A Mexican woman died after she became trapped, dangling upside down, on the border wall into Arizona while attempting to climb over it, officials say.
The 32-year-old had been using a harness to navigate the wall, but her leg became caught up and police say she was left hanging while entangled in the straps.
It’s not known how long the woman was ensnared on the wall, but she was discovered at 11 p.m. on Monday, April 11.
Cochise County Sheriff’s Office revealed details of the incident on its Facebook page, stating: “The woman reportedly climbed onto the top of the International Border wall and when attempting to maneuver down on the U.S. side via a harness similar to rappelling, her foot/leg became entangled and she was trapped upside down for a significant amount of time.”
The woman was taken to the hospital, where her death was confirmed. An autopsy will be arranged to determine the exact cause of death and the Mexican Consulate has been informed.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said: “These types of incidents are not political, they are humanitarian realities that someone has lost a loved one in a senseless tragedy. 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 Mexican Consulate in Douglas has established the woman’s identity and is in contact with relatives who live in Agua Prieta, Sonora, according to local newspaper the Arizona Daily Star. Family members, who are now awaiting the return of the body, have reportedly asked the consulate not to release any of the woman’s personal details.
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Consul of Mexico Ricardo Pineda Albarrán said the Consulate of Douglas condemns human trafficking groups who lead desperate migrants into making dangerous border crossings, the paper reported.
In December 2021, CNN reported on data compiled by the International Organization for Migration which revealed that 2020 had been the deadliest year for Mexicans illegally crossing the border into America since records began in 2014. At least 650 people died trying to make the crossing, although the individual causes of death were not listed.
Last summer, the bodies of 43 migrants were found along Arizona’s border during a brutal heatwave, with temperatures regularly hitting 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix.