perhaps final, attempt.

Pushed first by war and then by want, Central Americans for three decades have poured through Mexico by the millions on their way to hopeful, if illegal, futures in the U.S. Making their way north by rail and road, many have been robbed and raped, kidnapped and extorted, maimed and murdered.

“You see it every day — how difficult it is, how dangerous,” Castañeda said. “But I’m going again. With the Lord’s help, I’m going to make it.”

The article goes on to give examples of the horrific things that have happened to migrants making their way to the US, such as the massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants that made worldwide headlines. Kidnapping and hostage-taking to extort money from relatives of migrants “back home” or already in the US is also common, with over 10,000 incidents in 2009.

This is a good article, worth one’s time to read, and there are a few points to take away from it:

While we are legitimately concerned about illegal immigration and our poorly secured southern border, and while we shouldn’t reward people who break our laws (other than to reelect them to Congress), we must never forget that behind the statistics are human beings seeking the same thing for their families we want for ours: a better life. Yes, hidden among them are criminals and agents of our jihadist enemies, but to treat all illegals as potential thieves is just as dumb as ignoring the problem, as the open borders crowd would do.

Once again, the Mexican government’s whining about the treatment their illegals receive in the US is shown to be a sick, twisted joke when compared to what happens to illegals in their own country.

And, finally, that people would attempt these journeys again and again, knowing the dangers involved and even after experiencing them first-hand, is an amazing testimonial both to human determination and to how bleak life must be where they come from, that they are motivated to risk everything to get here.

h/t Frank Smyth via Melissa del Bosque

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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2 Responses to “Mexico: the migrants’ path of peril”


  1. Carlos says:

    It has occurred to me that Mexico has a diplomatic problem on their hands with the United States.

    We know from captures in the United States that there are Islamic terrorists that are trying (some undoubtedly successfully) to enter the United States from Mexico illegally, yet the government of Mexico encourages such illegal emigration.

    Still, they try their darndest to stop illegal immigration into their own country.

    What’s the lesson for the dunderheads that are running this country now, and ran the country through the first eight years of this century? That it’s OK for another country to enforce their immigration laws as long as the immigrants aren’t trying to destroy the United States in one fell swoop, but it’s not OK for the United States to enforce their own laws in order to protect itself from forces that will either violently attack it or will slowly chip away at its foundations “doing work Americans won’t do.”

  2. Jo says:

    They are trying to find a better life for their families and it is sad but this current ‘administration’ is only seeking to use them to build another voter base while ignoring the violence in their own countries and the threat posed to us by our open borders. One day someone with backbone will have to confront it–but they are nowhere to be found in this pack of incompetent, criminally insane bunch.