Amy and Esther Juárez were edgy with excitement as they boarded the bus full of seasonal workers heading for a farm at the other end of Mexico from their home in the poverty-stricken southern state of Chiapas.
Although their brother Alberto,18, had made the same journey the previous year, it was the first time Amy, 24, and Esther, 15, had left the tiny indigenous community where they had grown up.
But about half-way there, immigration agents boarded the bus, and after checking all the passengers’ papers, ordered the three siblings to get off.
The officials accused them of carrying false documents and lying about their nationality. Then they told the youngsters that they would be deported to Guatemala, a country none would have been able to place on a map.
The baffled youngsters – who speak the Mayan language Tzeltal but very little Spanish – were transferred to an immigration holding centre in Queretero CITY.
Alberto, 18, was taken into a separate room by four agents who told him that unless he signed documents admitting he was Guatemalan, would die there.
“One pushed me, another was kicking my leg, and a third who was very fat gave me an electric shock here, on the back of my right hand,” Alberto told the Guardian through a translator.
“I really thought I was going to die, so I signed lots of sheets of paper – but I can’t read or write so I didn’t know what I was signing.”
The three siblings were held for eight days before a lawyer from an activist group filed a legal complaint and eventually secured their release.
A growing number of indigenous Mexicans are being detained and threatened with expulsion by immigration agents looking for undocumented Central American migrants.
The trend comes amid a crackdown on migrants driven in part by political pressure and financial aid from the US. Deportations have already risen exponentially since summer 2014 when Barack Obama declared the surge in Central American child migrants a humanitarian crisis. Campaigners say that Mexico migration officials are running a secret quota system to increase the number of expulsions.
Activists say that Mexico’s National Immigration Institute is increasingly operating like an unchecked police force – and say that that like the country’s security forces, it appears to be systematically using torture against detainees.
“The order appears to be to detain Central Americans at any cost, even if that means violating the constitution, picking up people based on racist criteria and detaining and deporting Mexican indigenous youth along the way,” said Gretchen Kuhener, director of the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI), which launched legal action to secure the siblings’ release. The Mexican constitution states that citizens can move freely within the country, and do not need to carry ID.
Kuhener added: “This case demonstrates the power and impunity of the National Migration Institute. They can get away with it because it impacts highly vulnerable populations who may not speak Spanish, don’t know their rights, and are unlikely to complain.”
The Juárez family live amid the picturesque rolling hills in eastern Chiapas, where all seven children – aged six to 24 – help their parents eke out a living from a few plots of land.
Food is plentiful, but money is scarce, and to top up their incomes, thousands of people, many of them indigenous, travel by bus from Chiapas and other southern states to work on farms in northern Mexico.
In Chiapas, casual farmhands earn 60 to 80 pesos (£2.40 to £3.20) a day cutting coffee, whereas last season Alberto earned 200 pesos (£8) a day harvesting squash, watermelons and tomatoes in the northern state of Sonora.
Gently swinging in a hammock, Alberto said his first time away from home was thrilling.
“We worked hard, but went out every evening. I tried hamburgers for the first time, and there was electricity where we lived. When I came home after seven months, I bought a horse with the money I’d saved. This year I wanted to buy motorbike.”
Encouraged by Alberto’s stories, his sisters and Esther’s boyfriend Fernando, 27, also signed up when the contractors returned looking for workers. All four asked not to be identified by their real names, for fear of reprisals from the Mexican authorities.
“I just wanted to have my own money so I could buy my own clothes at the market, maybe some earrings,” said Amy, 24. “But even as we got on the bus, I had a bad feeling.”
The privately contracted bus left on 2 September 2015 at 2pm from the local petrol station. The following afternoon, at a tollbooth just south of the border with Queretaro state, immigration agents boarded the bus.
Mobile immigration teams were introduced as part of the crackdown – known as the Southern Border Plan – launched amid US pressure to stop Central American migrants reaching its border.
Although immigration officials do not carry weapons, they often work closely with armed private security officers, police officers and soldiers. The joint units have been aggressive in their attempts to stop northward migration, raiding bus stations, motels and buses, and stopping migrants from boarding the freight train known as the Beast, which was once a major route through southern Mexico.
