Barrels of drinking water for migrants walking through Texas have disappeared

Barrels of drinking water intended for migrants walking through the harsh South Texas terrain have mysteriously disappeared amid one of the worst heat waves on record.

Drinking water disappearances: A human rights group placed these barrels of life-saving water in distinctive locations to aid migrants traveling on foot.
* Marked with the word “AGUA,” the 55-gallon barrels were hard to miss in the scrub and grass landscapes of the region.
* These barrels vanished in an area where summer temperatures can reach up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to dangerous and sometimes fatal conditions for migrants who travel through this county to avoid a Border Patrol checkpoint.
* The investigator from the Jim Hogg Sheriff’s Office found no signs of the barrels having been melted by wildfires or moved by road construction crews.

Humanitarian Efforts: This kind of aid for migrants started in the 1990s when authorities began finding bodies of those who succumbed to the harsh conditions
* John Meza, a volunteer with the South Texas Human Rights Center, maintains 21 stations but found that 12 of them were no longer there during his rounds in July.
* It is difficult to determine exact counts of migrants who die during the crossing due to unreported cases, however, the U.N. International Organization for Migration estimates almost 3,000 migrants have died crossing from Mexico to the U.S. due to factors such as lack of shelter, food or water.

Response and Future Investigations: The cause for the barrels’ disappearance is yet unknown, with wildfires, road crews, and possible vandalism being explored.
* Investigator Ruben Garza is currently speaking with area ranchers to determine whether this could be a misunderstanding rather than a criminal act.
* The South Texas Human Rights Center plans to work with volunteers to replace the missing stations in the coming days.

Remarks: John Hunter, who has been putting out water along popular smuggling routes in Southern California since the 1990s, advised Canales to replace the missing barrels and install cameras.
* Volunteer John Meza intends to continue his work, calling the intentional removal of the barrels a “pretty malicious thing.”

View original article on NPR

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