Friday, September 24, 2021

US Border Patrol seeking 2-year-old Brazilian girl who fell into Rio Grande

FotografÌa cedida por la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) donde aparecen un agente de la Unidad de Trauma, Búsqueda y Rescate . EFE/CBP/

Washington, Jul 3 (efe-epa).- Border Patrol agents on Wednesday were continuing the search for a two-year-old Brazilian girl who fell into the Rio Grande as she was trying to illegally cross the river into the US with her Haitian-born mother, the agency confirmed.

A spokesman with Customs and Border Protection told EFE that officers are continuing the search along the river, on the Mexican bank of which on June 24 the bodies of a Salvadoran migrant and his 23-month-old daughter were found after they drowned trying to cross into the US.

According to a CBP statement, on Monday Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio Sector detained a woman shortly after she crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico.

The woman, whose identity was not revealed, told the officers that her two-year-old daughter, who was born in Brazil, had been swept away by the river when they were crossing it.

Immediately, Border Patrol officers and members of the agency’s trauma, search and rescue unit (Borstar) launched an operation to try and find the little girl with support from police from the Mexican town of Ciudad Acuña.

FotografÌa cedida por la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) donde aparecen agentes de la Unidad de Trauma, Búsqueda y Rescate. EFE/CBP/

The search operation includes air units, a dive team, a remote-controlled submersible and boats.

“I cannot imagine the anguish the parents of this young girl must be feeling and I hope our search efforts pay off with a positive outcome,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement.

In recent days, the tragic deaths of the Salvadoran man and his daughter once again focused the attention of the press on the ongoing effort by desperate migrants to cross the Rio Grande, with a photo of the lifeless bodies of Oscar and Valeria Martinez lying face down on the riverbank being widely distributed on media outlets and social networks.

Besides the two Salvadorans, in late June a Guatemalan woman and her three children drowned on the US side of the Rio Grande.