(by Adan Salazar) -- 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.