>> This woman praying and crying in front of an altar is Katerina Alonzo, the mother of Felipe Gomez-Alonzo, the eight year old migrant boy who died in US custody on Christmas Eve. New Mexico officials this week said he had the flu, but cautioned that the cause of his death is still under investigation.
Speaking in her native Mayan language in her home, Alonzo told Reuters that when her husband, Agustin, left Guatemala to try to reach the US, they hoped taking their son would make it easier for them to get in. Instead, the boy became the second migrant child to die this month in US government custody, prompting the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirsten Nielsen to head to the US-Mexico border Friday and Saturday to get a first hand look at medical screenings at Customs and Border Protection stations.
But for Alonzo, that came too late.>>
> It was a surprise when my husband said that my son died. When I said goodbye to him, he was healthy but then my husband said he died peacefully.>> Outside her hut, Katerina also explained how the boy and his father had left to find work in the US to pay off their debts at home.
His death has led to renewed criticism of the Trump administration's tough stance on illegal immigration. But the US president's insistence on building a wall between the US and Mexico has only given smugglers, known as coyotes, a fresh argument to promote their services. Reuters correspondent Luis Echeverria.>> Indigenous authorities have told us that in the past November and December, migration in the village has increased.
And some of that because the coyotes have approached the community to tell them that if they go with minors they could have a better chance to cross the border and seek for asylum.>> According to officials, coyotes are telling people that it's now or never because the wall is going to be built, and when it is, it won't be possible to cross.