A Mexican woman attempting to climb the US border wall in eastern Arizona died after her leg became trapped in a climbing harness and she was left hanging upside down, authorities said.
Border patrol officials and the Cochise county sheriff’s office said they were investigating the cause of death of the 32-year-old on a section of the wall near Douglas, Arizona. The sheriff’s office said her foot and leg became entangled as she tried to maneuver down the US side of the wall and that she hung upside down “a significant amount of time”.
US authorities responded to the call on Monday night and transported the woman to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. The sheriff’s office said an autopsy would be performed and that the office was in contact with the local Mexican consulate. The Tucson Star reported that the consulate was helping to deliver the woman’s remains to her family, who have asked officials not to release any personal information about her.
“These types of incidents are not political, they are humanitarian realities that someone has lost a loved one in a senseless tragedy,” Mark Dannels, the county sheriff, said on Facebook. “We have to do better in finding solutions to the challenges facing our border, and we have to do it for the right reasons. Regardless of opinions, it is the facts that should direct our progress and we will keep working towards a shared goal of border safety and security.”
The perilous journey across the US-Mexico border can be deadly for migrants – at least 7,000 are believed to have died on the boundary since 1998, the Guardian reported in 2021. Officials have said 2020 was the deadliest year for migrants crossing the US border unlawfully through Arizona with authorities discovering the remains of 227 people.
Migrants have also died while attempting to cross the border wall. Earlier this month a man died after falling from the barrier in Texas. Another man who fell from the border wall near Clint, Texas, about 12 miles from the Tornillo port of entry, suffered a fractured right hand. He received treatment at a hospital before border patrol officials returned him to Mexico.
It was unknown if there was video surveillance in the area where the woman became entangled. Authorities did not describe the wall she was trying to climb over, but some of the last border wall construction carried out before the end of Donald Trump’s term was in the Douglas area, where workers erected 30-ft-tall (9-meter) steel columns on US Bureau of Land Management property.