Zeta cartel tied to immigrants on fatal truck ride to San Antonio

San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle:
People close to the Zetas Cartel helped some immigrants cross the Rio Grande, according to one man who survived the drive inside a sweltering tractor-trailer from Laredo to San Antonio late Saturday.

Ten people who were inside the trailer have died and dozens were taken to area hospitals.

Details in a criminal complaint against James Matthew Bradley Jr., the 60-year-old trailer driver, give an idea of what transpired in the days leading up to the deadly drive to San Antonio.

RELATED: New details emerge about immigrants' deadly trip to San Antonio in sweltering trailer

The man told authorities he waited with a group of 28 other people to be smuggled into the U.S.

"He was told by the smuggler that people linked to the Zetas would charge 11,000 Mexican pesos for protection and 1,500 Mexican pesos to cross by raft since the river ran deep in that area," reads the complaint. "The money was collected and his group crossed the river by raft in three trips."

The 12,500 pesos is about equal to $700.
The allegations about the cartel are not surprising.  The drug cartels have used human trafficking as a side business for years.  Immigration activist largely winked at the practice as they continued to encourage people to make the risky effort to get to the US.  The Zetas have a reputation for ruthlessness.


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