Mexico’s southern border remains open not only for drugs, arms, and human smuggling but also for the illegal trafficking of commercial goods and even endangered species. Many times, goods are crossed right under the noses of Mexican federal authorities.
Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala in the state of Chiapas is a hotspot for legal and illegal immigration in recent years. Due to the perception in Central America that the U.S. border is open, thousands of individuals travel across this border each day with hopes of reaching the northern border of Mexico.
While most of the international press focuses on the immigration and human smuggling aspects, little to no attention is given to the healthy underground market that takes place on the banks of the Suchiate River.
Breitbart Texas traveled to the river to document the tons of goods crossed south each day which are part of the informal economy in the region. The goods, which include soap, toilet paper, groceries, electronics, and various other items, are not crossed through the international bridges in the area but through the waters of the Suchiate River. This way smugglers also cross cattle and various animals without following any sort of health or animal control.
It is through these waters that arms smugglers also cross weapons from Mexico into Guatemala while human smugglers can charge up to $5,000 to cross individuals through remote areas who are trying to avoid being identified by Mexican authorities.
While Mexican and Guatemalan law is supposed to control international commerce and the importation of goods, in Chiapas, a small bribe to Mexican customs officials is all that is needed to allow individuals in rafts to cross shipments of goods back and forth with no interference or any government paperwork.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to Mexico City and the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and their original Spanish. This article was written by “Williams Cortez” from Baja California.