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A Mexican Asylum-Seeker Killed Himself on a Bridge to the U.S. After Being Denied Entry

Officials said the man tried to get to the U.S. via the Pharr–Reynosa International Bridge.

by Tim Marcin
Jan 9 2020, 6:03pm

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A Mexican man died by suicide near the U.S.-Mexico border after he was denied entry into the United States.

The unidentified man, who was seeking asylum in the U.S., slit his throat on a bridge across the Rio Grande, according to Reuters, which cited two unnamed Mexican security officials.

The officials said the man tried to get to the U.S. via the Pharr–Reynosa International Bridge, which connects the Mexican border city of Reynosa and the town of Pharr, Texas. When he was denied entrance, the man, who appeared to be in his 30s, reportedly took his own life just a few yards from the border.

Reynosa is a particularly dangerous Mexican town, long-plagued by drug violence. It has also seen an increase in kidnappings as asylum-seekers have flocked to the area.

READ: The hidden victims of Trump’s war on the border

Reuters was provided apparent videos and photos of the incident, which happened around 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The reason the man took his own life is not clear.

“Further questions regarding the death investigation are directed to Government of Mexico authorities,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection told local Texas newspaper The Monitor. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection expresses its deepest sympathies at this tragic loss of life”

The attorney general’s office for the Mexican state of Tamaulipas told Reuters it was investigating the death.

READ: The Trump administration dumped thousands of migrants — including kids — on the streets with no support

President Donald Trump has led a crackdown at the border and has worked to make it far more difficult for asylum-seekers to enter the U.S. Just this week, for instance, the Trump administration implemented a plan to deport Mexicans seeking asylum to Guatemala.

The man who killed himself on the bridge this week isn't the first asylum-seeker to end up taking their own life. In May of 2018, Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran man being held in a Texas jail killed himself in a padded cell. The 39-year-old had an apparent breakdown after he was informed he would be separated from his family.

Cover image: FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2011 file photo, the Pharr International Bridge from Pharr, Texas. A Mexican man killed himself on this bridge connecting Reynosa, Mexico and Pharr, Texas, Mexican officials said Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)