A Mexican woman died from asphyxia while climbing over a border fence in Arizona during an attempt to illegally enter the United States.
Federal agents found 32-year-old Griselda Verduzco Armenta hanging from the U.S. side of the 30-foot-tall steel border fence on April 11.
The woman reportedly used a ladder to climb to the top of the fence but on her way down, a harness she was wearing became entangled, causing her to become stuck and choke to death while hanging upside down.
According to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, Armenta “climbed onto the top of the International Border wall and when attempting to maneuver down on the U.S. side via a harness similar to rappelling, her foot/leg became entangled and she was trapped upside down for a significant amount of time.”
In an interview with Telemundo, Verduzco’s cousin claimed coyotes, migrant smugglers, were helping her cross the border but abandoned her when her foot and leg became trapped.
“The coyotes tried and tried to get her down, but they couldn’t,” the relative said. “And, well, they left her there for their own safety, also, I think, so that [immigration authorities] wouldn’t arrest them. And they left her there hanging – she was still alive.”
Verduzco, who leaves behind two daughters, a one-year-old and a nine-year-old, previously tried illegally entering the U.S. to fulfill an “obstinate dream,” securing a better future for her children, her cousin continued.
“One says it’s better over there and everything,” the relative said. “But I say no.”
Attempts to resuscitate Verduzco failed and she was taken to a hospital in Bisbee, Arizona where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
After conducting an autopsy, a local medical examiner determined she died of asphyxiation as a result of hanging upside down for a prolonged period of time.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels issued a statement warning, “These types of incidents are not political.”
“They are humanitarian realities that someone has lost a loved one in a senseless tragedy. We have to do better in finding solutions to the challenges facing our border, and we have to do it for the right reasons,” Dannels said. “Regardless of opinions, it is the facts that should direct our progress and we will keep working towards a shared goal of border safety and security.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to welcome illegal immigrants into the country with its open border policies.
According to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a total of 59,011 immigration violators were removed from the United States in the fiscal year 2021, Biden’s first year in office. A total of 185,884 immigration violators were removed in FY2020, comprising roughly a 70-percent decrease in deportations in just one year. The decrease in deportations under the Biden administration is compounded by the fact that Donald Trump was still in office during the first four months of FY2021 when approximately28,000 deportations occurred.