The scale of US financial support for Mexican immigration control is opaque. At least $100m has been spent or pledged for training, new equipment and canine teams, according to Congressional Research Service. There are no human rights conditions attached to this aid. Department of Defence aid is separate and unknown. The INM said it has “never received a peso” from the US.
After being held at the roadside for several hours, the Juárez siblings were driven to the immigration centre. Officials confiscated their belongings, including a cellphone and documents (birth certificates, social security numbers, electoral registration) which the officials insisted were fake.
Months later, the siblings are still shaken by the experience, and asked to be identified with pseudonyms for fear of retribution from migration officials
Esther, 15, said the experience was terrifying. “They kept saying we were Guatemalan, and we kept telling them no, we’re from Chiapas but they wouldn’t believe us and became angrier and angrier.”
On Friday 4 September, after being kicked, pushed and given an electric shock, Alberto signed documents he couldn’t read admitting he was Guatemalan.
Agents told them they would be deported to San Marcos, a poverty-stricken city in western Guatemala. Incredibly, a Guatemalan consul issued certificates “confirming” their nationality.
“Alberto couldn’t stop shaking, we were all crying. How would we return home to Chiapas when we don’t even know where Guatemala is?” added Esther.
Esther’s boyfriend Fernando, who was accused of being a people smuggler but not detained, managed to find help. The IMUMI lawyer arrived on 6 September, and filed a legal complaint, and after eight days, the trio were released.
Their ID documents were not returned because they could not pay the £8 (200 pesos) bribe demanded by officials.
A specialist psychologist and doctor from the Mexico City Human Rights Commission concluded – in a report seen by the Guardian – that Alberto had suffered serious physical pain and post-traumatic psychological symptoms as a result of being tortured.
Carolina Jiménez, deputy director of research for the Americas at Amnesty International, said: “We have documented a truly disturbing pattern of very serious human rights violations against migrants travelling through Mexico. But seeing immigration officials involved in torture against Mexican nationals to make them ‘confess’ they are migrants takes this disturbing situation to a whole more sinister level.”
Concern over the conduct of immigration agents is rising. Advocacy groups were dismayed when Ardelio Vargas, a highly controversial police figure, was named head of INM in January 2013. Vargas was in charge of federal forces when peasant protests in the town of San Salvador Atenco were violently repressed by police in 2006.
Alejandro Martínez, former head of Central American migrants’ issues at the INM, said Vargas runs the institute like a police force.
“The biggest mistake was to mix police and immigration. [The case of the Juárez siblings] makes me even more certain that illegal quotas within the institute are driving the exponential rise in detentions. It doesn’t matter how agents do it, as long as they meet the quotas.”
INM categorically denied the use of quotas. But the huge surge in detentions and deportations is undeniable. In 2015, 190,000 people were detained by INM agents – 120% more than in 2013.
It also appears Mexican nationals with a particular profile are being caught up in the swell.
The National Commission for Human Rights (known in Spanish as the CNDH) recently investigated 15 similar cases – including at least eight other victims from Chiapas – and found 22 immigration agents violated multiple rights.
The victims were detained on buses or on the street solely based on their “physical features, clothes and appearance”. Some were detained for several weeks before convincing officials they were Mexican.
The INM said agents are legally permitted to request identification from anyone.
According to the INM spokeswoman, the Juárez siblings were detained because Fernando said they were Guatemalan, and the sisters’ ID papers raised concerns they could be human trafficking victims. Their detention was prolonged by IMUMI’s legal challenge, she said.
She added: “It’s impossible that anyone could be tortured at an immigration station because they are permanently monitored by the CNDH, international organisations like the Red Cross and NGOs. If he [Alberto] was tortured, why not report it at the time, why wait till later?
“As in all cases of possible abuse there will be an investigation and if we find any evidence of excessive force, those responsible will be reported to the competent authorities.”
A lawsuit over the case is still ongoing, but whatever its outcome, the episode has shattered the dreams of the Járez sibling. Amy and Esther say they will never leave their community again because it is simply too dangerous.
Alberto muses over the future while watching his elegant white mare grazing with her chestnut foal. He had big dreams of building his own house with electricity and internet, and he still wants that motorbike.
“I want to go north again to work, but I keep thinking about what they did to me. It’s best that I stay here.”
