The Rio Grande River is a perilous and deadly place for illegal immigrants. Border Patrol agents retrieved the dead body of one and rescued two others over the last few days.
Riverine agents assigned to the McAllen Border Patrol Station rescued two Guatemalan nationals on Friday.
According to a statement obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the pair of illegal immigrants were having trouble staying afloat in the river near Abram, Texas. After they were rescued, personnel transported the two males to local hospitals. Abram is in Hidalgo County on the Texas-Mexico Border.
On Saturday morning, agents in Weslaco found a corpse in the river near Hidalgo. There was no identification on the body, and officials transported it to the Hidalgo County Coroner.
Breitbart Texas previously reported about the deaths and near-drownings that have occurred on the Rio Grande River.
Last July, two teens and a young woman drowned while trying to cross the body of water. Border Patrol agents and El Paso Fire Department rescue teams recovered the bodies. The three migrants were reportedly attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. Emergency crews on both sides rescued seven other people swept downstream by rapid currents in the Rio Grande.
In total, officials recovered the bodies of five suspected illegal immigrants from the Rio Grande that week. One of the dead was a 14-year-old girl from Guatemala.
Border Patrol spokesman Joe Ramero spoke to the El Paso Times about the callous nature of the cartel-connected human smugglers. “With the smugglers being ruthless, they don’t care about the loss of life … They’re going to try and exploit whatever they can to cross the border into the United States illegally,” he said.
“Most people aren’t aware of the dangers in the canal, especially during irrigation season. Those canals can be 15 and 18 feet high, and the currents run 25 miles per hour. Even a good swimmer can’t survive that,” the Border Patrol spokesman explained.
El Paso police are treating the drownings as a homicide, Fox14 in El Paso reported.
“It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock down a person,” Water Rescue Captain Kristian Menendez said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “At the surface, the water appears to be moving slowly, but the center of the river is the fastest moving part. Plus, there are the added dangers of debris, mud, and contaminants.”
Agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector rescued 11 in late 2016 who had been abandoned in the middle of the river by cartel-connected human smugglers. The agents responded to a life-threatening situation after coyotes forced a raft to capsize, tossing seven children (including an infant) and four adults into the water.
In the statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from CBP on Tuesday, officials said:
RGV Sector urges immigrants not to jeopardize their lives by illegally entering the United States or by attempting to circumvent a checkpoint. The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in our communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.