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Mexico files complaint over Texas' floating barriers on the Rio Grande

Migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico walk past large buoys being deployed as a border barrier on the river in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday.
Eric Gay
/
AP
Migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico walk past large buoys being deployed as a border barrier on the river in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's top diplomat said Friday her country has sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. government expressing concern that Texas' deployment of floating barriers on the Rio Grande may violate 1944 and 1970 treaties on boundaries and water.

Foreign Relations Secretary Alicia Bárcena said Mexico will send an inspection team to the Rio Grande to see whether any of the barrier extends into Mexico's side of the border river.

She also complained about U.S. efforts to put up barbed wire on a low-lying island in the river near Eagle Pass, Texas.

Bárcena said that if the buoys impede the flow of water, it would violate the treaties, which requires the river remain unobstructed. Mexico has already asked that the barriers be removed.

Texas began rolling out the new floating barrier on the Rio Grande in early July. It is part of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's multibillion-dollar effort to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, which already has included busing migrants to liberal states and authorizing the National Guard to make arrests.

Migrant advocates have voiced concerns about drowning risks from the buoys and environmentalists questioned the impact on the river.

Once installed, the above-river parts of the system and the webbing they're connected with will cover 1,000 feet of the middle of the Rio Grande, with anchors in the riverbed.

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The Associated Press