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Body found in river buoys at Mexico border amid criticism of policy

Published Aug 02, 2023 09:27PM ET Updated Aug 03, 2023 12:09PM ET
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -A body was found stuck in a barrier of buoys installed by Texas authorities in the Rio Grande river, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, Mexico's foreign ministry said on Wednesday while expressing fresh safety concerns over the floating fence.

Authorities are working to identify the body found in the river and determine the cause of death, according to a statement from Mexico's foreign ministry.

The crossing is a popular area for migrants seeking to reach the United States.

The Texan government installed the barrier last month and said at the time the buoys would "help deter illegal immigrants attempting to make the dangerous river crossing into Texas."

Mexico's foreign ministry said: "We are concerned about the impact on migrants' human rights and personal security that these state policies could have, as they go in the opposite direction to close collaboration.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said the victim appeared to have drifted into the buoys after drowning.

"Preliminary information suggests this individual drowned upstream from the marine barrier and floated into the buoys," DPS Director Steve McCraw said in a statement, noting that personnel are posted near the buoys "in case any migrants try to cross."

DPS added that it informed U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Mexican consulate upon receiving reports of a possible drowning victim earlier in the day.

Mexican officials late on Wednesday also reported a second unidentified body found in the river, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the other incident. Texas DPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the second person.

Mexico has sent two diplomatic letters to the United States saying the barrier violates a water treaty and may encroach on Mexican territory, according to a statement from Mexican authorities published last week.

The U.S. Justice Department last month filed a lawsuit seeking to remove the barrier, arguing that the buoys pose threats to navigation and public safety, and present humanitarian concerns.

A joint letter from more than 60 organizations was sent to Texan state legislators on Tuesday urging them to put an end to "violent border strategies" and remove the buoys from the Rio Grande river, the Border Network for Human Rights organization said in a statement.

Body found in river buoys at Mexico border amid criticism of policy
 

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