(EAGLE PASS, TX) — Two people have been found dead in the southern part of the Rio Grande river, officials said.
One body was found stuck in the lines of orange buoys installed by Texas authorities near the U.S.-Mexico border. A second body was discovered separately in the area of the buoys by the Beta Group of Piedras Negras, according to a statement from Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary and Mexico’s Migration Institute.
The Texas Department of Public Safety notified the Mexican Consulate in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon that a person was found dead in the southern part of the floating barriers. Members of the Mexican National Institute of Migration’s assistance unit are spearheading efforts to recover the body, according to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“So far, the cause of death and nationality of the person is unknown,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The identifies of the bodies are unknown. It is not clear yet if the deceased are migrants.
A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said a “possible drowning victim” was first spotted floating upstream from the buoys. The spokesperson said DPS notified CBP and the Mexican Consulate.
“Later that day a body was discovered at the marine barrier,” the spokesperson said.
Added DPS Director Steven McCraw: “Preliminary information suggests this individual drowned upstream from the marine barrier and floated into the buoys. There are personnel posted at the marine barrier at all times in case any migrants try to cross.”
The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeated its condemnation of the buoys, calling them a “violation of our sovereignty.”
“We express our concern about the impact on the human rights and personal safety of migrants that these state policies will have, which go in the opposite direction to the close collaboration between our country and the federal government of the United States,” the ministry added. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to follow up on the case promptly through the Mexican Consulate in Eagle Pass, maintaining contact with the corresponding authorities in Mexico and the United States to obtain more information on what happened and to request that the necessary investigations be carried out.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety, at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, began installing the floating barriers along portions of the Rio Grande river this summer in an effort to deter migrants from illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico.
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued Abbott over the use of the buoys.
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