The tragic drowning of a Nicaraguan was filmed on Sunday – the result of a failed attempt to illegally cross the border from Mexico into the United States.
Calixto Rojas, 53, and his friend Elbe Castro, 42, were seen struggling to stay afloat as the Rio Grande’s current gathered strength between Piedras Negras, Coahuila and Eagle Pass, Texas.
A Fox News camera crew spotted Castro clinging to a concrete column in the middle of the river as Rojas struggled against the current and tried to keep his head above water. Later, it sank in full view of Texas National Guard soldiers.
Rojas was swept away by the international waterway and his body was found near an islet further up the river.
Castro somehow continued and reached a second set of concrete pillars under a bridge, where he sat atop a tree branch.
Calixto Rojas, a former radio host from Nicaragua, drowned on Sunday while trying to cross the US-Mexico border and was swept away by a strong current in the Rio Grande. He left his family behind in December 2021 after receiving death threats for covering up a government protest and was among several migrants who paid a smuggler $3,000 to be taken to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, to reach the Texas.
Fox News cameras captured the moment Calixto Rojas (right) was about to drown as his friend Elbe Castro clung to a concrete pillar of a bridge in the Rio Grande between Texas and the Mexico.
The US Border Patrol contacted his Mexican counterparts, who rescued him and brought him back to Mexico.
The drowning occurred nine days after 22-year-old Bishop Evans of the Texas National Guard died while trying to rescue two migrants who were being swept away by the treacherous currents of the Rio Grande.
One of the guards who was on the Texas side of the river told Fox News they were instructed not to conduct any rescue missions involving people trying to cross the Rio Grande.
According to local Nicaraguan media, Rojas and Castro were among several migrants who each paid a woman $3,000 to be taken to the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras and smuggled into the United States.
Albe Castro sits on a fallen tree next to the pillar of a bridge that connects Coahuila, Mexico and Texas – moments after his friend Calixto Rojas drowned in the Rio Grande
Albe Castro is cared for by Mexican immigration officers who would bring him back to Coahuila after his friend Calixto Rojas drowned during an unsuccessful attempt to reach the US border in Texas.
Rojas, a radio host at home, wrote frequent letters to fill Radio Dario with updates of what turned out to be an ill-fated trip to the US border.
Rojas left his family in Nicaragua after attending a demonstration denouncing the regime of President Daniel Ortega and immediately saw his home attacked by supporters of the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
“They threatened me with death, saying that if I continue like this, they will disappear me and my family,” he wrote.
“I had to make the hard decision to leave my family to save their lives, because when a Sandinista march made up of workers from the town hall passed, they jumped on my house throwing stones towards the roof. was at that time that in a consensus (decision) with my wife, I have to leave my house and therefore the country.
Rojas crossed Honduras before crossing El Salvador and then Guatemala.
Texas National Guardsman Bishop Evans drowned on April 22 after trying to save two migrants from drowning
Elbe Castro manages to swim away from the pillar to another column before being rescued by Mexican immigration officers
He settled for a time in Belize where he claimed he was ‘totally confused and lost. And that’s where my suffering began.
Rojas shares that he struggled to eat a healthy meal, often sticking to fruit, oatmeal, bread and just about anything cheap and affordable.
He made ends meet by doing random cleaning jobs until he overheard a man talking about the radio station he owned.
The impromptu job interviewed led to a $12-a-day radio gig, money that was used to fund his trip to the Mexican Caribbean coastal state of Quintana Roo, where he faced additional hardship before finally reaching the northern state of Coahuila, where death awaited him. him.
“May God continue to light the way for all of us who fight and leave everything to see a Nicaragua without a dictatorship and emigrate aimlessly just to save our lives to one day see dictators defeated,” Rojas wrote.