Texas authorities are disputing claims by the Mexican government that a drowning in the Rio Grande was caused by the controversial buoys put up by the state.
(Bloomberg) — Texas authorities are disputing claims by the Mexican government that a drowning in the Rio Grande was caused by the controversial buoys put up by the state.
“The Mexican government is flat-out wrong,” said Andrew Mahaleris, Texas Governor’s Greg Abbott’s press secretary in a statement to Bloomberg News. “Preliminary information points to the drowning occurring before the body was even near the barriers.”
Two dead bodies were caught on a floating barrier in the Rio Grande on Wednesday in separate instances, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said. Mahaleris’s comments refer to the first body found. Citizenships and causes of death aren’t known at the moment, Mexican authorities said. The bodies were found hours and 5 kilometers apart.
The US government sued Texas on Monday over the floating barrier of buoys the state recently deployed in the Rio Grande, arguing that the border security measure violates federal law and was installed without authorization. The lawsuit was filed after Abbott refused to remove the barrier at the request of the US Justice Department.
“We’re already demanding that the buoys be removed, since they violate our sovereignty and human rights,” Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a press briefing Thursday morning. Asked what he would tell Abbott, the president added that “he shouldn’t act that way. It’s inhuman. It’s not a way to treat others.”
Texas’s Mahaleris said drownings are “unfortunately” all too common in the Rio Grande and that monitors of the barriers have not observed anyone attempting to cross since they were installed.
Read More: Biden Administration Sues Texas Over Floating Border Barriers
–With assistance from Carolina Millan and Julie Fine.
(Updates with comments from Gov. Gregg Abbott’s press secretary in first and second paragraphs)
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