Pandemic pets are being returned to the shelter and it’s heartbreaking

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Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility. When doing so, people need to prioritize their money and time to make sure that their animal is well taken care of. 

My experience as a dog owner is that they are such loyal creatures and they do get attached easily to the person they live with. It’s infuriating hearing how so many people are now surrendering their ‘pandemic pet’ back to the shelter.

According to CP24,  the number of pets surrendered to Toronto shelters so far this year is up 75% compared to the first half of 2021.

The Toronto Animal Services (TAS) says that 709 pets, including cats, dogs and others, were given to city shelters from January 1 to June 23 this year, compared to 404 during the same time period last year.

It seems that people are returning their pets because they are going back to work with COVID protocols changing. In fact, those same people made a rushed decision without thinking that the pandemic would end one day. Why get a pet not knowing if you’re going to make the proper effort to keep them down the road?

Whether I worked a full-time job, part-time job or even just being at home, I still made my dog a priority because investing in a dog is a life-long commitment.

A fellow Rebel, Katherine Krozonouski, said that she got her dog during the pandemic, and it was a great time to bond with her before returning to work.

She also added that people should have had the foresight to know that the pandemic wasn’t going to last forever. “I think it’s awful. A pet isn’t a short-term hobby it’s a life-long commitment,” she told me.

Esther Attard, director of Toronto Animal Services, told CBC News that “the price of food, everything has gone up. So that includes the price of food for pets as well. Veterinary care can be less accessible. There are fewer veterinarians. There’s a shortage right now.”

“(Surrendering pets) is not something new and through the pandemic it was much lower and now we’re just starting to see an uptick,” Attard said. “And reasons for that are people having things change in their lives, new jobs, or having to move house, not being able to afford care and the cost for a pet at this time, because certainly the cost of things have gone up and that includes pet food.”

Vanessa Palombo, a volunteer for a dog shelter based in Toronto, says that even though she sympathizes with the owners for saying goodbye, it is still unbelievable:

A pet is usually a 15+ year commitment (if you’re lucky), it isn’t something you get simply to keep you company during lockdown. I understand the cost of living is steadily increasing, but people who get pets or who are thinking of getting a pet should have an emergency fund specifically for that animal.

They should think ahead and say to themselves ‘what if their food and vet bills increase by x amount of dollars in the next 2-3 years? what is my game plan?’ 

Palombo, who has two dogs (one being a rescue), added that she could never in a million years surrender her pet. As she explained, “I’d go as far as saying ‘are you going to rehome your human child when things get tough? No? Then why would you rehome your pet?’”

TAS told CP24 that the city has launched a short and long-term foster program to find homes for pets in need. TAS also has initiatives that reduce the costs of essential pet services to help residents keep their pets.

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Hostage-Taker Shot In Head By Florida Cop Expected To Survive

Hostage-Taker Shot In Head By Florida Cop Expected To Survive

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (PBCSO) – Shortly before 6:30 am Saturday, deputies responded to a welfare check in the 22000 block of Larkspur Trail in unincorporated Boca Raton. Upon arrival, deputies heard a female victim screaming for help. Deputies made forced entry into the residence and located a female victim who was being held against her will at knife point by an adult male suspect. The suspect refused commands to drop the knife, fearing for the safety of the victim, a PBSO deputy discharged his department assigned firearm striking the suspect once in the head.

The suspect has been identified as zvi Allswang. Allswang is still in the hospital in stable condition and expected to survive his injuries related to the Deputy Involved Shooting. Once Allswang is released from medical care he is facing numerous felony charges related to this incident.

The PBSO deputy involved in the shooting is currently on paid administrative leave which is standard department protocol.

FDLE (the lead investigators), PBSO Violent Crimes detectives and the State Attorney’s Office investigators are investigating this Deputy Involved Shooting further. Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division are investigating the incident involving the female victim. The suspect is facing the charges of Armed False Imprisonment and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (knife). Other charges are pending.

