Chihuahua Governor: Criminals profiting from migrant trafficking over US-Mexico border


EL PASO, Texas — The governor of Chihuahua says migrant trafficking is a profitable source of income for organized crime and that is one of the reasons why Juarez will be among the first places where Mexico’s newly created National Guard will be deployed.

“The trafficking of Central Americans is one of the biggest money-makers for organized crime. It’s a multimillion-dollar business, with trips being sold for up to $14,000. The migrant surge has become a good business for many people, particularly for organized criminals,” Gov. Javier Corral said on Monday.

Corral made his statements after KTSM News asked him about a video posted by Brian Kolfage, in which a man allegedly carrying a gun leads a group of migrants past the border fence and later walks back to Juarez. 

The video reportedly taken in Sunland Park, N.M., was posted on Twitter on Sunday by Kolfage, a triple-amputee who raised the money for a privately funded steel bollard barrier on American Eagle Brick Co. property, in Sunland Park. The video was taken two miles from the private fence, Kolfage stated.

“We caught video of armed cartel member walking illegals into the USA. He’s packing a gun in waist, then walks back into Mexico captured in Sunland Park NM! It’s out of control! What is the city doing? NOTHING!,” said Kolfage’s tweet.

The U.S. Border Patrol today did not immediately comment on the video. Sunland Park Police Chief Javier Guerra was not available for comment Monday.

Corral said he didn’t have an exact date of arrival for the National Guard, which has just been created by Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The guard will deploy 6,000 troops to the southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, and an unspecified number of officers to states that border the United States, including Chihuahua, Corral said.

Some National Guard troops are already training and they are members of the Naval Military Police, the Mexican Army Military Police and the federal police forces, Corral said.

The guard’s northern headquarters would be in Juarez, and Corral said some buildings and plots of land are already being evaluated as bases of operations. 

The creation of this hybrid military-police force has already drawn concern on both sides of the border, given a long history of human rights abuse allegations involving military forces in all of Latin America.

And few details have been given on-the-record about how exactly this new force would operate.

But while in the border with Guatemala it might act in a similar fashion as the U.S. Border Patrol — detaining migrants, that is –, in the north its might function more like the American investigative agencies.

“It’s public-safety functions will be emphasized here because the trafficking of immigrants is one of the principal sources of income for criminals,” Corral said.

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