MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government reported for the first time Wednesday that a body was spotted along the floating barrier that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott installed recently in the Rio Grande, across from Eagle Pass, Texas.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said authorities were trying to recover the body, and did not know the person’s nationality or the cause of death.
Many had warned about the danger of the barrier, because it is designed to make it more difficult for migrants to climb over or swim under it.
The department said Mexico had warned about the risks posed by the bright orange, wrecking ball-sized buoys on the Rio Grande. It also claimed the barrier violates treaties regarding the use of the river, and violates Mexico’s sovereignty.
“We made clear our concern about the impact on migrants’ safety and human rights that these state policies would have,” the department said in a statement. Mexico said it was officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety that notified Mexico’s consulate in Eagle Pass Tuesday about the body.
The barrier was installed in July, and stretches roughly the length of three soccer fields. It is designed to make it more difficult for migrants to climb over or swim under the barrier.
The U.S. Justice Department is suing Abbott over the floating barrier. The lawsuit filed Monday asks a court to force Texas to remove it. The Biden administration says the barrier raises humanitarian and environmental concerns.
The buoys are the latest escalation of Texas’ border security operation that also includes razor-wire fencing and arresting migrants on trespassing charges.
Migrant drownings occur regularly on the Rio Grande. Over the Fourth of July weekend, before the buoys were installed, four people, including an infant, drowned in the river near Eagle Pass.