Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Migración (National Institute of Migration, INM) confirmed on Tuesday a 7-year-old Venezuelan girl drowned in the Rio Grande while she was attempting to cross into Del Rio, Texas with her mother.
Martinez said the mother lost her grip and the child was swept away by the current. Mexican authorities recovered the girl's body on the Mexican side of the border.
#BREAKING A 7 year old Venezuelan girl drowned in the Rio Grande as she was attempting to cross into Del Rio with her mother—Val Verde Co. Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez tells me the mother lost her grip, the child was swept away. @INAMI_mx recovered her body on the Mexico side.— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) January 18, 2022
In a press release about the incident, INM said they were made aware of the girl going missing in the Rio Grande by U.S. Border Patrol. Her body was found just before 10:00 in the morning:
"Minutes before 10:00 a.m., personnel from Grupo Beta of the National Migration Institute (INM) of the Ministry of the Interior recovered the body of a minor, probably of Venezuelan nationality, in the sector of the Rio Bravo known as Granjas del Valley, in the municipality of Acuña, state of Coahuila.
"Prior to this, elements of the United States Border Patrol had notified the Mexican authorities about a missing girl in that perimeter of the creek between the two nations, who was wearing a red jacket, blue denim pants and white socks.
"Immediately, personnel from Grupo Beta Ciudad Acuña went by airboat to the indicated place, where the minor was located without vital signs, before which she was transferred to the shore, in Mexican territory.
"Authorities of Expert Services, the Forensic Medical Service and the Criminal Investigation Agency of the Coahuila State Prosecutor's Office arrived at the scene to take notice and initiate the corresponding investigations.
"The INM regrets the death of the migrant girl, and endorses its commitment to safeguarding people in a context of mobility, without undermining their social, economic or political status, with special attention to those who are part of vulnerable groups, such as the girls, boys and adolescents."
The girl's death is the latest example of the dangers people face while attempting to illegally cross into the United States. The Del Rio Sector continues to be one of the busiest sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border with thousands crossing into the area on a daily basis.
OVERNIGHT: Already a common occurrence, now happening daily. Large groups cross the Rio Grande & immediately turn themselves in to agents in Eagle Pass.— Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens (@USBPChiefDRT) January 19, 2022
This time, close to 400 in one group! pic.twitter.com/oEGfp9EIGt