Photos showing border guards on horseback pushing back migrants near Del Rio in Texas aroused great emotion on Monday (September 20) in the United States, where the government of President Joe Biden announced the opening of an investigation to shed light on the facts.
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In a snapshot taken by a photographer employed by AFP, an agent on horseback grabs a man by his t-shirt.
On another, he keeps a group at bay by turning his reins, in a threatening posture.
These images "
of mistreatment of Haitian migrants along the border are horrific and very disturbing,
" said the elected Democrat Bennie Thompson, who chairs the Committee on Internal Security in the House of Representatives, in a statement.
It's horrible to watch,
" admitted White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki during a press briefing.
I do not know the context, but I do not see in which framework that would be appropriate
", she added.
Equestrian patrols were deployed on Sunday near the Rio Grande River, where thousands of migrants, most of them Haitians, have been camping for several days in the hope of being admitted to the United States, the chief told reporters. border guards Raul Ortiz.
I asked them to find out if individuals were in distress and to gather information on smugglers,
” he added, stressing that “
controlling a horse in a river is difficult
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It seems that, in this context, some have used long reins, added the Minister of Internal Security Alejandro Mayorkas. "
We will conduct an investigation to be sure that the situation is indeed this one, otherwise, we will act accordingly,
" he said.
The scene occurred as migrants were washing in the Rio Grande or crossing the river to collect food in Mexico and bring it back to their families on American soil, according to the author of the photos, Paul Ratje.
Suddenly five or six officers on horseback arrived and asked them to return to Mexico.
The situation was tense, and migrants started running around them,
” he reports.
One of the officers grabbed the man in the photo by the t-shirt.
I don't think he was hurt
I didn't see any lashes, but the officers twirled their reins
», He said again.
The tension then eased, and border guards let these migrants join the makeshift camp.