Status: 09.07.2022 04:15 AM
Images of US border guards on horseback confronting refugees and clutching their T-shirts caused a sensation around the world last year. Four of the affected Border Police officers are now scheduled to be punished.
The refugees were not flogged or beaten by the border guards. This became apparent during internal investigations into incidents in South Texas, CBP chief Christopher Magnus confirmed.
But: Several times police officers have used their horses or threatened to do so in order to return refugees from Haiti to the border river. And despite the fact that the affected were already on the territory of the United States, Magnus admitted at a press conference in Washington.
Footage of the September incident last year sparked outrage around the world. They show border guards in cowboy hats who are apparently hunting Wild West style for people who have just climbed from the Rio Grande River on the US-Mexico border.
The photos show a police officer on horseback clutching the shirt of a terrified-looking man who was running away. The barefoot refugee is carrying only three plastic bags with ready meals.
Biden promised punishment
US President Joe Biden described the photos as horrific recordings. “This is outrageous! These people are going to pay for it, I promise,” Biden promised immediately after the incident near the Texas border town of Del Rio in September.
In fact, US authorities’ internal investigators are now recommending that four Border Police officers be held accountable with disciplinary sanctions. Details have not yet been announced. However, the four police officers no longer had to fear criminal consequences.
Human Rights Watch calls for reform
The human rights lobby, Human Rights Watch, does not go far enough to clarify the incident. It calls for the reform of the entire system.
“CBP cannot be trusted when it comes to dealing with refugees and asylum seekers,” Ari Sawyer of Human Rights Watch told ARD Radio. “This agency responsible for enforcing border security by force, should not be entrusted with managing such humanitarian missions,” he added.
Power promises improvement
US Border Protection Agency chief Chris Magnus promised improvement. Christopher Magnus in Washington said planning errors by presidents, inadequate training of border guards, and the completely out of control situation in the Rio Grande with the arrival of thousands of refugees contributed to the September events. But this cannot justify the unprofessional and deeply insulting behavior of police officers.