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WATCH: Florida Deputies, Firefighters, Good Samaritans Flip SUV To Rescue Woman In Canal

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – After an SUV veered off the road and overturned in the water Tuesday in Oak Hill, Volusia deputies, firefighters and witnesses worked together to push it upright and pull the driver to safety.

Deputies and Volusia County firefighters responded to the crash around 12:20 p.m. off Maytown Road west of Cedar Chase Road and found the SUV on its side in a ditch filled with about 3 feet of water. The driver’s side was submerged, with the female driver still inside and unconscious.

She still had a pulse, and after life-saving measures were performed on scene, she was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where she was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.

The Florida Highway Patrol is handling the crash investigation.


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We Are Merely Jars of Clay

We Are Merely Jars of Clay

We all have a long way to go in our Christian journey. But if we rely fully on God’s grace, we will get there. Let us learn from the mistakes of others, and strive not to repeat them.

Christians know what my title refers to — it comes from 2 Corinthians 4:5-7:

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”

The good that we do and the ministry wins that we have occur because of Christ in us, not because we are such great shakes. Here I want to look at this from two vantage points. One, I will look at one famous Christian leader, and two, I will look further at what Scripture says about sin and the believer.

One Notable Christian Leader

A little while ago I wrote about pastors’ kids and missionary kids, and I spoke about the sad reality that children of Christian leaders can and do go off the rails. I also said that at times the parents themselves may have been at fault to some extent.

I mentioned the daughter of Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, and how she suffered because she saw so little of her own father who was so very busy in Christian ministry the world over for over 25 years. He had done terrific things for Christ and the Kingdom, but his family was often neglected and hurt in the process. See the article here.

As I said in that piece:

“Part of the problem is that back in those earlier days, the standard list of priorities for Christians went like this: God, ministry, family. In more recent times many have realised that a much more biblical list of priorities goes like this: God, family, ministry.”

Man of VisionI want to look a bit further at the book. It is Man of Vision by Marilee Pierce Dunker (Authentic Media, 2005). It is a bittersweet volume, extolling all the great things he had done, and his tremendous commitment to Christ. But he also had his issues, including bouts of depression and a bad temper.

And on top of that, as mentioned, he was simply away from home for so much of the time — usually 10 months a year. Indeed, the constant travel and activity and ministry were just not sustainable — physically, emotionally, spiritually. Says Marilee:

“Years of eighteen-hour days, sleep caught on planes, unsanitary food, and eternal jet lag had begun to take their toll on my father.”

So many people became Christians because of his hard work, and so many were nourished physically as well as spiritually, but that did not mean his own life was fully in order. This was so very tough on his family, and even resulted in estrangement from his family. At one point he even filed for divorce. In fact, it was so bad that one of his daughters took her own life at age 27.

But the idea was to put God before all else. Writes Marilee:

How many times I heard Daddy quote Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children… he cannot be My disciple.” Daddy understood that Scripture to mean that he was obliged to put his ministry and the needs of the world before his own family.

He used to say, “I’ve made an agreement with God that I’ll take care of His helpless little lambs overseas if He’ll take care of mine at home.” It surely sounded sensible enough, and Daddy sincerely believed he was right. Unfortunately, future events would prove that this was Daddy’s agreement, not God’s.

And one more quote:

My father had an unusual ability to “weep with those who weep,” and he was driven relentlessly to do something about the intolerable pain and despair he saw. But Bob Pierce was a man of flesh and blood, and some of his greatest strengths were related to his greatest weaknesses. His very need to minister to the multitudes often made it hard for him to recognize the desperate needs of those closest to him, or to allow himself the luxury of expressing his own needs.”

Such a sad story and such a great story: so much done for Christ, yet plenty of weaknesses as well. I am not picking on one well-known Christian leader. My point here is to say that we are ALL in this camp: we are all a work in progress, we are all a mixed bag, we are all a people on a journey, and we all have plenty of areas where we are not fully imaging Christ. We are simply sinners saved by grace, in other words.

