Sunday 23 January 2022

‘There Were Children,’ says Migrant Mother Tear-gassed at US Border

Paying the bills

Latest

Facebook experiments with Costa Rica reducing political content

QCOSTARICA - Meta, the multinational technology conglomerate, is carrying...

Why did retailers stop offering discounts in September?

QCOSTARICA - The traditional discounts or "ofertas" in Spanish, ...

President will present a counterproposal on medical cannabis

QCOSTARICA - The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado,...

Vehicle restrictions start at midnight starting Monday, January 24

QCOSTARICA - The government announced this Friday afternoon that...

Use of PIN for card payments pushed to May

QCOSTARICA - The Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR)...

How Latin America Is Faring against Omicron

Q REPORTS (AS/COA) - Omicron has made its unwelcome...

A Look at Costa Rica’s 2022 Elections

QCOSTARICA - With presidential elections around the corner, on...
Paying the bills

Share

TIJUANA, MEXICO (VOANews) A migrant mother photographed running with her daughters from tear gas at the U.S.-Mexico border said she never expected the U.S. Border Patrol to fire gas canisters at children and families.

Maria Lila Meza, a 39-year-old migrant woman from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the U.S., sits with her five-year-old twin daughters Cheili Nalleli Mejia Meza and Saira Nalleli Mejia Meza inside their tent

After traveling north from Honduras and spending a week in the Mexican border town of Tijuana, Maria Meza, 35, set out on Sunday with her five children to claim asylum at the U.S. border crossing.

She and hundreds of other Central American migrants were blocked by Mexican police and staged a protest in front of the border, some rushing the U.S fence.

- Advertisement -

Three tear gas canisters shot from the U.S. side landed around Meza and her children, who range in age from toddlers to teenagers, she said in an interview at a Tijuana migrant shelter.

“The first thing I did was grab my children,” said Meza. A photo of her clutching the hands of twin five-year-old daughters Saira and Cheili, as her 13-year-old daughter Jamie runs alongside, has gone viral and sparked angry reactions from some lawmakers and charities.

“I was scared, and I thought I was going to die with them because of the gas,” said Meza.

Maria Lila Meza Castro (C), a 39-year-old migrant woman from Honduras, runs away from tear gas with her five-year-old twin daughters Saira Nalleli Mejia Meza (L) and Cheili Nalleli Mejia Meza (R) in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico, in Tijuana, Nov. 25, 2018.

Her young son James nearly fainted when a canister landed near him. Meza fell and struggled to get up amidst the gas. A young man gave her his hand and pulled her to her feet.

“We never thought they were going to fire these bombs where there were children, because there were lots of children,” said Meza, sitting in view of the rusted-steel U.S. border fence.

“It wasn’t right, they know we are human beings, the same as them,” said Meza.

- Advertisement -

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were struck by projectiles thrown by the migrants.

Migrants sleep on a street near the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 23, 2018.

Around 5,200 people who traveled in a caravan across Mexico are packed into the shelter in a stadium in Tijuana, living in makeshift tents.

President Donald Trump has taken a hardline stance against the migrants, who have made their way north from violent and impoverished Central American countries. On Monday, he said Mexico should send them back to their home countries.

The U.S. Border Patrol said most of those assembled at the border were economic migrants who would not qualify for asylum.

- Advertisement -

“I came here for one reason, and that’s because there is a lot of violence in Honduras,” said Meza, as her children played with empty tear gas canisters shot by the Border Patrol.

The United States shut the crossing for several hours on Sunday and Trump has threatened to close the border entirely.

“If they close the border I ask God that here in Tijuana, or in another country they open doors to us, to allow me to survive with my children,” said Meza.

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Panama sees more than seven-fold increase in number of migrant children crossing through Darien Gap

UNICEF — The number of migrant children crossing the Darien Gap,...

Migrant Children Trapped in Mexico Are Leaving Their Families and Crossing the Border Alone

Children of migrants, trapped in Mexico by the U.S. government’s so-called...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.