Barbed wire fence installed on the border between Texas and Mexico, on the banks of the Rio Grande. Photo: Thomas Watkins/AFP

Texas police officers working in the border region with Mexico were ordered to push small children and babies into the Rio Grande, thereby causing them to drown, and were instructed not to provide water to the migrants, despite the high local temperatures. The facts were revealed in an email from a Public Security Bureau police officer, who described the actions as “inhumane”.

The report, dated July 3 and reported by the Houston Chronicle, reveals several first-of-its-kind incidents the officer witnessed at Eagle Pass, where miles of barbed wire and a wall of buoys were installed on the Rio Grande.

According to the email, a pregnant woman who was experiencing a miscarriage was found late last month trapped in barbed wire, doubled over in pain. Another account tells of a four-year-old girl collapsing from heat exhaustion after trying to get through the barrier and being pushed back by Texas National Guard soldiers.

Barbed wire installed on the border between Texas and Mexico. reproduction

A teenager broke his leg trying to wade through the water around the wire and had to be carried by his father. In the message, sent by the officer to a superior, it is suggested that Texas has placed “traps” of barrels wrapped in barbed wire in parts of the river.

The communication also states that the wire increases the risk of drowning, forcing migrants to seek deeper areas of the river. The police officer called for a series of stringent policy changes to improve the migrants’ safety, including removing the barrels and repealing the directive to deny water.

“Due to the extreme heat, the order not to provide people with water needs to be reversed immediately,” the officer wrote, later adding: “I believe we have crossed a line and entered inhumane.”

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