People Smugglers Inc.

Why the illegal business of crossing the border is getting better organized--and more lethal

When detectives came calling this summer at the 25-acre ranch of Lucio Avianeda, outside Minatitlan in southern Mexico, their mission was to arrest Avianeda and his alleged partner in crime, Constantino (Coty) Andrade. But before the lawmen got to the ranch house, they heard voices coming from the stables. Inside they found a dozen undocumented Central American migrants who had been locked up for three days with no food or water. Some lay unconscious in the stifling heat while horses munched hay a few feet away. The cops were not completely shocked: Avianeda and Andrade are reputed people smugglers. Police say...

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