A TikTok video has uncovered a plot of sexual harassment and abuse of power towards at least three Mexican citizens in Las Vegas. An agent of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), whose identity has not been released, has been fired, according to a statement from the institution itself, for contacting the women through social networks, after withdrawing their visa, to try to become intimate with them by offering them help to process it again. “She used her position to take our personal data and take us to bed,” Yanin Cabrera, one of those affected, declared on her Twitter.
CBP assured Tuesday, in a statement addressed to Univision: “This complaint is being investigated internally. The agent involved no longer works for the agency (…) We do not tolerate corruption or abuse in our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigation of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on duty or off of service”.
Cabrera recounted the entire process on her social networks, initially in a casual tone, until two other women contacted her, assuring that the same agent had repeated an identical pattern with them. “When this went viral, I received many messages that the same thing happened to them. Many officers take advantage of how vulnerable we become in those ‘little rooms’ [las salas donde fueron interrogadas en los aeropuertos] and how sad it is to lose a visa and it is easier to manipulate us. We want them to throw out this manipulator, harasser, opportunist and sexist and to investigate the entire department,” the young woman denounced in a Twitter thread.
One of the agents told him that his visa was going to be canceled for five years. After pleading with him, the policeman finally told him that he could process his papers again when he returned to Mexico. Also, at Cabrera’s pleas, he allowed her to spend the weekend in Las Vegas to celebrate his birthday. When the young woman returned to Mexican territory, she found a message from the same official. They started talking about her and a few weeks later, he offered to visit her in Puerto Vallarta. She accepted, although they never saw each other.
All this process, as it happened, was narrated by Cabrera on his social networks. His publications, little by little, went viral. Finally, they reached two other women, Paloma Sandoval and a third who has preferred to remain anonymous, but who told her story to Reform under the pseudonym Daniela. In all cases the modus operandi It was identical: withdrawal of the visa for having worked illegally in the United States —although in the case of Sandoval, the young woman has assured that she never did and only recognized him in the interrogation out of fear—; followed by the promise to help them recover it and, later, a message on social networks, which she located thanks to the personal data that she extracted from the documentation of the young women.
In the case of 19-year-old Daniela, the agent invited her to his house in Las Vegas, where they slept together, according to Reform. She also came to travel to Mexico City to visit her and even meet the young woman’s family, always according to Cabrera’s testimony on her social networks. The policeman made an appointment with the three of them in Puerto Vallarta —at different times, but close in time—, although he never showed up in the end and stopped answering the messages. It was then that, with the help of a lawyer, the three women filed a complaint with CBP that went unanswered for more than three months.
Cabrera has indicated that, since she began to disseminate the information on social networks, other affected people have contacted her to report similar situations with US border agents, “many in Las Vegas and some in other airports.” Roberto Serrato, attorney for the three young women, is collecting testimonies from women who suffered similar experiences by CBP officers.