Guatemalan mother begs armed solider to let her cross into U.S.

Heartbreaking photos have emerged showing the moment a Guatemalan mother begged a soldier to let her cross the border into the U.S.

Ledy Perez fell to her haunches and covered her face with a clenched hand as she wept and clutched her six-year-old Anthony on Monday after being blocked from crossing into the United States by a Mexican National Guard soldier. 

The woman had repeatedly begged the soldier to let them cross into the U.S. after traveling some 1,500 miles from their home country of Guatemala to the border city of Ciudad Juarez. 

Images capturing the plight of the mother and son were taken at the border by a Reuters photographer and are now being shared widely on social media. 

Ledy Perez fell to her haunches and covered her face with a clenched hand as she wept and clutched her six-year-old Anthony on Monday after being blocked from crossing into the United States by a Mexican National Guard soldier

Ledy Perez fell to her haunches and covered her face with a clenched hand as she wept and clutched her six-year-old Anthony on Monday after being blocked from crossing into the United States by a Mexican National Guard soldier

Ledy Perez fell to her haunches and covered her face with a clenched hand as she wept and clutched her six-year-old Anthony on Monday after being blocked from crossing into the United States by a Mexican National Guard soldier

It has thrown into the spotlight the role Mexico’s militarized National Guard police force is playing in containing migration, mostly from Central America.

The photographer, Jose Luis Gonzalez, said the woman ‘begged and pleaded’ with the soldier because she wanted to ‘give a better future’ to her young son.  

The soldier, who was dressed in desert fatigues and had an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, said he was only following orders, according to the photographer. 

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador created the National Guard to bring down record homicide rates, but almost a third of its members are now assigned to patrolling the border to placate President Donald Trump’s demands of stemming the flow of U.S.-bound migrants.

The soldier displayed no overt aggression during the nine-minute encounter with Perez and her son. Still, the power dynamics apparent in the image resonated with criticism of the treatment migrants are receiving during the clampdown by Mexico.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who retweeted the picture after it was posted by former Mexican ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan, wrote ‘what a pity, Mexico should never have accepted this’.

The woman had repeatedly begged the soldier to let them cross into the U.S. after traveling some 1,500 miles from their home country of Guatemala to the border city of Ciudad Juarez

The woman had repeatedly begged the soldier to let them cross into the U.S. after traveling some 1,500 miles from their home country of Guatemala to the border city of Ciudad Juarez

The woman had repeatedly begged the soldier to let them cross into the U.S. after traveling some 1,500 miles from their home country of Guatemala to the border city of Ciudad Juarez

Images capturing the plight of the mother and son were taken at the border by a Reuters photographer and are now being shared widely on social media

Images capturing the plight of the mother and son were taken at the border by a Reuters photographer and are now being shared widely on social media

Images capturing the plight of the mother and son were taken at the border by a Reuters photographer and are now being shared widely on social media

The photographer said the woman 'begged and pleaded' with the soldier because she wanted to 'give a better future' to her young son

The photographer said the woman 'begged and pleaded' with the soldier because she wanted to 'give a better future' to her young son

The photographer said the woman ‘begged and pleaded’ with the soldier because she wanted to ‘give a better future’ to her young son

The National Guard and Lopez Obrador’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In June, Lopez Obrador said the National Guard did not have orders to detain migrants crossing the U.S. border. He regularly emphasizes that the clampdown must not violate rights.

Migrant apprehensions on the U.S. southern border fell in June by roughly a third to about 100,000 people, according to U.S. data, after Mexico deployed to its borders some 21,000 National Guard troops, largely drawn from the ranks of the military.

Trump said on Wednesday that Mexico will ‘probably put up more’ troops to its U.S. border. Mexico’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The National Guard troops in Ciudad Juarez, including the soldier in the photo, are equipped with ballistic helmets, body armor and rifles. They are identifiable by small armbands emblazoned with the letters GN, for the Spanish words for ‘National Guard.’

Gonzalez said he was making his daily round alongside the dry riverbed of the Rio Grande that separates his native Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas, when the guards apprehended a handful of migrants, including the mother and son duo, on a dusty, dirt road overlooking the river.

The mother and son duo were apprehended by the Mexican National Guard soldiers on a dusty, dirt road overlooking the river that separates Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas

The mother and son duo were apprehended by the Mexican National Guard soldiers on a dusty, dirt road overlooking the river that separates Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas

The mother and son duo were apprehended by the Mexican National Guard soldiers on a dusty, dirt road overlooking the river that separates Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas

The soldier, who was dressed in desert fatigues and had an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, said he was only following orders

The soldier, who was dressed in desert fatigues and had an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, said he was only following orders

The soldier, who was dressed in desert fatigues and had an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, said he was only following orders

The images have thrown into the spotlight the role Mexico's militarized National Guard police force is playing in containing migration

The images have thrown into the spotlight the role Mexico's militarized National Guard police force is playing in containing migration

The images have thrown into the spotlight the role Mexico’s militarized National Guard police force is playing in containing migration

That is where she made her tearful plea.

‘Her face, that’s a small reflection of all migrants’ suffering,’ Gonzalez said. 

‘A lot of people judge migrants, ask why don’t they stay in their country, why do they come here or why are they crossing into the United States… Every migrant has a story.’

All of a sudden, seizing the opportunity when the battle-ready soldier glanced away, Perez lunged into the shrubs growing on the side of the river bank, pulling her son with her. 

They quickly ran across to the other side of the river and out of the guardsmen’s jurisdiction where U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents took them into custody.

In response to a request for information, a spokesman said U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not have the resources needed to track the current whereabouts of Perez and her son.

Depending on the particulars of the case, the two would typically be processed at a Border Patrol station and then handed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or put into a program that returns some migrants to Mexico to await U.S. court hearings, said the spokesman, who asked not to be named. 

When the battle-ready soldier happened to glance away, Perez ran with her son through shrubs out of the guardsmen's jurisdiction. They were immediately taken into U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody

When the battle-ready soldier happened to glance away, Perez ran with her son through shrubs out of the guardsmen's jurisdiction. They were immediately taken into U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody

When the battle-ready soldier happened to glance away, Perez ran with her son through shrubs out of the guardsmen’s jurisdiction. They were immediately taken into U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody

Link hienalouca.com

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