Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a video showing two young sisters from Ecuador being dropped from the top of the border wall Tuesday evening near Santa Teresa.
An agency news release says the girls, ages 3 and 5, were dropped from the 14-foot barrier onto the north side of the wall by two human smugglers just west of Mount Cristo Rey.
The girls were uninjured and are in Border Patrol “temporary holding,” pending placement by Health and Human Services, according to the release.
“I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night. If not for the vigilance of our agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to the harsh elements of desert environment for hours,” Gloria Chavez, chief patrol agent of the El Paso Sector of the Border Patrol, said in a statement.
Chavez said CBP is working with authorities in Mexico to identify the “ruthless human smugglers” and hold them “accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
In the video, a man can be seen straddling the wall as he carries one child over the side, dangles her by her arm and drops her. The child bounces off the ground and lays there, appearing stunned, before getting up.
The man atop the wall drops the second girl in the same fashion, then throws an object over the wall and jumps down.
Two people can be seen running away from the wall as the girls kneel beside each other on the other side.
The CBP release said an agent saw the two girls being dropped from the wall on a live feed and watched as the smugglers “abandoned the helpless little girls.”
The agents found the children, who were “alert” at the time.
Officials said the children were taken to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station for a medical evaluation before going to a local hospital for “precautionary reasons.”