Immigrant deaths rise at dangerous San Diego border crossing

Part of the San Diego and California border.

Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

In coincide with the application of Title 42 on restrictions and expedited expulsions at the border, the number of Mexicans killed while crossing from Mexico into San Diego County, California, increased by 163% in the last three years.

According to a report from the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, the number of injured in the same period totaled 646, which also means an increase.

The Mexicans who lost their lives trying to enter California in San Diego County, from Tijuana, went from 16 in fiscal year 2020 to 41 in 2021 and to 42 in fiscal year 2022.

Eight out of 10 Mexicans killed or injured fell from the 30-foot border wall (nine meters high.

"Empirical evidence has allowed us to verify that higher walls have not been able to stop or divert migratory flows, but have only increased the severity of injuries and deaths," said the Mexican consul in San Diego, Carlos Gonzålez Gutiérrez.

Asking his countrymen to be aware that crossing the border over the wall can be fatal, the consul warned that human smugglers may encourage people to cross over the barrier without warning them of the risk.

“Undocumented persons wishing to cross the border into the United States between ports of entry should be aware of the existence of networks of traffickers that distort realitycreate false expectations and expose migrants to severe or fatal injuries,” he warned.

The three-year investigation was based on interviews by the staff of the consular protection office of the diplomatic headquarters in San Diego with each Mexican who is injured, and with witnesses in the cases of deaths.

“The interviews carried out by the Department of Protection have been fundamental in providing assistance to Mexican nationals, a fact that represents the highest priority of the Government of Mexico,” the consul said in a statement.

He mentioned that the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) found in a recent study that the increase in cases of injuries and deaths of Mexicans has been recorded since the US government replaced the old 10-foot (three-meter) high wall, built in the 1990s, for the 30-foot one ordered by now former President Donald Trump (2017-2021).

The consulate indicated that it is part of the working group Border Wall Fall Injury Prevention to prevent injuries from border wall fallswhich brings together accident prevention coordinators from the main hospitals in San Diego, as well as social workers, academics and non-governmental organizations.

The UCSD trauma study, released in the middle of last year, reported an unprecedented increase in the number of hospitalized patients with injuries such as fractures of the skull, legs, arms or ribs, many of them difficult to save because of the terrain on which section where the migrants fell and the conditions of their injuries delayed the rescue.

Mexican families who wish to obtain information on injured or missing persons, or who require consular assistance and protection, can contact the Center for Information and Attention to Mexicans at number +1-520-623-7874to the emergency line of the consulate at +1-619-843-6399or email

With information from EFE

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