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CBS News Profiles Human Smugglers Trafficking Migrants From South America

CBS News portrayed criminal human smugglers in a positive light.

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The Darién Gap, a undeveloped jungle swampland connecting North and South America at the border of Panama and Colombia, is said to be one of the most dangerous places in the Americas. It’s largely overrun by human smugglers, paramilitary organizations, and drug traffickers, and the U.S State Department advises Americans not to travel to the region.

The region’s criminal reputation didn’t stop CBS News from running a sympathetic profile of some of the human smugglers operating in the area on Saturday. CBS’s portrayal of a ‘coyote’ named Emerson Gonzalez Jimenez was unquestioning of his claims that he was offering a generous service to the migrants who sought passage through the Darien Gap to Panama, usually on the way to the United States.

Colombians, Venezuelans, Haitians and even individuals from Asia or Africa commonly hire the services of the smugglers to navigate through the dangerous region. It’s not uncommon for migrants to die during the often-perilous journey, as the Gap poses a threat on account of its wild nature and the criminals known to operate within it.

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A Marxist terrorist organization known as FARC, the Spanish-language synonym for Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has extensively operated in the area. FARC has trafficked and sold a great deal of cocaine destined for the United States, in addition to waging a violent insurgency against the government of Colombia.

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The crossing of often helpless and penniless migrants through the Darién Gap poses a humanitarian concern. Migrants are largely powerless at the hands of the coyotes guiding them, and can be easily exploited. Female migrants are often raped or forced into prostitution by smugglers.

CBS’s profile of the smuggler presented him as a benevolent individual offering a service, without paying any mention to the abuse of helpless people perpetrated by human smugglers in the Darién Gap and beyond.

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Mass Grave of 113 People Discovered in Mexican Town that is Under Drug Cartel Influence

Mexico Remains a Playground for Drug Cartels

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Law enforcement in El Salto, Mexico discovered a mass grave of 113 bodies earlier this week.

This discovery took place in territory run by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), one of Mexico’s deadliest cartels. The Daily Star reported that “the harrowing discovery was made by cops, who found the bodies dismembered with skulls scattered in separate bags.”

According to a revelation by prosecutor Gerardo Octavio, only 30 out of the 113 were identified so far. The Mirror Online claims that this territory is run by CJNG drug kingpin Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes.

The Mexican state of Jalisco has been the epicenter of mass grave discoveries in Mexico since 2006. From 2006 until the present, 867 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves. In addition, the state has the highest number of missing persons in the last two years — 3,568 in total — per a report from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior.

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In the neighboring state of Guanajuato, 60 bodies were found in another mass grave in the town of Salvatierra.

The Mexican Army and National Guard were present during the excavation out of fear that civilian personnel would be potentially in danger.

On November 23, 2020, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador denied that Mexico had come to an agreement about arresting a cartel leader for the U.S. in exchange for the return of ex-Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos from U.S. custody.

In the last week, Mexico reportedly reached an agreement with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to make an attempt at arresting a prominent Mexican drug cartel leader in an effort to have drug trafficking charges against Cienfuegos dropped. Cienfuegos is currently facing U.S. charges for drug trafficking. 

With Biden assuming the presidency, border security will become an afterthought. As Mexico becomes less stable, the concept of having a strong border becomes more crucial. However, the Biden administration will in all likelihood keep the borders loose, which in turn will allow cartels and other criminal actors to come in and destabilize the U.S. 

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