Border Patrol Agents Fire Pepper Balls at Mexican Swimmers in Rio Grande

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Border Patrol Agents Fire Pepper Balls at Mexican Swimmers in Rio Grande

Tensions heated up on the on the southern border after U.S. Border Patrol brokers fired non-lethal pepper balls at Mexican households having a swim within the Rio Grande.

A confrontation started when a safety guard from the International Boundary and Water Commission advised a bunch of swimmers to not cross the center of the river to the U.S. aspect. Families in Mexico usually swim recreationally within the Rio Grande throughout the summer time when the river is flowing in that space, in keeping with the El Paso Times. The Rio Grande flows between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

This part of river could be very slim; the water even seems shallow sufficient for individuals to stroll from one nation to the opposite.

Border Patrol Agents Fire Pepper Balls at Mexican Swimmers in Rio Grande
Central American migrants attempt to cross the Grande river to US as Border Patrol brokers and members of the National Guard watch them in Matamoros, Mexico, on July 22, 2019. – According to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, authorities of Mexico and US will meet in 45 days in Washington to guage once more the efforts of Mexico within the combat towards unlawful immigration within the southern border of the US. Photo credit score ought to learn CARLOS OGAZ/AFP/Getty Images

The report states {that a} group of individuals started throwing rocks on the guard, which drew Border Patrol brokers to the scene. After a number of minutes of confrontation and telling the swimmers to get again to the Mexican aspect of the river, and extra rocks being thrown at them, Border Patrol started firing “pepper balls” into the river.

Border Patrol has modified paintball weapons known as “pepperball launching systems,” which shoot small plastic balls that comprise pepper-spray powder. Like peculiar paintball weapons, they aren’t utterly correct, and pictures could not land the place they’re meant.

“When [the projectiles] hit the floor or a person, it opens up and releases the powder and it irritates you and you leave or stop coming forward,” Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero mentioned.

Although there have been no reviews of accidents, there was no indication if any swimmers or different individuals have been struck by the pepper balls. The swimmers went again to the Mexican aspect of the river, the Times said.

Here is a 6-minute video taken from the Mexican aspect of the river.

Fernando Garcia, who’s the chief director for the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), mentioned it was unlucky this occurred solely every week after the lethal El Paso Walmart taking pictures. He mentioned BNHR condemned the violence, and that Border Patrol brokers must be held accountable for his or her acts of drive.

“It is very disturbing only a week after a mass shooting targeting Mexicans and people of color in an El Paso Walmart, that Border Patrol launched pepper balls against Mexican families swimming in the Rio Grande,” Garcia mentioned in an announcement. “The dehumanization of, and use of state violence towards, Mexicans with impunity drove that horrific taking pictures, and it’s appalling to see Border Patrol reinforce the shooter’s message with their actions, particularly so quickly afterward.

“We condemn this violence. Border Patrol should examine and be accountable for its use of drive.”

Garcia mentioned the incident rolls again the progress made when it comes to lowering drive by brokers within the El Paso sector of the border, making a safer atmosphere for everybody.

“We know that ways to deescalate encounters make life safer for migrants, Borderland residents and brokers,” Garcia mentioned.

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