EAGLE PASS, Texas — A Customs and Border Protection law enforcement source reported the recovery of a body from the Rio Grande Wednesday morning. The body, described as a Hispanic male, was pulled by a Border Patrol airboat crew on routine duties. Agents say the person’s hands were bound and a puncture wound was discovered, indicating the possibility of a gunshot.
Local law enforcement was contacted and a justice of the peace issued a pronouncement of death and requested an autopsy. Border Patrol agents referred the case to Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to the source, authorities suspect the person may be a victim of cartel violence. Piedras Negras, Coahuila, directly across the border, is largely under the control of Los Zetas Cartel.
The immediate border region has seen an increase in migrant crossings under direct control of the cartel. Border violence in this region has been on the decline, compared to others. Intelligence officials with the Border Patrol believe this is the result of a deliberate attempt to maintain a low profile and is not related to the strength of the organization.
According to the Border Patrol, more than 5,210 arrests of migrants have occurred in the Del Rio Sector over the last 7 days. A significant number of these arrests occurred in Eagle Pass.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas Sector.