TIJUANA.-A 44-year-old Mexican man jumped to his death from a bridge in Tijuana on Monday, moments after being deported from the United States.
Frontera reports the deportee was identified as Guadalupe Olivias Valencia (although Spain's El País identifies the man as José Luis Jiménez) originally from the state of Sinaloa, although it is unknown how long he resided in the U.S., or if he even ever did so for a significant period of time.
Several witnesses said the man quickly walked towards a highway bridge after he emerged from the El Chaparral border crossing into Mexico, handed over by American officials. A security guard, delivery man and another citizen tried to dissuade the deportee but to no avail.
The man simply opened his arms and jumped, said witnesses, slamming into the concreted bellow of the Tijuana River canal. He died from severe trauma several minutes later at the city's General Hospital.
The man's body on the concrete bed of the Tijuana River canal. Photo: Twitter
The local head of Mexico's National Immigration Institute, Rodulfo Figueroa, said the deported man had illegally crossed deported and been deported previously.
The incident has been extensively covered by local, national and even international media since it happened, with many seeing as an ominous sign that an era of massive deportations under Trump is underway. It also sent shock waves throughout immigration activist circles.
But, José María Ramos, a researcher from the migration studies center at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Colef) institute in Tijuana, says that they haven't registered any noticeable increase in deportations "but this incident exemplifies the risk that are coming. Given the differences in wages, and cases of people that have lived in the U.S. for years, these policies could generate overwhelming desperation."
Could this be the first of many cases of "overwhelming desperation"?