This is the kind of insidious thing that leads to more and more people be abused and killed via human trafficking schemes.
CBS News wrote a sympathetic piece about “human coyotes,” painting them as caring heroes who just help women and children through the jungle towards a better life.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 31, 2019
Along the Panama-Colombia border lies 60 miles of dense forest where smugglers known as coyotes guide migrants seeking passage north, for the right price.
Emerson Gonzalez Jimenez said he typically charges $700 to get people safely from Capurgana, Colombia, to Bajo Chiquito, Panama. He said he sometimes makes exceptions and lowers the cost, especially if he encounters migrants who were abandoned by their group. “Many get lost. They lose the path,” said Gonzalez Jimenez.
“I helped a lot of people, particularly women with children,” he said. “Because many have passed through here and not made it.”
CBS even goes so far as to suggest this is a good thing because it helps make Mr. Jimenez money to help support his family.
These hazards create an economic opportunity for men like Gonzalez Jimenez.
The 56-year-old farmer and miner based in Panama owes a sizable portion his livelihood to his underground trade as a guide. For over a decade he’s provided this service with a trusted partner, Augustin, who asked that we not use his last name. The duo have known each other since they were children, a “friend like a brother” relationship, Augustin said.
I shouldn’t even have to explain why CBS’s report is so incredibly harmful and misleading, but I guess I have to given the fact that they failed to mention a single negative aspect surrounding the human trafficking being described here.
If you watch the video, it actually mentions that people are literally dying on this journey. CBS just glosses over that as if it’s not important or a moral strike against these coyotes.
Also, none of this happens without the cartels getting their cut. You’d be incredibly naive to believe Jimenez is just a self-made man making an extra buck. The drug cartels run the human trafficking game from South America to the U.S. border. They aren’t sitting by and ceding this piece of the pie to a couple of local Colombians.
Even if we granted the premise that Jimenez is actually working on his own, these migrants do not stop once they get to Panama. They are then picked up by other coyotes, charging thousands of dollars and working directly for the cartels. They are brought through extremely harsh climates, where many die. Furthermore, women are sexual abused at an astronomical rate as well. Once they finally do reach the border, they then commit a crime by entering the U.S. illegally and overwhelm our system with false asylum claims.
There is no virtue here. Not at any point of the process.
This would be akin to a taxi driver knowingly driving young women to a brothel where they are forced into sex slavery. The taxi driver is not absolved just because he’s trying to make a buck. He’s just one part of an awful cycle and should be recognized as such.
This report by CBS News is an absolute joke. Not only that, it’s morally repugnant. It’s sympathizing with and celebrating human trafficking, something that costs thousands of people their lives every single year. That’s not even speaking of the other effects, such as enriching the cartels. I’d expect the mainstream news media to at least have some lines they won’t cross. They keep proving me wrong though.
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