PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Coahuila — Federal and state authorities are investigating the regional head of Mexico’s Immigration Institute (INM) in Coahuila and two of his top aides for their alleged role in helping cartel-tied human smuggling groups evade capture.
Rafael Rodriguez Charua, the regional head for INM in Piedras Negras and two of his top aides were removed from their posts and taken to the state capital of Saltillo as part of an ongoing investigation into the suspicious release of a human smuggler and several illegal immigrants from Central America.
According to law enforcement sources in Coahuila, under orders from Rodriguez Charua, his men recently released a smuggler and two men from Ecuador who were captured in Piedras Negras. The men were initially arrested during a traffic stop. The human smuggler and the individuals were later re-arrested during a stash house raid.
Soon after Rodriguez Charua was taken off his post, authorities in Coahuila began making large-scale detentions throughout the region. As Breitbart Texas reproted, human smugglers are using the Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass corridor due to lacking physical border barriers and diminished patrolling.
In February, Breitbart Texas reported on a trial where human smugglers outed former Coahuila State Police Commander Deyanira Tamallo for taking a monthly fee of $200,000 pesos or approximately $11,000 USD from each group of human smugglers or “polleros” in exchange for protection.
Since 2017, Piedras Negras saw an escalation of violence when rival cartel-linked human organizations began targeting each other’s operatives in the area. The violence led to a spike in targeted executions among human smugglers and drug traffickers over the various routes in the state. Currently, authorities in Coahuila are seeing a presence of drug and human smuggling cells tied to a Zetas faction known as Cartel Del Noreste, their rivals Zetas Vieja Escuela, the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and several independent groups.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “J.M. Martinez” from Coahuila.