EL PASO, Texas –A 19-year-old pregnant Guatemalan who fell attempting to scale the border barrier near El Paso, Texas, has died, the Guatemalan consulate said Thursday. Her fetus did not survive.
Miriam Estefany Girón Luna, who was seven or eight months pregnant, plummeted nearly 20 feet from the steel mesh border wall in Clint, Texas, on Saturday, landing on her back. She suffered severe injuries.
A male companion, the presumed father of the unborn child, went searching for help, the consulate said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that Border Patrol agents responded and called an ambulance to the site. Girón Luna was transported to a local hospital where she underwent an emergency C-section.
“Despite the best efforts of our Border Patrol agents and medical professionals, sadly more lives have perished at the hands of human smugglers,” said El Paso Border Patrol sector Chief Gloria Chavez.
“Someone in Mexico guided this eight-month pregnant woman from Guatemala to this section of the border and encouraged her and helped her climb the steel mesh border barrier,” Chavez said. “We will engage our law enforcement partners in Mexico to find those responsible for placing these lives in danger.”
The consulate said Girón Luna was “about seven months pregnant” and suffered a brain hemorrhage, damage to her liver and kidneys, a fractured pelvis and other wounds. She received multiple surgeries but died Tuesday.
Dilver Israel Díaz García, the woman’s 26-year-old companion, is in Border Patrol custody, the consulate said.
Girón Luna was originally from Guatemala’s San Marcos department, which borders Mexico’s southernmost Chiapas state. The consulate said efforts are being made to repatriate her body.
Migrants are taking increasing risks to cross the Southwest border illegally as border security has tightened and access to the U.S. asylum system has been restricted, experts say.
Last August, a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman was found dead in an irrigation canal in east El Paso near the border highway, according to the consulate. Vilma Mendoza was from Guatemala’s Baja Verapaz department, north of Guatemala City.
Mendoza had requested asylum at the U.S. border in July and was subjected to the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” and returned to Juárez to await court hearings.
Border Patrol apprehensions in the El Paso sector that includes West Texas and New Mexico have slowed from a year ago. Agents apprehended 23,181 people in the first five months of fiscal 2020, down 53% from 48,959 people apprehended from October through February 2019.
CBP said, according to its policies, the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility has begun a review of the incident.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Pregnant teen falls from Texas border wall, loses baby and dies