A 6-month old girl is lucky to be alive after she was thrown into the Rio Grande river by a cartel smuggler, WOAI news reports
The child and her mother were part of a group of 200 migrants who were being smuggled across the border near the town of Roma, earlier this month. Texas DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez says they were on a raft with about six other people, when they were spotted.
"The mother and the child were pushed out of the raft by the smuggler, into the river, and they were expected to swim across."
Lt. Olivarez says it's a miracle the pair did not drown in the swift-moving water. The mother had a broken leg. She had been assaulted by the cartel.
"She's trying to save her baby. She's holding her in one hand. By the time she made it to the banks, she's clutching to a tree branch, trying to pull themselves up."
The pair were spotted by a keen-eyed DPS Trooper, who was working with the Border Patrol as part of the South Texas Special Operations Group. He pulled them to safety and quickly checked the child to make sure she was not hurt. The pair are now in Border Patrol Custody
The smuggler scurried back to Mexico and disappeared.
Lt. Olivarez says they're seeing the cartels use this dangerous tactic more often, as illegal immigration increases. They know that law enforcement will put a priority on saving human life, so if they push people into the river, that gives them the opportunity to escape.
Photo Courtesy: Texas Department of Public Safety (Facebook)