Maria Meza said she thought her girls would die from tear gas in an interview after U.S. Border Patrol fired at her family.
“That’s when I grabbed my daughters to start running. At that moment, I thought I was going to die with them because of the gas,” she said. “Because we started running and we fell into the mud, and when I wanted to get up I couldn’t.”
Meza was traveling from Honduras with a caravan to the U.S. border to seek asylum for herself and her five children. After some members of the caravan rushed the U.S.-Mexico border, Border patrol agents fired tear gas canisters from the U.S.
Meza was photographed fleeing the gas with her children.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “We never thought they were going to fire those bombs where there were children, because there were lots of children, not just mine. There were more children with mothers there.”
Mexico has filed a formal request to the U.S. for a “full investigation” regarding the use of tear gas at the border. The use of the gas on international borders has sparked debate online about the legality of the use of tear gas as a chemical weapon. But the U.S. government defended its use of the gas.