The Believer and Sin

What does the Bible say about all this? At the heart of the Christian life there is a seeming contradiction – or at least a very real paradox. On the one hand we are commanded by Jesus himself to be perfect as his heavenly Father is (Matthew 5:48). The rest of the New Testament insists on this aim, this goal, this telos as well.

But on the other hand, we are still all fallen, finite and fallible sinners, even after being saved by grace through faith. We are not perfect and never will be this side of heaven. We all have the old sinful nature to deal with. We all have carnality and the flesh to deal with. Those who claim we can achieve sinless perfection in this life are greatly amiss.

We are always works in progress. And lest some believers take umbrage at those two things that I just said (that we are still sinners, and we must resist a theology of perfectionism), let me simply point out how the Apostle Paul looked at this matter. The longer he lived as a Christian, the more he saw himself as being worse of a sinner. Yes he did, folks! Consider these three passages and their chronological progression:

  • “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9 – written in his mid-50s).
  • “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8 – written in his early 60s).
  • “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15 – written in his mid-60s).

I speak to this further here.

Self-Knowledge

A growing awareness of how great and pure and holy Christ is should mean a growing awareness of how much we are not, and how much further we have to go. A few quotes along these lines by some great saints are worth sharing here:

“When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’
He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”
~ Martin Luther

“The nearer a man lives to God,
the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

“Remorse, regret, sorrow, and the pain provoked by sin will only increase and intensify the longer we are Christians. Maturity in the faith does not lead to less sorrow over sin, but more. The pain does not diminish; it deepens.”
~ Sam Storms

“When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.”
~ C. S. Lewis

“The Christian who has stopped repenting has stopped growing.”
~ A. W. Pink

“The evidence… the raw-bone, biblical evidence that there was one time in your life that you repented unto salvation, is that you continue repenting until today and continue growing in repentance.”
~ Paul Washer

The more we grow as Christians, the more we should be aware of the corruption of our own hearts; and not to be aware of that is a very serious symptom.”
~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones

We are just jars of clay. All the great things that believers have done for Christ have been due to Christ dwelling in them. Yes, God works through people. But we are all sinful and fallen, and we are always a mixture of flesh and Spirit. God alone gets all the credit and all the glory for any great spiritual endeavours and outcomes we are involved in.

One closing quote from Marilee:

“Obviously God is not dependent upon our perfection to get His work done; rather, we are dependent upon Him to work wholeness and health in us so that His Spirit can work through us in purity and power.”

In sum, there are two unbiblical extremes that Christians must avoid like the plague. One is to think that holiness and sanctification are just some optional extras that we need not worry about. The other is an unrealistic and Pharisaical belief in some sort of perfectionism whereby we think we have somehow obtained complete and total sanctification, and we now inhabit some unique spiritual plane that the rest of mere mortals will not get to.

We ARE jars of clay. And that is good news: it should save us from undue optimism and undue pessimism.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo by Antoni Shkraba.

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Divider-in-Chief: Is Biden Channelling Trump?

Divider-in-Chief: Is Biden Channelling Trump?

Contrary to his original aspirations, Biden is leaning into partisan politics.

One of the media’s beloved titles for President Donald Trump was ‘Divider-in-Chief’. Well-deserved at times, the moniker was even used of Trump by his challenger — now successor — President Joe Biden.

Indeed, Trump’s impulse to divide and denigrate was the deciding factor that many Americans could not vote for him. Others gave him their confidence but did so holding their nose for this very same character flaw.

On winning the White House, Biden used his first address to the nation to promise that he would be “a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify”.

At that November 2020 speech, Biden explained: “To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans.” He went on to vow that he would “work with all my heart for the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all people.”