A highly trusted federal agent working under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed to Breitbart Texas that a group composed of 5 Pakistani men and 1 man from Afghanistan was captured by U.S. Border Patrol agents after having illegally crossed the porous U.S.-Mexico border in the Tucson Sector of Arizona.
The six men were traveling in a group and were captured roughly 16 miles into the state of Arizona, specifically, near the small picturesque town of Patagonia, Arizona.
The apprehension of the group occurred late on Monday night, November 16, 2015.
Border Patrol agents were unable to do extensive interviews with the six Middle Eastern men because the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the matter. The aliens were immediately transferred to Tucson where the FBI took custody.
On Wednesday evening, Breitbart Texas disclosed a report by other federal agents claiming that 8 Syrian illegal aliens were captured while attempting to enter the United States in the Laredo Sector. The Department of Homeland Security has now confirmed our exclusive report.
Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, Breitbart Texas reported that 5 Syrians were arrested in Honduras cutting their travel plans to the U.S. short. Those 5 Syrians entered Honduras by air and were headed towards the Guatemalan border. All five of the Syrians were said to be young males and were all carrying stolen Greek passports.
While the release of information relating to these type of high-profile illegal aliens is usually closely guarded by CBP officials, Breitbart Texas was able to confirm an earlier arrest of a Syrian woman who attempted to enter the U.S. illegally. She was charged with using a passport belonging to someone else. The woman, Walaa Alrehawi was initially charged with misusing a U.S. passport in Hidalgo, Texas. For an unknown reason, the Department of Justice dismissed the charges “with prejudice” (charges cannot be re-filed) against the woman and her brother-in-law Mohammad Ziad Alzalam who she was traveling with. The only explanation given was the dismissal was “in the interest of justice.”
Breitbart Texas has traveled extensively in the Tucson Sector of Arizona and reported extensively from the region.
Two federal agents operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are claiming that eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. The federal agents spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity, however, a local president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) confirmed that Laredo Border Patrol agents have been officially contacting the organization with concerns over reports from other federal agents about Syrians illegally entering the country in the Laredo Sector. The reports have caused a stir among the sector’s Border Patrol agents.
The sources claimed that eight Syrians were apprehended on Monday, November 16, 2015. According to the sources, the Syrians were in two separate “family units” and were apprehended at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge in Laredo, Texas, also known officially as Port of Entry 1.
Border Patrol agent and NBPC Local 2455 President Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas, “Border Patrol agents who we represent have been contacting our organization to voice concerns about reports from other agents that Syrians crossed the U.S. border from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. Our agents have heard about Syrians being apprehended in the area from other federal agents.” Agent Garza added, “At this time, I cannot confirm or deny that Syrians have crossed, for security reasons.”
Agent Garza further stated that in matters as sensitive as Syrians crossing the border from Mexico, it would be highly unlikely that federal agencies would publicize it or inform a broad group of law enforcement. He did say that Local 2455 is taking the reports seriously and that they “will be issuing an officer safety bulletin advising Border Patrol agents to exercise extra precautions as they patrol the border.”
Breitbart Texas can confirm that a Syrian did attempt to enter the U.S. illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was caught using a passport that belonged to someone else and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved due to “circumstances.”
A potentially catastrophic landfall is expected Friday evening as a very powerful and dangerous Hurricane Patricia moves towards Mexico’s Pacific coast. Hurricane Patricia became the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere on Friday morning as its maximum sustained winds reached an unprecedented 200 mph (320 kph).
The hurricane is forecast to make landfall in the Mexican state of Jalisco Friday evening as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane capable of causing widespread destruction. Residents and authorities in Mexico are rushing to prepare for what will likely be the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall on that country’s Pacific coastline.
At 1 p.m. CDT, the eye of Hurricane Patricia was about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving north at 10 mph (16 kph).
In addition to its unprecedented 200-mph (320-kph) sustained winds, Hurricane Patricia now holds the record for lowest pressure in any hurricane on record. With a minimum central pressure of 880 millibars (25.99 inches of mercury) at the 4 a.m. CDT advisory, Patricia broke the record of 882 millibars set by Wilma almost exactly 10 years ago. At the 1 p.m. CDT advisory the minimum central pressure was lowered to 879 millibars (25.96 inches of mercury).
Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter airborne reconnaissance mission late Thursday night provided critical data demonstrating the extreme intensification of Hurricane Patricia in near-real time. A new NOAA reconnaissance aircraft reached the eye of Patricia early Friday afternoon to gather additional direct measurements of the storm’s intensity.
Unprecedented Among Pacific Hurricanes
Hurricane Patricia became the strongest Pacific hurricane on record shortly after midnight CDT early Friday. Air Force Hurricane Hunters had flown through the eye of Patricia and reported a sea-level pressure of 894 millibars as measured by a dropsonde inside the eye itself. Wind measurements suggested that the pressure measurement was not in the exact center of the eye and was probably not the absolute lowest pressure, prompting NHC to estimate the minimum central pressure at 892 millibars in its special 12:30 a.m. CDT advisory.
Tropical cyclone strength comparisons are typically based on minimum central pressure. At 892 millibars, Patricia shattered the Eastern Pacific basin’s previous record of 902 millibars set by Hurricane Linda in 1997.
While a number of typhoons in the western North Pacific have been stronger, Patricia is by far the strongest hurricane in any basin where the term “hurricane” applies to tropical cyclones – namely, the central and eastern North Pacific basins and the North Atlantic basin, which includes the North Atlantic Ocean itself plus the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
Exceptionally Dangerous Situation in Mexico
The eye of Patricia is expected to move onshore either late Friday afternoon or Friday evening in the Mexican state of Jalisco, which includes the popular coastal resort city of Puerto Vallarta as well as the inland metropolis of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city.
The adjoining states of Colima and Nayarit will also feel the effects of Hurricane Patricia, which in addition to catastrophic winds will also bring a formidable flood threat. Depending on the exact track of Patricia’s eye, the resort city of Manzanillo may experience destructive winds, and is very likely to see flooding rainfall, dangerous storm surge and large, battering ocean waves breaking onshore.
Watches and warnings remain in effect for parts of Mexico’s Pacific coast:
* A hurricane warning includes the Pacific coast of Mexico from San Blas to Punta San Telmo. This warning includes the major coastal resort cities of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.
* A hurricane watch is in effect east of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas.
* A tropical storm warning is also in effect from east of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas, as well as north of San Blas to El Roblito.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in the warning area within 48 hours. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the watch area.
Tropical storm conditions are possible early Friday in the warning areas, and hurricane force winds are expected to reach the warning area Friday afternoon or evening.
While the resort area of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo may see heavy rainfall associated with Patricia, there are no watches or warnings for tropical storm or hurricane conditions there. Acapulco is also not under any watches or warnings for Patricia.
Patricia is forecast to remain a Category 5 hurricane at landfall, making it capable of causing catastrophic wind damage.
The good news is that Category 5 winds are occurring over a very small area near the center, about 15 miles across. Otherwise, hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.
Only one Category 5 hurricane has ever been known to make landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast. That hurricane followed a path similar to that of Hurricane Patricia and struck near Puerto Vallarta in late October 1959, causing some 1,800 deaths.
With Patricia less than 12 hours away from landfall, this is the first time a Category 5 hurricane has posed an imminent threat to land in North America since Hurricane Felix approached Nicaragua in September 2007.
Patricia is expected to dump 8 to 12 inches (200 to 300 millimeters) of rain over the Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero. Life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides are possible. Localized amounts as high as 20 inches (500 millimeters) are possible.
A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the right of where the center of Patricia makes landfall. In addition, Mexico’s national water commission, CONAGUA, warned Thursday that waves of up to 12 meters (39 feet) may crash onto beaches near the landfall point.
Once this system moves inland, mid-level moisture and energy from it may get pulled into the south-central U.S. This may add more fuel to a heavy rain and flooding threat in Texas and nearby states this weekend.
Impressive Rapid Intensification
Patricia rapidly organized and intensified from Wednesday night through early Friday. Maximum sustained winds with the storm increased 115 mph in a 24-hour window from 85 mph at 4 a.m. CDT Thursday to 200 mph at 4 a.m. CDT Friday.
During that same time, the minimum central pressure of Patricia also decreased 100 millibars, from 980 millibars to 880 millibars.
This places Patricia among the most rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones ever witnessed anywhere in the world since the advent of modern meteorology.
A Monday joint press conference was held by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina to announce their agreement to jointly cooperate in and facilitate the invasion of their northern neighbor, the United States.
