On September 16, following a report in local Texas media, Reuters multimedia team was on the ground in Del Rio to document the build-up of thousands of migrants, most of them Haitians, in a makeshift camp beneath the international border bridge. Leveraging the deep global and local expertise of our journalists, Reuters proved as the leading source in delivering fast, live coverage as the crisis unfolded.
Quickly realizing that this was a major story with sweeping implications, Reuters deployed teams of multimedia journalists to both the Texan and Mexican sides of the border. Our early pictures and stories drew huge attention to the conditions on the ground.
Our TV reporters captured footage of U.S. border guards on horseback swinging the reins of the horses they were riding at migrants, which sparked condemnation from the White House, members of Congress and human rights groups. Reuters photographers used drones to provide unique perspective on the fast-growing migrant camp and to chronicle the hardships faced by those living in it. Reuters also carried hours of live VIDEO coverage from the border.
As many people wondered how the camp in Del Rio quickly grew to house 15,000 migrants in a matter of days, Reuters was one of the first outlets to pick up on the use of WhatsApp and other social media platforms to spread information on the routes for migrants.
When U.S. authorities began controversial deportation flights to send back hundreds of Haitians to their impoverished homeland – which was plunged deeper into turmoil when the president was assassinated in July and a deadly earthquake struck last month – Reuters used its global reach to speak to the returnees as they arrived in Port-au-Prince, dillusioned and angry that their dreams of a better life in the United States had been crushed.
Amid an angry backlash in Washington, D.C. about the treatment of the Haitians, Reuters had a forward-looking story about tensions within the Biden administration over the expulsions, which presaged the resignation of the top U.S. envoy to Haiti the following day.
As the crisis wore on, Reuters reporters in Mexico chronicled how a police crackdown stemmed the flow of migrants to the camp, which was being wound down by deportations and migrants being taken to other migration facilities in the U.S.
Our graphics team blended striking images of the Del Rio camp with images of other large migrant camps along the Mexican border, plus data on migrant flows and asylum policies under Biden, to create a compelling explanatory piece on the stark choices facing the administration and the migrants themselves.
And as the camp was dismantled, Reuters reporters in Colombia and Panama described how tens of thousands of migrants from Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba and elsewhere were still making their way northward through Central America, heading for the U.S. border, raising the prospect of future crises.
For more of Reuters coverage on the migrant crisis, visit Reuters.com.
[Reuters PR blog post]
Deepal. Patadia @tr.com