It all started back in 2006 when the U.S. Border Patrol Agency was searching for new ways to combat illegal immigration from Mexico. An increasing number of Mexicans were trying to cross the border illegally, and Border Patrol was finding it more and more difficult to combat the issue.
So the agency paid an undisclosed sum to Elevacion, a Washington, D.C.-based advertising company that focuses on advertising to Hispanic markets, to write and record a Mexican folk album. The songs were about tragic stories of people who tried to cross the border and were met with tragedy.
Those who decide to attempt to enter the United States illegally face a number of potential perils on the journey:
“Professional smugglers and bandits who beat, rob, rape and abandon them; bitingly cold or scorching temperatures; snakes, scorpions; drowning; and death by dehydration or exhaustion.”
U.S. Border Patrol figured that producing music about these dangers might help dissuade Mexicans from trying to enter America illegally. They had Elevacion distribute that first CD to radio stations across Mexico over the past two years. Apparently, the majority of stations playing the songs and the listeners requesting them are totally oblivious about the original source of the music.
With the success of their debut album, the agency (along with Elavacion) is now working on its second CD, entitled “Migra Corridos“. The title was supposed to mean “songs of the immigrant,” but the word “migras” is also often used as slang for Border Patrol in many parts of Mexico.
The new CD brings with it a whole new set of tragic stories, including,
“a cousin who dies from dehydration, a mother who is raped and beaten by a child-killing smuggler, [and] one man’s suffocation in an airtight tractor-trailer.”
Here’s some excerpts from the upcoming album (translated from Spanish):
“He put me in a trailer / There I shared my sorrows / With 40 illegals / They never told me / That this was a trip to hell.” – El Respeto (Respect)
“After some hours / Abelardo opened his eyes / And in the middle of the cold night / Discovered his dead cousin at his side.” – El Mas Grande Enemigo (The Biggest Enemy)
Read more from AZ Central here.