Venezuelan migrants were seen clashing with Mexican authorities Monday as police tried clearing out a camp where thousands had been living and using the Rio Grande as a bathroom, U.S. officials said. The Rio Grande separates Texas from Mexico.
Video footage obtained from a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter above the chaos unfolding in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico shows the migrants and Mexican federal police officers clashing near the river, which separates Mexico and the United States.
“The river, they were using as a public bathroom,” Texas DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez told Fox News Digital. “You have close to over 1,000 there. It got to the point where they just had to move them out. It was just causing too many issues.”
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Authorities were clearing the camp in an effort to move the migrants to a shelter. The Mexican police offered the migrants bus services and other forms of transportation to a shelter, Olivarez said.
They refused a crowd disturbance occurred.
“That’s when we saw some of the Venezuelans were assaulting some of the police… some even caused some small fires,” Olivarez said.
The police eventually used non-lethal weapons such as tear gas to disperse the crowd, he said.
Many of the migrants that were staying by the river are waiting to cross into the U.S. after Dec. 20 when Title 42 expires, Olivarez said. The Trump-era public health order allows for the removal of migrants from the U.S. because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday’s incident occurred in the same area where migrants clashed with U.S. Border Patrol agents last month. The migrants illegally crossed into El Paso, Texas as they waved a giant Venezuelan flag.
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One agent was assaulted with a flagpole and some were targeted with rocks, authorities said.