The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
By Melissa del Bosque, Texas Observer
March 2, 2015
The pickup truck accelerated. Jose Isabel Coj Cumar could see the glow of the sun through the thin black fabric that concealed him and the five other men in the bed of the truck. They lay staggered side by side, packed so tight Jose Isabel could scarcely move. The truck swerved then drove faster, and now he heard the wail of a siren and understood they were being pursued. His heart began to race. Then a sound like rocks pelting the side of the truck, and a scream so terrible he felt a chill in the sweltering heat.
It was his brother, Jose Leonardo. “My foot, my stomach,” he moaned. Jose Isabel and the others pulled the fabric tighter to prevent the wind from ripping it from their hands. They held onto it as if their lives depended on it, as the smugglers had warned them to do after they crossed the Rio Grande into Texas. But now something had gone horribly wrong.
The truck swerved again but didn’t slow. There was no way to communicate with the driver. The smugglers had been in such a rush that Jose Isabel hadn’t even seen the driver’s face. It had been nearly a month since they’d left the Guatemalan highlands in early October. In Mexico, the nine men had ridden on top of the freight train La Bestia and had their backpacks stolen near the Rio Grande. When they’d arrived in Texas with nothing but empty wallets, they’d felt lucky to have made it. Just this final drive to a safe house, they thought, and then they’d be on a bus to New Jersey, where they had construction jobs waiting for them.
Now all Jose Isabel wanted was for the driver to stop. Something had happened to his brother. He could barely hear Jose Leonardo over the deafening noise of the speeding tires on the dirt road, and now a strange sound engulfed them. A helicopter blotted out the sun. Through the fabric he saw, above him, the outline of a soldier and the thick barrel of a gun.[...]
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