Mexican Police Kill Migrant in Front of His Daughter as He Was Trying to Cross to the U.S.

A central American man who was trying to get to the United States was shot dead by Mexican police in front of his 8-year-old daughter, it has been reported.

The man was in a group of 10 migrants which had been staying at the migrant camp in Saltillo, Coahuila region, around 180 miles from the border with the U.S., according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The Casa Del Migrante Saltillo director Alberto Xicotencatl said that on Wednesday, the group had left to make their way to the U.S. About a mile away, they waited by the railway tracks to hop on a passing train when they were intercepted by police.

He said that members of Mexico's National Institute of Migration and federal police arrived and "began to persecute them." Then four of the migrants told him that police arrived and began firing.

The unnamed man tried to flee, but during his escape attempt, officers shot and killed him in front of his daughter, Xicotencatl said, adding that police had arrived with the intention of "shooting to kill" according to El Pais.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the victim was from El Salvador or Honduras. However police have insisted that officers were simply responding to the man firing a weapon concealed in his clothes.

The Prosecutor's Office of Coahuila has started an investigation into the incident and said in a statement that "four men verbally attacked police, and one of them took out a firearm and fired shots, while other people fled on foot. The officers returned fire and thus the attacker fell dead," it added, according to the Associated Press.

Xicotencatl told El Pais that his camp had a metal detector and that no one who stayed there was armed. "They say he had a gun, but it's a lie. He was a very poor man, who had no money to access weapons," he said.

The girl has been handed over to child welfare officials and was said to be in good health.

The federal government said in a statement that neither federal police nor immigration agents were involved in the raid. The Coahuila state government said in a separate statement that the man's death was under investigation,.

The agency pointed out there have been scuffles between Central American migrants and Mexican police but no armed confrontations in recent years.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an impartial investigation.

Amnesty International Mexico said in a statement: "After the death of a Central American migrant during a police raid in Saltillo, we strongly reiterate our demand that the Mexican state respect the human rights of migrants," Reuters reported.

Mexico-U.S. border
Migrants, advocates and attendees take part in an event called "Clamor for those who didn't achieve the dream" at the US-Mexico border in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California state, on June 29, 2019, Mexico. An El Salvador immigrant trying to enter the U.S. was shot by Mexican police, it has been reported. GUILLERMO ARIAS/Getty Images