A pregnant Guatemalan teen reportedly fell to her death this week after tumbling 20 feet from a border fence, just the latest in a never-ending string of tragedies spurred by the United States’ lax border policies that encourage migrants to make the dangerous trek from Central America in an attempt to illegally enter the U.S.
According to reports, 19-year-old Miriam Estefany Girón Luna was seven or eight months pregnant when she attempted to scale the border wall near Clint, Texas, but lost her grip and plummeted some 20 feet onto the U.S. side of the fence and landed on her back. Her fellow traveler, a man who is presumed to be the baby’s father, went to get help. Border agents arrived at the scene and immediately called an ambulance.
Luna was transported to a nearby hospital where she underwent an emergency C-section and several surgeries, but ultimately passed away Tuesday. Medical officials say the young mother suffered a brain hemorrhage, liver and kidney damage, and a fractured pelvis, among other injuries.
The baby also did not survive.
Now, El Paso Border Patrol sector Chief Gloria Chavez is placing the blame squarely on human smuggling efforts in Mexico for Luna’s death, saying traffickers helped her and her partner get to the border fence and told her to try to climb it.
“Despite the best efforts of our Border Patrol agents and medical professionals, sadly more lives have perished at the hands of human smugglers,” she said. “Someone in Mexico guided this eight-month pregnant woman from Guatemala to this section of the border and encouraged her and helped her climb the steel mesh border barrier. We will engage our law enforcement partners in Mexico to find those responsible for placing these lives in danger.”