Officials in Brooks County, Texas, recovered the body of a migrant who appears to have died while attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint located about 80 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. The body appears to be that of a Guatemalan national.
Dispatchers with the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office sent Deputy Samuel Rosas to a ranch located on U.S. Highway 285 west of Falfurrias, Texas. The ranch is located in an area known for migrant pickups after they complete their march around the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 281, according to information provided to Breitbart News by the sheriff’s office.
Deputy Rosas arrived at the ranch on July 7 and made contact with a Border Patrol agent who escorted him along with a justice of the peace and a funeral home official seven miles into the ranch. The Border Patrol agent advised the deputy he found the body while conducting a patrol operation in the ranch area. The deceased migrant appeared to have died about seven miles short of where he would be picked up again by human smugglers.
“These smugglers are callous and ruthless when it comes to the health and safety of the migrants who paid them for their services,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart News. “If for any reason, a migrant cannot keep up with the people being smuggled, the smuggler will simply leave them behind to die.”
When Rosas arrived on the scene, he observed a migrant male laying on his back underneath some trees. His arms appear to be extended above and to the side of his body.
The deputy described the man as wearing jeans and no shirt. A search of the body revealed a Guatemalan ID card that was issued to 26-year-old Ricardo Horacio. The identity of the deceased man will be determined by the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office in Laredo, Texas.
The justice of the peace made the statutory declaration of death and the funeral home took custody of the body for transportation to Webb County.
Human smugglers drop off migrants on back roads in the southern half of the county and then take them on a hazardous march to the soft sand that makes up the soil conditions of these ranches. They typically tell the migrants it is a short hike around the Border Patrol checkpoint. However, the truth is, the march takes several days leaving the migrant susceptible to the heat and other dangers along the trail.
So far this year, Brooks County deputies have recovered the bodies or remains of 19 deceased migrants in this single county located about 80 miles from the Mexican border. This represents about 16 percent of the 129 migrants who died in Texas so far this year. Nationally, at least 210 migrants lost their lives while or shortly after crossing the border from Mexico, according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrant Project.