Donald Trump has pledged to build a beautiful wall but Americas frontier with Mexico is already aggressively defended by the drones and fencings of the US border patrol. Its a strategy that is causing ever more migrants to die in hostile terrain
Fifteen-year-old Sergio Hernandez Guereca and three teenage friends operated across the percolate of water in the concrete riverbed that is the Rio Grande, which marks the USMexico border, on a cloudy, hot June day in 2010. The river, which runs between El Paso and Jurez, is only centimetres deep and 15 metres wide at the border, because the US diverts most of the water into a canal before it reaches Mexico. The boldnes of the sons operate, in broad daylight in one of the most heavily patrolled places along the border, roused bored pedestrians inching along the Paso del Norte Bridge towards the checkpoint. Several turned on their phone cameras to record the brazen act. The videos and the searing images of the aftermath momentarily flooded the media, with channels from CNN to Univision presenting the footage.
Exactly what Sergio and his friends had in intellect is unclear. Even at their young ages, they had to know that an agent would arrive within seconds of their shoes get wet. Perhaps they were a diversion for some other intersecting nearby, or had a small package to drop for a smuggler, or, as their families would suggest afterward, were just doing something stupid to get their adrenaline pumping. They were teenage sons, after all.
As soon as they reached the fence on the US side, the latter are forced to retreat. Border patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr ran in from the north with his handgun already depicted. Sergio and two other sons easily evaded Mesa and jogged back across to the Mexican side. The fourth boy set his hands up and was detained. Watching this, Sergio and his two friends picked up boulders and hurled them at Agent Mesa. The detained son fell to the ground; Agent Mesa dragged him by his shirt collar a few metres towards the Rio Grande, keeping his handgun pointed into Mexico at the sons, who were at least 20 or 30 metres away.
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