EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A pregnant woman and her unborn child died after she fell on her back while attempting to jump over the border wall in rural El Paso County, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday.
Border Patrol agents encountered the 19-year-old Guatemalan woman, who was eight months pregnant, on Saturday evening in an area east of Clint, Texas.
Guatemala identified the woman as Mirian Stephany Girón Luna. Medical personnel tried to deliver her baby, but were unsuccessful, both governments said. The U.S. said Girón was eight months pregnant, while Guatemalan authorities said she was at seven months.
A male companion told agents the woman had fallen from a mesh barrier and landed in her back.
According to Guatemalan authorities, Girón fell more than 19 feet (6 meters). Her partner, who is believed to have been the baby’s father, eventually found Border Patrol agents who called for an ambulance.
The woman was rushed to a hospital, where she underwent multiple injuries, including an emergency C-section, officials said, but neither she nor her unborn child survived. She was pronounced dead at 2:39 p.m. Tuesday.
In a statement, CBP said they were is saddened by the death of the woman and offered condolences to her family.
“Despite the best efforts of our Border Patrol agents and medical professionals, sadly more lives have perished at the hands of human smugglers,” El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said. “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. We will engage our law enforcement partners in Mexico to find those responsible for placing these lives in danger.”
Girón was from Guatemala’s San Marcos department, near the country’s border with Mexico. Her partner remains in Border Patrol custody, according to Guatemalan officials.
CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility will review the case. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General and the Government of Guatemala have been notified.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.