Washington, DC - A new Spanish language video testimonial released today by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) underscore the grim realities thousands of migrants endure in their journey from Central America to the U.S. border in the hands of merciless human smugglers.

The new video features a 19-year-old Central American male who was traveling with his father, and after several hours of walking something went really wrong. “My dad couldn’t walk anymore… his tongue… the ants were already getting to him everywhere,” says the teenage migrant with a broken voice who voluntarily agreed on sharing his terrifying experience.

“The smuggler told me to leave him… they would find him… but I told him no, he is my dad… but my dad couldn’t even open his mouth… he was stiff all over… his body couldn’t function anymore… they left us in the brush… and I carried him out to the open until I was able to find a road.” Afterwards he and his seriously ill father were rescued by CBP Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector Special Operations Group.

“Human smugglers are cold-blooded individuals who have no regard for human life. Getting sick during the journey has been a death sentence for thousands of migrants who put their trust in merciless criminals. If a migrant gets ill or injured, she/he will likely be abandoned and left to die; we see this almost every day,” said Jaime Ruiz CBP Testimonials national spokesperson.

In coordination with U.S. Department of State (DOS), the new video is part of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) Testimonial series launched on May 31, and is a continuation of several a long ranging Spanish language public awareness campaigns CBP has launched over the last decade.

The video was produced by Joint Task Force West (JTF-W) South Texas Corridor.  JTF-W is an innovative U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) interagency integrated model that unifies all DHS border security components in the Southwest Border.

In addition to being distributed to key Spanish language news media in the United States, the testimonials are released in Central America via U.S. embassies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The PSA testimonial series is an interagency effort to raise awareness of the atrocities, abuses, extortion and natural hazards migrants encounter in their journey.