Broken promises

Less than 18 months into his presidency, however, Biden has cast serious doubt on the gravity of those promises and his ability to live up to them. Biden’s growing habit of using divisive rhetoric, mendacious cliches, and cheap mischaracterisations against his political opponents forces us to ask whether he is channelling Trump and now deserves the ‘Divider-in-Chief’ label himself.

A recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey found that only 16% of respondents believe that Biden has united the nation, while 43% believe that he is responsible for ushering in more division. Biden’s approval rating more generally has been in free-fall for well over a year.

Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade, Biden not only called the decision ‘tragic’, ‘terrible’ and ‘extreme’, he also labelled the court itself extremist. “I share the public’s outrage at this extremist court,” he told cameras this week.

Less than two months ago, speaking on the same topic before the court’s ruling, Biden sensationally told reporters that “this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organisation that’s existed in American history.” Has he heard of the Ku Klux Klan? The Nation of Islam? Al-Qaeda? Antifa?

Back in January, Biden likened anyone who opposed Democrat-let efforts to overhaul the US electoral system to historical villains like Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

“So I ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered?” Biden bellowed during a speech at Atlanta University. “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

Hardly bipartisan, the two pieces of legislation in question — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — have been fiercely opposed by Republicans over fears they will strip states of their constitutional right to dictate how they conduct elections.

Stoking fear

A month earlier, in December 2020, Biden scapegoated unvaccinated Americans in a doomsday message about an expected Covid surge over winter.

“It’s here now, and it’s spreading, and it’s going to increase… We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm,” Biden warned in a prophecy that failed to materialise.

And as pervasively reported at MercatorNet:

President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has issued a “National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin”, suggesting that if a citizen opposes mask and vaccine mandates, they may be a “domestic violent extremist”.

And:

In the latter half of 2021, after a series of heated exchanges between school boards and parents upset over radical left-wing ideology in schools, the National School Boards Association sought White House intervention via a letter that characterised parents as potential “domestic terrorists”. Evidence later emerged that the White House itself may have solicited the letter.

The examples continue to multiply. The Divided States of America need a unifier. Is it too much to ask?

___

Originally published at MercatorNet. Photos: Gage Skidmore & Shealah Craighead, Wikimedia Commons

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Why Even Secularists Might Not Like a Post-Christian West

Many who deride Christianity fail to see that the moral underpinnings of Western society rely on the Gospel, and a post-Christian society may not be palatable to them either. They are cutting off the branch on which they sit.

The West is becoming post-Christian.

Fewer people are identifying as Christians. Christian views on gender, marriage and sexuality are increasingly seen as extreme.[1] As a result, Christianity itself is increasingly marginalised.

And while many secular commentators are happy with this state of affairs (just look at the responses to Roe v Wade being overturned), there may well come a day when they, their secular children or grandchildren yearn for the time when Christianity had greater influence in the West.

Does that sound far-fetched? Not if we explore what a post-Christian West looks like.

The Secularist Dream: Christian Morality Without Christ

The secular world’s relationship with Christianity is much like a celebrity marriage: it’s complicated.[2]  For starters, our secular world likes much of Christian morality, but can’t stand the Jesus of the gospels. They want the Kingdom without the King. As Australian Christian author and academic Michael Bird explains in his new book: Religious Freedom in a Secular Age,

‘At the present time, the Western world is struggling to come to terms with its (post-) Christian heritage. We live in a venerable paradox whereby political classes are trying to renew society by vigorously reworking the Christian moral vision of love for neighbour, seeking the good of the “other”, protecting the vulnerable and consoling the victimized, even while excoriating Christianity for its former hegemony and deriding Christian beliefs as unpalatable myths and fanciful superstitions.’ [3]

But how long will Kingdom ethics last across society if we ignore the King?