Labeled “The Southern Border Program to Improve Passage,” it is an officially-sanctioned, coordinated effort on the part of Mexico and the nations of Central America to invade the United States.
The agreement provides a network of border checkpoints through which an internal Mexican travel document will be issued, which is valid for a period of 72 hours. That document, known as a Regional Visitor’s Card, will provide temporary legal status to those in Mexico illegally for the sole purpose of invading the United States.
The announcement, officially granting the “privileges” to illegals from Guatemala and Belize, is expected to be applied to anyone who reaches the southern Mexican border with the intention of invading America.
Additionally, this action even provides special protections as well as financial assistance to unaccompanied minors.
This will only provide further incentive for the illegal occupation and serve to dispel any misguided belief on the part of foreign nationals in Central America that claims made by the United States that they will be deported back home are anything other than falsehoods intended to pacify the gullible American public.
Far from respecting American sovereignty, this is a Mexican-sponsored hostile act of aggression upon the sovereignty of the United States. It is conducted in complicit cooperation with a usurper and traitor occupying the White House, who is himself a person of an unknown background, using a recycled social security number.
Since John Boehner has announced that he won’t move forward with efforts to impeach Obama, it’s time to get rid him, and find a Speaker of the House who isn’t himself owned by foreign governments, financial interests, or The Communist Party in America.
The people of the United States don’t have time to play nice as their country and their standard of living are destroyed and have no reason to. We are under attack by subversives within our own government, in both parties, as well as foreign nations. Our nation is bleeding sovereignty and we are being denied a tourniquet. It is past time for Americans to respond.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is spending $398,213 on a project studying whether paying male Mexican sex workers for being free of sexually transmitted diseases will increase condom use.
The study, “Conditional Economic Incentives to Reduce HIV Risks: A Pilot in Mexico,” began in June 2011 and is funded through the end of May 2014.
“The working hypothesis is that a program with modest economic incentives to stay free of sexually transmitted infections (STI) can be implemented among MSW (male sex workers) to incentivize condom use and reduction of sex partners,” the abstract of the study says. “We hypothesize that CEI (conditional economic incentives) treatment groups will exhibit greater program participation and retention rates as compared to the control group.”
The study includes male sex workers in Mexico City, who first must attend a workshop on the benefits of condom use and “condom negotiation” before they are broken up into smaller groups.
According to the study abstract, one group of 100 individuals will “receive low incentive ($200 pesos/each time) only if they are free of STIs at months 6 and 12.”
Another group of 100 will receive high incentives “($500 pesos/each time) if they are free of STIs at months 6 and 12.”
The control group of 100 does not receive any money regardless if they are STI free or not.
Attempts by CNSNews.com to contact Project Leader Dr. Omar Galarraga of Brown University to discuss the study went unreturned.
However, some early results of Dr. Galarraga’s findings were recently published in The European Journal of Health Economics.
A Brown University article on the publication quotes Galarraga: ‘We’re trying to prevent HIV from spreading and we are trying to save money,’ said public health economist Omar Galarraga, assistant professor of health services policy and practice and lead author of the study published in the European Journal of Health Economics.”
“We want to make sure that every dollar spent has the greatest impact.”
“Through detailed questionnaires administered to 1,745 gay men 18-25 years of age, Galarraga and his colleagues in Mexico’s Institute for Public Health (INSP) found that at a rate of $288 a year, more than three-quarters of the men would attend monthly prevention talks, engage in testing for sexually transmitted infections, and pledge to stay free of STI’s with testing to verify that. To obtain a similar level of participation among the 5.1 percent of the sample who were male sex workers, the price was much lower: $156 a year.”
“The target population seems generally very well-disposed to participate in these types of programs at prices which are consistent with other social programs currently in place in Mexico for preventing other health risks,” Galarraga said.
When questioned about the goals of the study, NIH replied, “NIH research addresses the full spectrum of human health across all populations of Americans. Research into unhealthy human behaviors that are estimated to be the proximal cause of more than half of the disease burden in the U.S. will continue to be an important area of research supported by NIH.”
“Only by developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for health-injuring behaviors can we reduce the disease burden in the U.S. and thus, enhance health and lengthen life, which is the mission of the NIH.”