US-Mexico border: Drowning deaths hike sharply

A tragic incident occurred near San Diego as thirty-three individuals attempting to cross the US border lost their lives in the Pacific Ocean. This unfortunate event was linked to the Trump administration’s substantial heightening of border walls, nearly doubling their size along the southern border. The number of drownings surged by a staggering 3,200% from 2020 to 2023 compared to the period between 2016 and 2019, where only one person drowned. By 2019, the Trump administration had raised the barriers in San Diego from 17 feet to 30 feet.

This expansion had profound consequences, with a significant human toll. A recent study reported a drastic increase in both drowning deaths and falls from the border wall. Even under the Biden administration, work on the border barrier continued. In the past year, San Diego doctors treated over 400 patients severely injured at the border wall, a notable rise from 2022. Almost all injuries resulted from individuals falling off the wall onto the US side.

A study published in the Jama journal this week proposed that the heightened risks associated with the border barrier might have driven people to attempt entry into the US by water, leading to more fatalities. The study highlighted a notable increase in deaths in San Diego, particularly where the wall extended into the water at Imperial Beach. Additionally, drowning deaths in canals rose by 30%, and deaths in all other bodies of water increased by 133%. In contrast, drownings along the Rio Grande, where no wall exists, remained largely unchanged.

The authors of the study, Anna Lussier and Peter Lindholm from the University of California at San Diego, initiated their research after observing a lack of information on drowning deaths related to border crossings. They collected data from the Missing Migrants Project, which included coordinates, dates, and the number of individuals who died in drownings. Despite plans to expand their research, Lindholm noted that the rise in deaths is unlikely solely due to increased migration, as the numbers do not show a proportional increase across all locations.

Latest articles

US: 40% of people exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution

According to a recent report by the American Lung Association, nearly 40% of people in the US are exposed to unhealthy levels of air...

Profits dip, Tesla comes up with new models

Tesla's profits have significantly declined this year, prompting the company to accelerate the release of new models and cut thousands of jobs in an...

Greece: Athens covered with orange Sahara dust haze

An intense orange haze has enveloped Athens, creating a surreal landscape as vast clouds of Sahara Desert dust have drifted over the city. This...

Argentina: People protest against cuts to public universities

Tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, on Tuesday, to protest and for voicing their opposition...

Related articles