Immigration, Issues

5 border horrors the media won’t report


Photo: EdmondMeinfelder/Flickr (cc by 2.0)

The border between the U.S. and Mexico is a dangerous, deadly place — a fact that often goes underreported for political reasons. Here are five border horror stories that the mainstream media doesn’t report.

1. “Rape trees”

Human smugglers ritualistically rape the women and young girls they’re supposed to be helping. Once migrants reach south Texas, smugglers will take them on a 2-3 day hike in immense heat to avoid Border Patrol checkpoints and reach a stash house. During these hikes, smugglers will often rape the women and tie a garment, such as a bra, from the victim to a nearby tree. Police and federal agents call these trees “rape trees.” 

2. Border Patrol often finds the half-eaten remains of dead migrants

Authorities routinely find the dead bodies of migrants in The Rio Grande Sector of Texas and in the Tucson Sector of Arizona. In one Texas county, the remains of 552 migrants were discovered in a 10-year period. The Ajo area of the Tucson Sector also sees a large number of bodies discovered. Though these incidents have been reported, they are often not included in current discussions about border security or the pros and cons of changing aspects of border security.

3. Migrants who cross the border without permission from a Mexican cartel are subject to brutal violence

Much of Mexico is controlled by violent drug cartels, and if migrants pass through their territory without permission they risk violence and sexual assault. In 2015, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who passed through Sinaloa Cartel territory was intercepted by cartel members. He was severely beaten and sodomized with a wooden object.

4. There are mass graves of unidentified migrants in Texas

Several mass graves of unidentified illegal immigrants were uncovered in Brooks County, Texas. Many of the bodies were buried two to a single trash bag.

5. Families in Central America often put their daughters on birth control before sending them on their journey because it’s expected they will be raped

It’s an open secret that women and young girls are routinely raped by smugglers, so much so that mothers put their daughters on birth control in preparation for the journey. The Huffington Post reports that 80 percent of female migrants are raped or sexually assaulted on the journey from Central America to the U.S.

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