The river is treacherous: the migrant tragedy one photo can’t capture
The father and his toddler daughter pictured face down in the river were two of dozens who drowned this year while crossing the border to seek asylum
Under a hot sun beating down on the US border, a family of five can be seen mid-river, struggling against a cruel current of greenish-grey water threatening to sweep them off their feet. It appears to be a couple and their three children, risking their lives in the treacherous Rio Grande that divides Mexico from Texas.
The father clutches a black backpack in his hand, the familys only luggage. On his back hes carrying a small boy wearing a rainbow-striped T-shirt. A little girl is on the womans back, small arms clasped tightly around her mothers neck.
A third child, older and taller, in a red shirt, between the two adults, is up to his chest in the water and clutching their wrists. Hes battling to stay upright but the current surges and swirls and the parents are propping him up, trying to make sure hes not whipped under.
The family were crossing on Sunday, trying to get to Eagle Pass, a small border town in Texas, east of San Antonio. The river bank on the American side is about 120ft across from the tiny town of Piedras Negras on the Mexican side.
Some miles downstream to the east, a picture was taken this week of a father and his tiny daughter from El Salvador who didnt make it and drowned together, as the mother was waiting her turn to cross, too, from the Mexican side in Matamoros.
They were two of dozens who have drowned in the border river this year. Others, including toddlers, have been dragged from under the water by border agents and resuscitated.