US and Guatemalan authorities said that a 19-year-old pregnant woman died of wounds sustained when she fell while trying to climb the US border wall near El Paso, Texas.
And the Guatemalan woman was known as Merian Stephanie Giron Luna. Both governments said that medical personnel attempted to deliver her baby, but were not successful. The United States said Girón was eight months pregnant, while Guatemalan authorities said she was seven months pregnant.
US Customs and Border Protection blamed the death of Geron on people smugglers who encouraged her to try to climb the wall. Gloria Chavez, head of the El Paso sector for the Border Guard, said in a statement that the authorities will work with Mexico “to find those responsible for endangering these lives.”
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters that the smugglers took Khairun and her partner to the border and left there in the dark. They were trying to climb when I fell. Border guards arrived to her and called the medical authorities, who took her to the hospital, but “tragically, the mother and child succumbed to their wounds from the fall,” he said.
According to Guatemalan authorities, Girón has fallen more than 19 feet (6 meters). Her partner, who is believed to be the child’s father, eventually found border agents who called for an ambulance.
Geron suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, a broken pelvis, and lacerations of his liver and kidneys. Guatemala says the “surgical interventions” did not save her life and she died on Tuesday afternoon.
Giron belongs to the province of San Marcos in Guatemala near the country’s border with Mexico. The Customs and Border Protection agency says it has no record of attempting to enter the United States at an official port of entry or being placed in a “stay in Mexico” program, where tens of thousands of immigrants have been forced to pursue their immigration cases from Mexico.
Tikandi Panagua Flores, the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas, said he spoke to Giron’s partner, who remains in custody on the border patrol.
“He said if he had known the stakes were this high, he would not have done it,” Panagua said.
Paniagua said he can remember at least seven cases this year in which Guatemalans themselves were injured while trying to climb the border walls of the United States. He says such instances are on the rise because more migrants from Guatemala and other Central American countries plagued by violence and poverty no longer collectively surrender to border patrols.
Policy changes such as “Stay in Mexico” and the ban on many asylum applications made it more difficult for many people to remain in the United States once arrested.
The United States has already built or replaced about 135 miles (220 km) of border barriers with Mexico, with many contracts awarded for further construction. A lot of the border in and around El Paso, via Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, actually has some form of fencing.
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