In a sleepy, rural South Texas town, seeing trees with female undergarments hanging from them is a common sight. Locals have even invented a term for them: “rape trees.”
Though the town of Falfurrias sits about 80 miles north of the US-Mexico border, residents there come in frequent contact with illegal immigrants attempting to make their way further inside the U.S.
Many of the immigrants, having journeyed through the rough Texas desert terrain, where temperatures easily exceed 100 degrees daily, will often procure human smugglers, or coyotes, to transport them the rest of the way.
Smugglers, however, are a particularly seedy bunch, and will lie, cheat and steal from their clients at a moment’s notice.
“Often,” according to National Geographic, they rape female migrants and hang their underwear from trees:
[Texas rancher Wyatt Hollek] and others around town say migrant girls are raped and killed by their coyotes so often that there’s a term for the trees where the bra-and-underwear ties are hung: rape trees. [emphasis added]
The grim phrase illustrates the danger and treachery involved when attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.
As many as three hundred people died between 2011 and 2013 in Brooks Co., for which Falfurrias is the county seat, according to Fox News. Last June, a research team also unearthed mass graves near Falfurrias’ Sacred Heart Burial Park, a testament to the riskiness of defying national immigration laws.
The town’s residents remember better days, when the oil and gas industry provided a wellspring of jobs.
But when energy reserves ran dry, many residents turned to smuggling to make a quick buck. “Now it’s just smuggling and game rooms and none of the young people want to work for a living,” an oil worker told Nat Geo.
“They’ll pull out wads of hundreds of dollars and beg me to drive them to Houston,” the worker said.
Last June, Infowars traveled to Falfurrias where Brooks County Judge Raul M. Ramirez revealed dealing with the immigrant influx was exhausting his county’s already-meager resources.
“It was the loss of oil & gas revenue, compounded with the amount that we spend dealing with autopsies, wear and tear of [county] vehicles, the sheriff’s department, the JPs [Justices of the Peace], the magistrates, death certificates, all the paperwork that’s entailed and getting out to areas that are very, very remote,” he said. “I personally have been taken to pronounce a body [of an illegal immigrant dead] when the sheriff’s officer said ‘oh, there went the transmission’ and we had to call a wrecker to come get us.”
Speaking to local ranchers Michael and Linda Vickers, Infowars also witnessed firsthand the destruction of property smugglers and immigrants leave in their wake, and the grisly results of the non-stop death march running through residents’ ranches.
The Obama administration’s refusal to curtail the immigrant influx has created a new source of income for people willing to get their hands dirty with illegal smuggling activities, but is has also encouraged people to put their lives in the hands of complete strangers, who are driven by profit, not “humanitarianism.”