Photo of Mexican National Guard halting crying migrant mother and child goes viral

Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters | El Universal

A photo of an armed Mexican soldier halting a crying migrant mother and her child went viral on social media this week as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tightens enforcement.

The Reuters image taken on Monday depicts a Mexican National Guard soldier carrying a firearm pointed to the ground in a dry riverbed between the Mexican city of Juárez and El Paso, Texas.

Guatemalan migrant Lety Pérez crouches in front of the soldier, crying and holding on to her young son, Anthony.{mosads}

A video of the encounter was published Wednesday by Mexico’s El Universal newspaper.

“Let me pass, I beg of you,” Pérez begged a group of soldiers, as reported by NPR. “Don’t let them send me back. I just want to give my son a better life.”

NPR reported that Mexican military stationed at the border are not allowed to apprehend migrants, but are ordered to call for an immigration agent.

The video published by the Mexican newspaper shows the mother and her child crossing the riverbed toward El Paso, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicles are seen in the distance.

The image made headlines in Mexico and quickly spread across social media platforms.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón shared the picture on Twitter, writing, “What a shame!”

“The government of Mexico shouldn’t have accepted this,” he wrote.

The criticism comes after the current Mexican administration announced last month it would deploy nearly 15,000 troops to its northern border to increase immigration enforcement. It has also sent thousand of troops to its southern border to try to stem the flow of migrants from Central America.

President Trump had threatened to hit Mexico with tariffs if the country did not take steps to reduce the flow of migrants into America. Under the agreement between Mexico and the U.S., Mexico has 45 days to demonstrate increased border enforcement.

Tags Andrés Manuel López Obrador Donald Trump El Paso El Universal Felipe Calderon Immigration Mexican National Guard US-Mexico Border
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