Without Christ in the West, Christian morality will be forgotten

According to Bird, Christian morality won’t last long without Christianity:

‘A post-Christian society will inevitably become post-Christian in practice. If liberal social ethics are unmoored from their theological foundations and metaphysical committments in Christianity, then the dominant ethical patterns will inevitably drift in a different direction as various currents carry them along… After post-Christianity comes either a neo-paganism or a consistently humanist Nietzschean philosophy. In either case, brute power would be all that matters, for might makes right, and truth means nothing more than what benefits the tribe.’ [4]

Now, that’s not to say everything was perfect under a Christianised West.

There was much that was wrong in the West of yesteryear: racism (which is thankfully less bad now than it has ever been), poverty, misogyny, etc. Nobody is arguing that it was anywhere near perfect. But what allowed for moral improvement was a Christian moral foundation that saw people as human beings deserving of dignity and equal treatment (just look at the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr). The Christian worldview fuelled the fight against slavery, racism, and unequal treatment of minorities.

And it’s this worldview that’s being replaced.

The Post-Christian World of Today and Tomorrow

And so,  what does a post-Christian society look like?

We need only look at the different trajectories of our culture, let alone our politics, to see the birth of a post-Christian West:

The Post-Christian Right: Race and Nation

While many a secular person may have held their nose at Christian conservatives, and their advocacy on issues such as abortion, marriage and euthanasia, things have changed now that the right is less religious than before.

Writing about the American political and cultural scene, The Atlantic’s Peter Beinhart argues:

‘For decades, liberals have called the Christian right intolerant. When conservatives disengage from organized religion, however, they don’t become more tolerant. They become intolerant in different ways. …

Whatever the reason, when cultural conservatives disengage from organized religion, they tend to redraw the boundaries of identity, de-emphasizing morality and religion and emphasizing race and nation. Trump is both a beneficiary and a driver of that shift.

So is the alt-right.

He concludes:

For years, political commentators dreamed that the culture war over religious morality that began in the 1960s and ’70s would fade. It has. And the more secular, more ferociously national and racial culture war that has followed is worse.

Welcome to the post-Christian right, where racial politics and a hatred of those who are different fuel their politics.

What about the post-Christian Left?

The Post-Christian Left: The Rise of Totalitarian Woke Politics

The post-Christian Left is replacing Christian ethics with a totalitarian view of reality commonly known as Wokism.

This can be seen in the areas of gender and sexuality. As centre-left commentator Abigail Shrier points out:

Those of us who dare express skepticism of gender-affirmative care are routinely censored, denied Twitter verification, suspended from social media, or have our online fundraisers shut down — all for the sin of telling truths that the left wishes never to hear.

Like those living outside the Free World, we adjust our behavior, which of course is the aim: We edit our tweets a little more carefully. We refrain from “liking” the tweet of anyone who’s been sent to the frosty exile of Twitter suspension.

We don’t want to do these things; most days, we fight like hell. But no independent journalist can easily promote her articles without Twitter or earn a living without the benefit of Stripe and PayPal.’

And in Australia, such ideology is weaponised through laws such as the Victorian anti-gay conversion law, which takes aim at churches or even parents who don’t affirm a child’s desire to transition to the opposite gender.

While such laws and actions might currently be aimed at those who differ from the woke view of reality, the goalposts of wokism are ever-expanding. Thus, secular people who might be comfortable with the reach of the State today may find themselves on the wrong end of the law tomorrow.

Will Secularists Look Back Nostalgically to a Christianised West?

In light of these changes in the moral outlook of Western society, Bird offers a reflective question:

‘I do wonder if we might one day become nostalgic for a Christendom if it turns out that what comes after a de-Christianized West is anything like the savagery and superstition that preceded Christendom.’ [5]

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Graphic abortion victim photography: Effective or offensive?

Graphic abortion victim photography: Effective or offensive?

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In Mississippi, back in 1955, a 14-year-old black boy named Emmett Till was abducted, tortured and lynched after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. He was brutalized, his killers were acquitted.

Needless to say, people in positions of authority wanted to move on and were eager for people to forget what happened to Emmett Till. His mother had other ideas. She insisted on an open casket funeral for her son — she wanted the world to see what these villains had done to her boy.

