Migration experts and smugglers who charge from $5,000 to $10,000 to move Central Americans to the U.S. say these are the payments that must be made to get their human cargo to its destination:
- Boatmen at Mexico’s southern border: $1.50 to cross Suchiate River from Guatemala.
- Lodging: $11.50 a room, which can hold many migrants.
- Central American gang: At least $100 per migrant to board Mexican freight train known as “La Bestia” The Beast).
- Mexican police and immigration officials: $230 to $540 to pass; $25 to $40 a person to free detained migrant.
- Drug cartels: $250 to $300 for Mexican migrant, $500 to $700 for Central American, about $1,500 for someone from Europe or Asia, plus 10 percent flat fee per smuggler to cross northern Mexico to U.S. border.
- Boatmen at Mexico’s northern border: $100 per immigrant to cross Rio Grande into U.S.
- Drivers: $150 for ride from Rio Grande to stash house; $200 for ride north of Border Patrol’s highway checkpoint to Houston.
- Caretaker at stash house: $20 per person per day.
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