CNN’s Bill Weir Hit With Tear Gas During Harrowing Live Report at Mexico-Guatemala Border
CNN Special Correspondent Bill Weir was walking alongside the caravan of migrants approaching Mexico on Friday when he was hit with tear gas.
Weir call into CNN Newsroom Friday afternoon from a bridge that separates Guatemala from the southern tip of Mexico.
He described a harrowing scene as the crowd rushed the gates.
“There’s about 400 riot policemen, federales,” said noting that for some reason the authorities on the Guatemala side left the “huge surge of humanity” in.
He then added families with children, toddlers all came streaming up to the fence.
“At first, they tried to form a single-form line because they were told they’d be let in one at a time in a humane, orderly way. But the crowd was just too powerful,” he said.
“The policemen are forcing the gates back after firing either smoke canisters — I didn’t smell tear gas. But an incredibly frightening scene to be in the middle of this scrum of people,” he continued on, describing the scene. “You can see all the shoes that have been lost in the trample. There’s a man in front of me — suffering from heat stroke, maybe having a heart attack. It’s so hard to tell.”
Then, just moments later, he said this: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Somebody just threw — maybe it was a water bottle. People literally scattered in a panic thinking it was smoke.”
“This is really just an exercise in crowd control. Imagine if they threw open the gates to a concert, as we’ve learned that lesson in years past and people are trampled. That’s what happened when they opened up the Guatemalan side,” Weir continued on.
“Oh, tear gas. Tear gas,” he shouted, his voice shaking as he was hit with the gas. “The canister landed literally two feet from me.”
“No, no, no, no, don’t throw rocks!” he shouted to someone in the crowd before getting off the phone and getting to safety.
Listen above, via CNN
[image via screengrab]
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