Officials: 8-year-old Honduran migrant drowned in Rio Grande

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Honduran boy drowned as he attempted to cross the Rio Grande dividing Mexico and the United States, Mexican immigration officials said Thursday.

The National Immigration Institute said in the statement that the 8-year-old “was in the company of various adults on a small island between the two countries, but couldn’t withstand the pounding water, which covered him and kept him submerged for several meters.” The migrants were attempting to cross the river at Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.

His body was recovered, but attempts to revive him failed. The boy’s parents and sister made it to the U.S. side where they were apprehended by the Border Patrol and returned to Mexico to identify the body.

It happened Wednesday, the same day that Mexico’s immigration agency announced the death of a Venezuelan woman who died trying to cross the river there.

The flow of migrants to the U.S. border has increased after dropping sharply due in part to pandemic-related border restrictions for much of last year. Migrants’ hopes have also been buoyed by the new administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.

Drownings are just one of the dangers migrants face.

In late January, 19 bodies were found shot and burned in a vehicle near the town of Camargo, also across the border from Texas.

The Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said late Wednesday in a statement that authorities had identified 16 of them as Guatemalan migrants from the town of Comitancillo. They had previously arrested and charged a dozen Tamaulipas state police officers in connection with the case.

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