9-year-old girl drowns trying to cross Rio Grande

A 9-year-old girl from Mexico apparently drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande into the United States, federal officials said Friday.

The unidentified girl was found on March 20 stranded and unconscious on an island on the Mexican side of the river, along with her mother and 3-year-old brother, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Thursday. . They also did not respond.

Alerted by passersby off the Mexican coast, US Border Patrol agents in a marine unit “found the individuals and immediately began administering first aid while transporting the migrants to shore,” the CBP statement said.

The mother and child regained consciousness, according to the statement.

“However, despite the efforts of Border Patrol agents and Eagle Pass Emergency Medical Services, the 9-year-old daughter did not regain consciousness and was later pronounced dead,” said CBP spokesman Dennis Smith. , to NBC News in an email.

The rescued mother was Guatemalan, but her children were both Mexican nationals, Smith said.

“We extend our condolences to the family and friends of this little boy,” Austin L. Skero II, Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent, said in the statement. “During these difficult times, our officers remain resilient and I am very proud of their efforts to preserve human life.”

The CBP statement did not list the cause of death, but Lt. Jason Mares of the Eagle Pass Fire Department in Texas told NBC News: “It was considered drowning.”

The tragic death came as the administration of President Joe Biden faced a wave of migrants trying to cross the Mexican border into the United States and a growing humanitarian crisis.

Since October 1, Border Patrol agents in and around the city of Eagle Pass have “rescued more than 500 migrants attempting to enter the country illegally,” CBP said in the statement.

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