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Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde December 11, 2018

Video shows Border Patrol agents getting rid of water for migrants

A video circulating on Facebook claims to show U.S.Border Patrol agents getting rid of water left by humanitarian groups for migrants "traveling along the U.S.-Mexico border."

"Border Patrol agents were caught on film destroying supplies left to help migrants," said a caption for a video posted by NowThis Politics on Jan. 17, and gaining renewed attention in December.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The recordings are legitimate, and U.S. Border Patrol denounced the actions back in January when they first became viral.

The 1 minute and 30 seconds video includes footage of Border Patrol agents kicking and emptying into the ground bottles of gallons of water. Timestamps for some of the clips in the video suggest they were recorded in 2011 and 2013. The group behind the videos also said it included footage from 2017.

"Watch U.S. border agents vandalize supplies left for migrants," said text over footage of agents kicking gallons of water left on the ground. Another frame in the video shows an agent pouring out water from a bottle into the ground. Additional text in the video said humanitarian groups left water jugs in the Arizona desert "aiming to reduce deaths among migrants traveling along the U.S.-Mexico border."

The NowThis Politics video attributes the footage to No More Deaths. No More Deaths is an Arizona humanitarian group that leaves water, food, and other supplies for migrants traveling through the desert to get to the United States. In January, the group released a report on the "intentional destruction" of thousands of gallons of water left for migrants. "Although it is likely that multiple actors are responsible for the destruction of humanitarian aid at our water-drop sites, the results of our (Geographic Information Systems) data analysis indicate that U.S. Border Patrol agents likely are the most consistent actors," the report said.

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Part of the Border Patrol’s January response to the footage said:

"All agents in the Tucson Sector have been instructed not to remove or destroy water stations, food or other resources left along trails in the desert. The Border Patrol is aware of the video from approximately six years ago depicting agents damaging water bottles.

"The Border Patrol shares a common goal with non-governmental organizations to preserve human life and to prevent injury. We do not condone or encourage destruction or tampering with any water or food caches."

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed, "Border Patrol agents were caught on film destroying supplies left to help migrants."

Video footage shows Border Patrol kicking and pouring out water left in the desert for migrants as part of humanitarian-aid efforts.

It’s important to remember that some of the footage is old, and that the Border Patrol in a statement condemned the actions. We rate the post Mostly True.

UPDATE Dec. 18, 2018: This story has been updated to include information from No More Deaths that some of the footage in the video was from 2017. The headline to the story has also been updated.

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Mostly True
"Border Patrol agents were caught on film destroying supplies left to help migrants"
in a Facebook post
Sunday, December 9, 2018

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Video shows Border Patrol agents getting rid of water for migrants

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