A woman who was eight months pregnant died after attempting to sneak into the U.S. and falling from the border wall over the weekend, authorities said Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Guatemalan woman tried to climb the steel mesh wall in Clint, Texas, but fell and landed on her back, according to a man who was attempting to sneak in with her. He alerted Border Patrol agents, who summoned an ambulance to take her to the hospital.
Doctors attempted an emergency C-section but the unborn baby didn’t survive, and the woman, after multiple surgeries, was pronounced dead on Tuesday.
“Despite the best efforts of our Border Patrol agents and medical professionals, sadly more lives have perished at the hands of human smugglers,” said Gloria Chavez, chief of the Border Patrol in the El Paso Sector.
“Someone in Mexico guided this 8 month pregnant woman from Guatemala to this section of the border and encouraged her and helped her climb the steel mesh border barrier,” Chief Chavez said. “We will engage our law enforcement partners in Mexico to find those responsible for placing these lives in danger.”
The death is being investigated by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
It’s the latest death at the hands of smugglers, who regularly stuff migrants inside locked car compartments or send them through remote terrain, often-times leaving them behind if they get injured or can’t keep up.