Exclusive Video: Pregnant Migrant Beaten for Crossing Texas Border Without Paying Gulf Cartel Fee, Says JTFW Director

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Joint Task Force-West (JTF-W) Director Manuel Padilla, Jr. told Breitbart News about a pregnant migrant woman who cartel smugglers beat because she did not pay to cross the border.

During a 45-minute interview with Breitbart Border and Cartels Director Brandon Darby, Director Padilla described how a human smuggling cartel beat a pregnant woman because she did not pay to cross from Mexico into the U.S.

“During November of 2018, there was a young lady that was coming in. I believe she was from Guatemala,” Director Padilla told Darby. “She freelanced and crossed into the Brownsville Area of Operations and she did not pay the cartels.”

“This young lady was eight months pregnant,” the director continued. “When the agents encountered her, she was beaten up so bad by the cartels, or by criminal organized crime, because she had not paid those dues.”

Padilla said agents took the young woman directly to the hospital where she delivered a stillborn child. He said the baby died because of the beating. She also required dialysis in the aftermath.

“I saw the agents not only taking this lady to the hospital but then working with the consulate of that country and working with NGOs (non-governmental agencies) on how to care or organize the care for that person,” Padilla explained. “That’s what I see agents doing.”

During the 45-minute interview with Darby (below), Director Padilla discussed the humanitarian and national security crisis caused by the largely unsecured border between the United States and Mexico. These issues include human smuggling, drug trafficking, cartel violence, and terrorism.

Matt Perdie

The director also discussed the need for a physical barrier and how they impact border patrol agents versus cartels. He continues with a discussion about the abuses of migrants by their smugglers.

Padilla said the South Texas border has lagged behind in the construction of physical barriers because of heavier traffic in areas like El Paso and San Diego. “If you look a the tactical infrastructure that we have to include the walls is a lot less than other parts of the country,” he explained. “It’s kind of shifted traffic to different areas.”

“I was very hopeful, very happy when I saw that this administration was very focused on establishing the personnel, technology, and infrastructure to the levels that we are working on and also that engagement with Mexico and Central America,” Padilla concluded.

President Donald Trump appointed Director Padilla to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force-West in October 2018. The task force coordinates the assets and personnel of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal agencies to secure the U.S. southwest border.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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