Law enforcement officials in the border state of Tamaulipas are rescuing kidnapped migrants–only to sell them back to cartel-tied human smugglers for profit. Smugglers in Reynosa extort the families of Central American migrants, forcing them to wire a ransom.
Breitbart Texas spoke with U.S. law enforcement sources in Mexico, plus military officials in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon about the working relationship between the Gulf Cartel and police. The sources say the practice surfaced after the Gulf Cartel sought to make a profit from the current immigration crisis.
The state’s law enforcement communications center routinely receives calls about human smuggling stash houses and kidnapped migrants. Those calls are then routed to Tamaulipas State Police to investigate and raid the houses. However, the law enforcement sources revealed that in some cases, officers turn the “rescued” migrants over to the Gulf Cartel or a rival faction.
Though Tamaulipas officials have tried to keep the situation out of the public eye, the issue caused some jurisdictional conflicts when emergency calls were routed to military forces instead of police.
Breitbart Texas recently reported on the agents with Mexico’s National Immigration Institute in Nuevo Laredo, who were turning recently deported migrants to the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas. The criminal organization would then hold them hostage to extort ransoms.
Gerald “Tony” Aranda is an international journalist with more than 20 years of experience working in high-risk areas for print and broadcast news outlets investigating organized crime, corruption, and drug trafficking in the U.S. and Mexico. In 2016, Gerald took up the pseudonym of “Tony” when he joined Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project. Since then he has come out of the shadows and become a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.