On November 26, the world was stunned to see the migrant refugee caravan being attacked with tear gas by border patrol officers. It looked as if it was a scene from a movie: people rushing toward the border, confronting officers in riot gear, and officers striking back with tear gas. Some people wondered how this could be happening while others weren’t surprised. Whatever emotion people were feeling, there was one image that struck a nerve.
In one of the images from that day, a woman is seen running away from the tear gas while grabbing two barefoot children, both of whom who wearing diapers. It was a striking image that let the world know: these are real people, with real problems, and real families.
The woman in the photo is Maria Mesa, and NBC News journalist Annie Rose Ramos tweeted that she had found her, as did CNN.
“This is the Mom in that photo,” Ramos tweeted. “Her name is Maria Mesa and she says she was scared for her life and the life of her children yesterday. Holding the tear gas canister, she said seeing the photo of her from yesterday makes her want to cry ‘I just grabbed my kids and ran.'”
CNN’s Leyla Santiago also attempted to interview Mesa but failed to do so. It seemed Mesa perhaps didn’t want to be interviewed or simply didn’t have time to. The fact of the matter is, Mesa is still there with her children trying to get help.
This is the Mom in that photo. Her name is Maria Mesa and she says she was scared for her life and the life of her children yesterday. Holding the tear gas canister, she said seeing the photo of her from yesterday makes her want to cry “I just grabbed my kids and ran” pic.twitter.com/0crStFaasT
— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 26, 2018
The United Nations just released a report declaring that the people traveling in this caravan must get aide as soon as possible.
“Nine UN experts pointed out that the migrants are seriously vulnerable, facing challenges such as shortages of healthcare, water, sanitation, food, and shelter,” U.N. stated. “They are also at increased risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation.” Adding that “Rather than fueling tensions with hate speech and threats, Governments should work together to tackle inequality, poverty, social exclusion, violence, insecurity, environmental degradation and persecution as the main drivers of migration in Central America.”