One of the oldest migrant shelters in the Mexican border city of Reynosa was issued a notice to vacate the building or face demolition. City officials claim the rush is due to the dangers of flooding and lacking permits. The shelter has been in operation for longer than 15 years.
The move will displace approximately 600 migrants staying at the Senda De Vida shelter, a short distance west from the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge. South of that international port of entry, in a small plaza, approximately 2,500 Central American migrants set up camp as they wait to be allowed into the U.S. on humanitarian claims.
On Thursday, Reynosa Mayor Maki Ortiz posted on social media that she had been instructed by the International Water and Boundary Commission (CILA in Spanish) to remove the shelter since it was on the banks of the Rio Grande and risked flooding.
El Albergue Senda de Vida se edificó sin permisos de construcción y está en el cause del Río Bravo en una zona de gran peligro de inundación, inicia época de Huracanes y pone a la gente en peligro, por ese motivo CILA nos dio la instrucción de desalojarlo.
— Maki Ortiz (@MakiOrtizD) July 22, 2021
Soon after her initial post, Ortiz received criticism over the move and its timing. In a subsequent post, Ortiz lashed out against the U.S. government for sending Central American migrants to Mexico instead of their home countries. She claimed the border cities do not have the resources to deal with the situation.
Estados Unidos debería resolver la situación migratoria de las personas que detiene en su frontera y no son mexicanas, darles albergue y repatriarlas a su país o darles visas y no devolverlas a México todos los días.los Municipios no tenemos recursos destinados para ese rubro!
— Maki Ortiz (@MakiOrtizD) July 23, 2021
Ortiz’s husband, Carlos Pena Garza, was singled out by Tamaulipas State authorities in 2017 for owning properties next to the migrant shelter that were used as brothels and strip bars in a red light district, yards from the Senda de Vida shelter. While Pena Garza did not face criminal charges at the time, the investigation named him and eventually shut the businesses down for a temporary period.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at email@example.com.