Photos of Emmett’s mutilated corpse made international news and people were forced to face the ugly truth of racism. Emmett became a posthumous hero within the civil rights movement.

The Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR), a Canadian pro-life education group, is using Emmett’s example to tackle another human rights issue: abortion. For years they have been taking to the streets with large signs featuring abortion images. They also have a large billboard truck that features aborted fetuses that they drive through cities across Canada, in the hopes of engaging people in conversation and forcing them to face the reality of abortion in this country.

The contentious nature of the CCBR’s work is certainly magnified as of late by the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of a pivotal abortion case in the United States. While often misinformed outrage over Roe v. Wade boils over even here, north of the border, many in Canada remain entirely unaware that there are zero legal restrictions on abortion in this country. Abortion is fully publicly funded for the entire pregnancy, up to and including partial birth abortions, regardless of reason. This puts Canada in the company of countries like China and North Korea in terms of abortion laws. No other modern democracy has zero abortion laws on the books.

There is no denying that Canada is radical in its pro-abortion position, but some wonder if our lawlessness on the matter really merits activists displaying the bloody aftermath of abortions in the public square. The use of graphic abortion imagery undoubtedly generates conversations, but questions remain even among the most ardent pro-lifers as to whether this brand of activism paints a picture of all pro-lifers as extremists, and if it really manages to change any minds on the issue.

We joined Cameron Côté, the Western Outreach director for the CCBR, along with some members of his team to learn about why the group engages in such contentious activism. We also discussed how they respond to criticism of what they are doing, the realities of abortion in Canada and found out if they are indeed causing people to reconsider their positions on abortion.

To support our independent journalism, consider subscribing to RebelNews+. For $8/month, or less, you get access to all our exclusive members-only shows, plus ad-free browsing on our website. Your financial support makes it possible for us to ask the tough questions, hold politicians accountable and tell the other side of the story. Click here to subscribe.

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Man sentenced to 21 years after ‘leaving woman to die’ during smuggling attempt

Man sentenced to 21 years after ‘leaving woman to die’ during smuggling attempt

CBP

VICTORIA, Texas – An unlawfully present Mexican national was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison July 5 for his role in a human smuggling attempt that resulted in the death of a Honduran migrant following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Victoria, HSI Houston, HSI McAllen, U.S. Border Patrol, and the Victoria County (Texas) Sheriff’ Office.

Nelson Bahena-Garcia, a 43-year-old undocumented migrant residing in Mission, was sentenced in the Southern District of Texas for conspiracy to commit hostage taking which resulted in death. Bahena-Garcia pleaded guilty to the charges Nov. 2, 2021, after admitting that the victim died during the human smuggling incident. Not a U.S. citizen, Bahena-Garcia is expected to face removal proceedings following his release from prison.

The investigation began after authorities learned of a missing Honduran female. Her fiancé called authorities and informed them he had been unable to make payment for her release.

On May 28, 2018, authorities found her on a rural county road in Victoria County. She had been stripped nude and had what appeared to be trauma inflicted upon her body. The investigation revealed she had collapsed during the smuggling attempt and had to be carried. Even though she said, “please don’t leave me,” a companion heard Bahena-Garcia eventually provide instructions to leave her behind in the brush to die. At the time of his plea, Bahena-Garcia admitted his driver had abandoned her on the side of the highway.

At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence about how Bahena-Garcia operated a human smuggling stash house using threats and intimidation and refused to allow the victim to be released for medical care during the smuggling attempt.

“Not only did this human smuggler conspire to undermine our nation’s immigration laws for his own profit, but he did so with a callous and reckless disregard for the lives of the migrants who had entrusted him with their care,” said Mark Dawon, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. “Thanks to the outstanding teamwork between HSI Victoria, HSI Houston, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, HSI McAllen, U.S. Border Patrol, and Victoria County Sheriff’s Department, we were abl


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