Little Wilton Gutiérrez, 10, left a rural area of Nicaragua with his mother, Meylin del Socorro Obregón, in early February. She had decided to seek a better future in the United States after separating from her partner. The idea was to reach out to relatives who live in Florida.
They managed to advance along the difficult migratory path to northern Mexico. But in that country everything went wrong. Wilton did end up reaching the other side of the border, but his mom was no longer with him. Nor anyone else.
[Un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza rescata a un niño migrante abandonado en la frontera: “¿No vienes con mami o con papi?”]
As he tearfully told the Border Patrol agent who was found walking alone in southeast Texas and treated him, the people he crossed with left him “dumped.” His main concern, he added, was that someone would try to “steal” or “kidnap” him. That is why he needed help. “I am afraid,” he said. Everything was recorded in the images of the body camera carried by the officer, released to the media.
Authorities housed him in a shelter for unaccompanied migrant minors, as the mother’s whereabouts are unknown.
[En video: Un coyote lanza a dos niñas desde el muro en la frontera antes de huir]
At first, of this boy with brown skin, black hair and terrified eyes the name was not known. But after locating several of his relatives in both the United States and Nicaragua, Noticias Telemundo has reconstructed part of his history and how he lost contact with his mother before staying. lost in a remote rural area on the Mexico-Texas border.
The Nicaraguan authorities also shared details of the case by reporting that they had located the boy’s father, who is called Lázaro Gutiérrez and is a farmer by profession, in the municipality of Muelle de los Bueyes.
Find out from the news
Misael Obregón, Wilton’s maternal uncle who lives in Florida, was moved that he found out what had happened to his nephew from the news. “Only a heartless person may not feel anything when watching that video,” he said while trying to hold back the tears.
According to his story, both the little boy and his mother fled Nicaragua because her partner abused her. Along with them were two of Misael’s children, both minors. But on the border of Mexico the destinies of the four were separated.
[Una inmigrante cae en un pozo en la frontera y queda atrapada durante horas sintiéndose amenazada por una serpiente]
While the two boys did manage to cross and catch up with their father, Meylin del Socorro and Wilton were trapped on US soil and returned to Mexico.
So, they suffered a kidnapping, according to Misael Obregón. The man explained that those who organized the kidnapping called him and asked for a ransom for both of them, but he did not have enough money. “I could only pay for the boy’s ransom, $ 5,000,” he said.
[Madre busca a sus dos hijos que cruzaron solos la frontera]
Thus, Wilton was released alone, and later crossed the border with a group of other people, until he was abandoned. Of his mother, however, the trace has been lost.
The Nicaraguan government requested Interpol’s help in locating her, while it has been negotiating with Mexico and the United States to seek a solution, including the possibility of repatriating the woman and her child.
Heartbreak for Meylin and relief that Wilton is alive
Nor could Wilton’s father, Lázaro Gutiérrez, avoid tears when our reporter in Nicaragua, Alfonso Flores, taught him the video of his son pleading for help from the Border Patrol.
Asked if he ever imagined that the child could go through something like this, Gutiérrez replied: “Maybe not…”. And he added: “But that’s how it happened.”
The man explained that he did not know much about the journey that the little boy and his mother undertook, but he did know that a brother of hers was helping her. With him was his other son Delvin, 12, who now longs for a reunion with his mother and brother. He, he said, would like “for them to come.”
[“En inmigración no nos dejaron hablar”. Así fueron devueltas estas madres a México]
For her part, Socorro Leiva, the maternal grandmother of these two children, received with relief the news that Wilton was alive. “I cried, but I cried with joy,” she said on Friday, “proud of that child, how he expressed himself, how he asked the agent for help.”
However, he is now very concerned for his daughter Meylin. “That my daughter is alive is the first thing I wish”, he claimed.
US authorities are studying whether Wilton can stay with his uncle Misael Obregón after he requested it, the man confirmed to Noticias Telemundo.
“I am willing to play the role of father and mother for him”, he assured.