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GLOBAL-POY/STORIES
RTS2UIR0
December 11, 2019
Guatemalan migrant Ledy Perez embraces her son Anthony while praying to ask a member of the Mexican National...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Pictures of the Year: A Picture and its Story
Guatemalan migrant Ledy Perez embraces her son Anthony while praying to ask a member of the Mexican National Guard to let them cross into the United States, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, July 22, 2019. Reuters Photographer Jose Luis Gonzalez: "Ledy Perez fell to her haunches, a clenched hand covering her face as she wept, an arm clutching her small 6-year old son, who glared defiantly at the Mexican National Guard soldier blocking them from crossing the Rio Grande into the United States. I captured the plight of this mother and son who had travelled 1,500 miles from Guatemala to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, only to be stopped mere feet from the United States. The woman begged and pleaded with the National Guard to let them cross to a better future for Anthony Diaz. The soldier, dressed in desert fatigues, an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, only said he was following orders. Her face was a small reflection of all migrants' suffering. One of several images Reuters published, this photo was picked up widely on social media. It has thrown into the spotlight the role Mexico's militarized National Guard police force is playing in containing migration. The soldier displayed no overt aggression during the nine-minute encounter with Perez and her son. Still, the power dynamics apparent in the image resonated with criticism of the treatment migrants are receiving. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who retweeted my picture after it was posted by a former Mexican ambassador to the United States wrote 'what a pity, Mexico should never have accepted this,'. Seizing the opportunity when the soldier glanced away, Perez lunged into the shrubs growing on the side of the river bank, pulling her son with her. They quickly ran across to the other side of the river and out of the guardsmen's jurisdiction where U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents took them into custody." REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo SEARCH "POY STORIES 2019" FOR THIS STORY. SEA
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