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Javi’s Story. In the hands of the cartel

Five young men come to our room with firearms, AR-15’s and AK-47’s.

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The journey through Mexico turns dangerous. Reynosa, the city at the end of the journey is in the midst of a brutal civil war between gangs.

The journey through Mexico turns dangerous. Reynosa, the city at the end of the journey is in the midst of a brutal civil war between gangs.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

I woke up at 7:00 AM, and I have a good breakfast with two eggs, one sausage, plantains and a cup of coffee. Then, the coyote tells me and Susana to be ready at 10:00 am because we have to get a bus to keep traveling to the Mexican - U.S. border. Susana and I go to the bus station and we get into this huge bus. Along the way, I buy two sandwiches, one for me and one for her, in the state of Puebla, a dry, arid spot in south central Mexico. Many Mexican New Yorkers come from here.

Today, we are going by a big bus with nice chairs and a TV. I am eating a ham and cheese sandwich and watching the beauty of the Mexican mountains pass by.

I feel like I am Susana’s brother, because she is traveling alone like me. I also wonder how Isamari and my mother are doing.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

In every state of Mexico, I switch buses! Now, I am now traveling on another one without Susana. She got on another bus. Because she is a girl, the coyote says that she is going with different escorts. I do not know where she is going.

There are many problems while traveling on the buses. The Mexican police are stopping the buses and asking passengers for their documents and visas. The problem is, I don’t have a visa. I only have my passport.

The coyote is on the bus with us for the whole time. He is Mexican so he doesn’t have any problem with his papers. It seems that he knows all of these police.

Every day, he gives me money to bribe the police. Every time the bus is stopped for the police, I put 300 pesos in the middle of my passport. When I show the police my passport, they take the money, and let me go. This happened 10 times this week!

Thirty of these 10 pesos bills per police stop.

Thirty of these 10 pesos bills per police stop.


Finally, the coyote tells me that we are near our objective: Reynosa, a Mexican city across from Laredo. I have heard some people saying that Reynosa is one of the most dangerous places of Mexico, where people cannot live because of the drug cartels. So, when I hear the word, “Reynosa,” it sounds like the announcement of a death place. But I cannot do anything but to face it when we get there. For now, I am trying to sleep and forget that I am in the middle of death.

 McAllen Reyonosa


Friday October 26, 2012

Today, I awaken in an old, dirty bedroom with 23 other people from different parts of Mexico and Central America. The mice are running around the room. The cockroaches are flying around in the dirty bathroom next to us. I am so hungry. I have only eaten a jam and cheese sandwich.

At 7:00 AM we finally get to the bus station of Reynosa. There, a minivan is waiting for me. The coyote delivers me to some Mexicans, young people who work with the coyote and keep a house called a “bodega.”

The house is large, but the people are many. It has 7 rooms, with the capacity for 8 persons each, but there are really 20 to 25 men in the room where I am at now. I am the only minor. They give me an old, stinky blanket to cover myself, and I sit in a corner because too many people are here. I have stayed in the corner all day.

At about 10:00 pm, I am wondering if my mom is sleeping and eating well. I ask God, instead of being with me right now, can He go to my home where mom and my sister are?  I am so hungry. I would like a sandwich made by my mom.

I will have to sleep sitting up because there is not enough room to lie down. I hope tomorrow some people leave this room.


Some didn't make it.

Javi and his fellow smuggled migrants could see from the bus that some didn't make it through Mexico.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Five young men come to our room with firearms, AR-15’s and AK-47’s, and tell us that the coyotes’ lookouts are checking the area and the river to see if any police or another drug cartel is around before they move any of us.


Now, I realize that I am in hands of “El Cartel De El Golfo De Mexico” (The Mexican Gulf Drug Cartel), who own this old bodega.

That’s why we are still here. We are caught between the drug cartels and the police. The other drug cartels want to claim us as their immigrants so that we would have to transport their drugs with us. At least this drug cartel does not do that. They will help us cross the Rio Grande without the drugs.

I am awakened at 6:00 Am by my fellows who get up very early to talk to each other. However, I sit on the floor until 10 AM when the breakfast of beans, rice and eggs is served.

I stay in my corner for the rest of the day until dinner, daydreaming about the United States.

I also have been talking with God. He answers me back, saying that my mom and sister are doing well. They have their food and everything. I say to God, thanks so much for taking care of them, that is all I want.

Since I have come here, I have not seen the sunlight. When the night falls, we quietly eat dinner. I only eat half of the plate because the food was so spicy (well, of course, I am in Mexico!). Afterwards, my stomach is roaring, and, wow, I cannot believe that I have been sleeping sitting down with this old and stinky blanket for the past seven days. I am going to sleep. Maybe tomorrow we will move.


Next: how will we cross the Rio Grande River into the United States?


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  • I remember this moment, it was very hard, I thought it was going to be the end of my life to see all this people with big guns.... God bless you, He never let us alone...

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