Gulf Cartel Checks Buses in Mexican Border City for Migrants to Smuggle


The Gulf Cartel continues to implement a strategy where they board passenger buses to search for migrants traveling north to the border city of Reynosa. The interceptions take place on the outskirts of the city or at the bus station. The migrants trying to get to Texas are forced to go to cartel stash houses.

Breitbart Texas spoke with Miranda Villanueva, a woman from Mexico who recently traveled by bus from Central Mexico to Reynosa. According to Villanueva, as the bus arrived at the bus station, three men began asking the passengers where they were from and demanded identification. Those who did not have ID or travel documents were singled out and told to go with the men.

“They got on the bus and asked us to identify ourselves,” Villanueva said. “I heard them say that whoever had the [cartel] codes to put their hands up. More than one person raised their hands.”

The tactic is similar to another bus raid caught on tape in 2016. In that case, the gunmen were intercepting travelers from Reynosa to Miguel Aleman and ordering migrants off the bus.

Breitbart Texas spoke with law enforcement in Tamaulipas who revealed that when cartel-connected human smugglers use a coding system to identify migrants whose smuggling fees are paid. The codes are provided at the start of their journey. Those migrants are taken to stash houses and the rest of the trip depends on individual conditions.

If the migrants are able to request asylum, they simply wait for their turn and then are taken to the Rio Grande and coached on what to say to U.S. immigration authorities.

Migrants who have been previously deported or do not qualify for asylum must wait to be smuggled into Texas and taken to via stash house, a costly process.

The Tamaulipas law enforcement official added that in the case of those who do not have a code or travel documents, they are taken to a separate stash house where they are forced to pay for the right to cross through Reynosa or call loved ones to arrange wire transfers.

The source revealed that state authorities have their hands tied in most cases due to jurisdictional limitations. Only when migrants complain about kidnapping or extortion can state authorities investigate and make arrests.

Gulf Cartel Checks Buses in Mexican Border City for Migrants to Smuggle (