HOUSTON, Texas–The grieving mother of a 15-year-old boy who was found dead near the Rio Grande River said her son should have stayed in Guatemala. The boy, Gilberto Ramos, left his mountainside village in Guatemala to travel to the United States to find work in order to earn money to pay for medical treatments for his mother who suffers from epilepsy.
“The better treatment would have been if he stayed,” the boy’s mother, Cipriana Juarez Diaz told an Associated Press reporter from her home in Guatemala. Ramos was originally described as being eleven years old in the initial reports about his being found dead in South Texas.
A coyote had assured the family he would be safe, Diaz told the reporter. The family borrowed money to pay a portion of the $5,400 fee charged by the coyote. $2,000 was paid during the first week of the trip and an additional $600 was paid just one week before the boy died. The family said the coyote still expect payment of the full debt despite the boy’s death in Texas.
Breitbart Texas has been providing extensive coverage of the Texas border crisis. The flood of children and other illegal immigrants coming to this country has led to many deaths, not just in the direct border region, but 80-100 miles inland where as many as 120 bodies have been discovered by authorities in Brooks County, Texas, near the town of Falfurrias. Officials estimate they find about one in ten bodies that are probably lost in the arid brush covered ranches.
Breitbart Texas reported earlier this week about more bodies being found by ranchers and county law enforcement. The problem has become so financially devastating to the small South Texas county they have been forced to lay off deputies, cut employees’ salaries and health benefits. Over a dozen police officers from neighboring Hidalgo County have now volunteered their time to help and have actually saved lives as previously reported by Breitbart Texas.
“It costs us about $300 to get an officer ready to be sworn in,” volunteer deputy Daniel Walden who organized the volunteer deputies said. The cost goes to provide a uniform and ballistic vest for the reserve deputy to wear while on duty. They currently have about ten officers who have passed the additional background checks required to fulfill this extra duty but who are not yet funded to be sworn in by Brooks County.
Responding to the mother of Gilberto Ramos’ statement that he should have stayed home, Walden told Breitbart Texas, “The trek from their country in Central America, through Mexico, into stash houses before crossing the border is very dangersou.”
“We find boys and girls as young as 14 in this dangerous brush country in Brooks County,” he continued. “One young girl’s leg was so badly torn up by cactus and mesquite she was no longer able to walk. Fortunately for her, she had a cell phone and could call for rescue.”
“No child should have to endure the kind of march through this dangerously rough country,” Walden stated.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.