By ALFREDO PEÑA, Associated Press
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — A Mexican man killed himself on a bridge connecting Reynosa, Mexico and Pharr, Texas, temporarily shutting down a portion of the bridge, Mexican officials said Thursday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed only that a man had collapsed and died on the Mexican side of the bridge on Wednesday evening. The bridge on the outskirts of Reynosa is three miles (five kilometers) long and not open to pedestrians.
Mexico’s National Immigration Institute confirmed that the man was Mexican.
An official with the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case said the man had told U.S. officers that he was from Tlalnepantla in Mexico state and wanted to request asylum. He was directed to return to Reynosa to begin the process there.
U.S. officials at bridges open to pedestrians have been limiting how many people can cross to request asylum on a given day. They typically join a waiting list organized on the Mexican side. It was unknown if the man had tried previously at another port of entry.
The U.S. confirmed this week that it planned to begin sending Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala under a bilateral agreement with that country.