video shows three migrants drowning in Rio Grande river

Arizona’s Family

Disturbing video shows migrant teens drowning while trying to cross river

The fisherman who took the video used his fishing reel to try and save them after realizing the border patrol agents weren't going to help.


Eilish O'Sullivan


Posted on Mar 21, 2021   Updated on Mar 22, 2021, 10:54 am CDT

A video taken at the U.S.-Mexico border shows several migrants drowning as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande river. A fisherman who filmed the video was able to save one child. 

In the video, which was taken by Jesus Vargas, at least three people can be seen in the water as several border patrol agents watch from the shoreline.

“You don’t have life jackets? Nothing?” Vargas shouts to the migrants before pleading with the nearby agents. “They’re drowning, those guys. The girl didn’t come up no more. Call the boat, man.”

Vargas used his fishing reel to try and save them after realizing the border patrol agents weren’t going to help, according to a local TV station that spoke with Vargas. He was able to rescue a boy, who Vargas believes is about 13 years old.

Vargas says he saw at least three other people drowning, two teenagers and one woman, and believes they are all deceased. However, the U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector said in a Facebook post that two people drowned in the river after Border Patrol agents “foiled a human smuggling attempt.”

“Agents witnessed several individuals exit a vehicle and attempt to swim across the Rio Grande river into Mexico. Several individuals were apprehended in the vehicle at encounter. Some of the individuals entered the river and safely made it to the Mexican riverbanks. One individual was rescued by a local fisherman and rendered first aid by agents. Two individuals succumbed to the dangerous currents of the Rio Grande river and perished,” it said.

This afternoon, United States Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector foiled a human smuggling attempt at the end of…

Posted by US Border Patrol Laredo Sector on Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, who is also the brother of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), said the incident highlights a need for change. “We need to have the proper protocols on where [migrants] can come in and apply and do all that, instead of coming in through the river doing it the way they are,” Cuellar said.

Today’s top stories

‘Fill her up’: Bartender gives woman a glass of water when the man she’s with orders tequila shot
‘I don’t think my store has even sold one’: Whataburger employees take picture with first customer who bought a burger box
‘It was a template used by anyone in the company’: Travel agent’s ‘condescending’ out-of-office email reply sparks debate
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.

H/T Arizona’s Family

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 21, 2021, 9:09 am CDT