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Disturbing video captures migrants drowning in Rio Grande

Tragic video appears to show young migrants drowning in the Rio Grande, a deadly turn in the escalating border crisis.

The footage, captured by fisherman Jesse Vargas, shows the heads of three people bobbing in the water. U.S. Border Patrol, whose agents were standing on the shoreline nearby, said only two people died.

“You don’t have life jackets, nothing? They’re drowning these guys!” fisherman Jesse Vargas can be heard shouting at the agents.

“That girl didn’t come out no more!” Vargas continued. He used his fishing reel to save one boy, about 13 years old, but he claims a woman and two teenage boys drowned.

The incident took place after agents “foiled a human smuggling attempt,” the Border Patrol’s Laredo sector said in a Facebook post.

The post said agents saw several individuals attempt to swim across the Rio Grande river into Mexico and several were taken into custody, while others safely made it to the Mexican riverbank.

Disturbing video from March 16, 2021, shows three people trying to swim across the Rio Grande and possibly one of them drowning while border patrol watches from the shore.
Disturbing video from March 16, 2021, shows three people trying to swim across the Rio Grande and possibly one of them drowning while border patrol watches from the shore.
Jesus Vargas

“Two individuals succumbed to the dangerous currents of the Rio Grande river and perished,” the statement said, adding the investigation is ongoing.

Video Vargas shot shows Mexican authorities recovering a body on the opposite side of the river.

Customs and Border Patrol’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The incident took place Tuesday, and after posting the video, Vargas told local CBS affiliate KABB he has been getting calls from Guatemala and other Central American countries asking about the woman.

A group of asylum-seeking migrants from Central America take refuge near a baseball field after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico on rafts, in La Joya, Texas, U.S., March 19, 2021.
A group of asylum-seeking migrants from Central America take refuge near a baseball field after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico on rafts, in La Joya, Texas on March 19, 2021.
Adrees Latif/REUTERS

The number of people trying to cross the border has increased dramatically, Vargas added. He said he tells migrants if they get caught, “don’t cross the river.”

The Border Patrol did not immediately return a message from The Post seeking comment.


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