LULAC DEMANDS FEDERAL INVESTIGATION INTO NATIONAL GUARDSMEN WATCHING MOTHER AND CHILD DROWNING IN RIO GRANDE RIVER

Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says the Shocking Video Exposes the True Nature of the Danger Along the Militarized Border

December 19, 2023
Contact David Cruz - (818) 689-9991
davidcruz@lulac.org

Washington, DC - In a shocking and deeply disturbing incident, a video has surfaced showing members of the Texas National Guard seemingly ignoring cries for help from a woman carrying a baby who appeared to be in imminent danger of drowning in the Rio Grande. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation's oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization, condemns this callous disregard for human life and demands an immediate federal investigation into the actions of the National Guardsmen.

WARNING – Very graphic.

"LULAC is outraged by what we see in this graphic video," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. "We demand an immediate investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and intervention by the Biden administration. These images do not lie. Shame on them, their commanders, and the politicians enabling this grotesque operation's funding."

The video, recorded by Priscilla Lugo, Justice Advocacy Coordinator for Latino Justice PRLDEF, captures a distressing scene where the guardsmen, mere feet away in a boat, seemingly choose to ignore the desperate pleas for help from the woman and her baby.

"I am shocked and saddened beyond words," says Lydia Guzman, LULAC National Immigration Chair. "To see the inhumanity of guardsmen ignoring a woman and her baby in risk of drowning within reach but them being unwilling to extend even a hand to help is beyond belief. This video exposes the heartless and inhumane practices of National Guard troops under Operation Lone Star."

The footage reveals the woman and child struggling in the water, pleading for assistance in Spanish. At the same time, the guardsmen and a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) airboat appear indifferent to their distress. A Human Rights Watch official is reported to emphasize the danger posed by such actions, stating that in no way do the acts of CBP or Texas officials captured in this video reflect their public safety mission. On the contrary, they are endangering lives at the border at a place where hundreds of people have drowned.

Eagle Pass, the epicenter of Governor Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star, has become a flashpoint for tensions over the militarization of the Rio Grande. The video underscores the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the conduct of National Guard troops and CBP officials involved.

"This video exposes the heartless and inhumane practices of National Guard troops at the direction of Texas Governor Greg Abbott," says Garcia. "Not only are they violating federal power over our borders, but they are displaying indescribable indifference and indecency not fit for any type of military uniform in the United States of America."

LULAC calls on the Biden administration to take swift and decisive action to address the misconduct captured in the video and to ensure the safety and dignity of those seeking refuge along the border. The organization remains committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of the Latino community and urges the nation to stand against such heartless acts.

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About LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/