Posted on March 10, 2021

Migrants Killed in SUV Crash near Mexico Border Paid up to $10k Each to Be Smuggled into the U.S.

Ruth Styles, Daily Mail, March 8, 2021

The 13 migrants killed in a crash near Calexico, California, last week had paid up to $10,000 each to be smuggled into the U.S., can reveal.

Border Patrol believe the crossing – the first large vehicle breach in the El Centro sector of 2021 – was organized by a network of criminal gangs who charge desperate migrants thousands of dollars to make the crossing in specially modified cars.

The people killed in the crash were among the increasing numbers of migrants attempting to cross into the U.S. in recent months.

Border Patrol figures for the El Centro sector where the crash occurred show that 13,787 people attempted to cross into the U.S. illegally in January alone – a 100 percent increase from 2020 when just 6,429 attempts were made.

Border Patrol say the Biden administration’s relaxation of President Trump’s hardline immigration policies have encouraged more people to attempt the journey.

Two SUVs were spotted entering the U.S. by Border Patrol cameras Tuesday morning after smugglers pulled down a section of the 18ft high border fence 30 miles south of Calexico early Tuesday morning.

One of the cars crashed shortly after driving off – although no one was hurt – while the other was t-boned by a semi-truck as it sped through an intersection 35 miles north-west of the border.

The impact sent the car spinning into a nearby field, scattering debris, and killing 13 of the Mexican and Guatemalan passengers instantly. Another 12 were taken to hospital.

A spokesman for the Border Patrol El Centro sector told there were 12 similar border breaches last year.


The injured victims are still being treated for their wounds but are likely to face deportation once they recover unless they file an asylum claim.

Border Patrol sources also told that one of the dead or injured is a people smuggler – at least one smuggler or coyote travels with every group.

While on some occasions, they are the driver, many smugglers travel as a passenger which lets them hide from law enforcement among their clients.


Now can reveal that passengers had paid a minimum of $5,000 each, rising to $10,000 for the Guatemalans who had made the longest trip.


The migrant SUV had been attempting to cross busy State Road 115 at a crossroad when it was hit by a semi-trailer.

Locals told the area is notorious for crashes. {snip}


Sgt Arturo Platero of the California Highway Patrol told ‘There was no chase. As far as the crash is concerned, our agency is investigating to determine the cause of the collision and that could take a few months to figure out.

He added: ‘Me personally, I’ve never come across anything like that before. It’s extreme. Obviously, that vehicle wasn’t meant to hold that many people.

‘We deal with crashes on a daily basis. Every day we see collisions and every day there are people who die as a result. But this magnitude, this is obviously something different.’

Officer Carlos Pitones of the El Centro sector told ‘It’s been picking up – it’s been really busy in the area.

‘Biden is having an effect.’