Rare video footage has emerged of almost two hundred migrants trying to cross the Mexican border into the US through the Tijuana River channel, one of the most controlled areas of the most monitored border in the world.
Scenes on such a scale have scarcely been seen for decades and video images of it happening are scarcer still.
It was filmed, almost by a coincidence, by young Mexican filmmakers Bryan A. Chilian, Ana Andrade and Jesús Guerra.
On Sunday, November 24 they went to shoot some more footage for their documentary about the inhabitants of the Tijuana River channel, a film they’d been working on for around four months.
Suddenly around two hundred migrants descended on the border and were quickly noticed by a Border Patrol.
Speaking on the phone with euronews, Bryan Chilian explained that the Border Patrol was “moderate” in its response to the would-be immigrants. “We have had cases of shooting in response to a simple stone throwing,” he said, adding that US border police only used anti-riot gear on this occasion.
Several of the migrants were wounded by rubber balls or electric ‘taser’ discharge, but many injured themselves trying to climb the fences.
Chilian, a 24-year-old graphic designer, has questioned some experienced former migrants with knowledge of the Tijuana River crossing, and they told him there may be several explanations behind the strange behaviour of the crowd that particular Sunday.
To begin with, they didn’t seem aware of the dangers of crossing in that area. More experienced migrants say trying to cross that point at noon is “suicidal”, as it’s one of the most monitored areas of the border.
Bryan Chilian points out that it was perhaps a diversion operation to distract patrols from other points of the border, or perhaps an attempt to discredit the charitable organisations working to help the migrants on both sides of the border. These explanations remain mere speculation.
He claims simply he was in the right place at the right time to capture this exceptional footage.