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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    TX - Border Patrol: 2 immigrants rescued, 3 found dead during trek north

    Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 9:38 pm

    Jacqueline Armendariz | The Monitor

    U.S. Border Patrol reported agents rescued two immigrants, while finding three other immigrants they believe lost their lives to the harsh conditions of Deep South Texas rural ranchlands this week.

    A smuggler who guided a rescued Mexican man and woman when they entered the country illegally abandoned them after they couldn’t keep up with the group, a news release said. The two were found near Falfurrias on Monday and received medical assistance after they activated a rescue beacon, Border Patrol said.

    Agents found the remains of one person believed to have entered the country illegally on a Brooks County ranch Saturday. Two more bodies were found Monday, the release said.

    Border Patrol has placed eight rescue beacons that allow them to quickly find people in danger on ranches throughout Brooks and Kenedy counties. The agency has also set up placards in those areas with location information to help agents find immigrants more quickly once they’ve called 9-1-1 dispatchers.

    Since October, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley have rescued more than 300 immigrants believed to have entered the country illegally, an almost 150 percent increase compared to the same time period last fiscal year.

    More than 70 immigrants have been found dead, an increase of more than 110 percent, the release said.

    Call the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector to report suspicious activity at (800) 863-9382.

    http://www.themonitor.com/news/local...9bb30f31a.html
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    Junior Member theRose's Avatar
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    "Spike In Immigrant Deaths Along Rio Grande Valley Sector" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3009783.html http://www.themonitor.com/news/local...a4bcf6878.html

    Article from above links

    Border Patrol seeing immigrant deaths spike in RGV Sector

    Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 5:50 am

    Ildefonso Ortiz | The Monitor


    McALLEN — As warmer temperatures make their way to the Rio Grande Valley, U.S. Border Patrol officials are seeing a rise in the number of immigrants dying amid their quest for the American dream.

    In the first three months of 2013, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector have encountered the bodies of 70 immigrants who have died trekking through the brush while trying to circumvent checkpoints or who drowned in the waters of the Rio Grande. That compares with 150 for all of 2012, and 66 for all of 2011.

    Another dismaying trend is an increase in sexual assaults against immigrants by human smugglers, said Henry Mendiola, Border Patrol spokesman. While the Border Patrol doesn’t have statistics for such attacks, he said field agents have seen an increase in those cases.

    “Human smugglers don’t value human life,” he said. “Their victims are just cargo that can be used and sold without any concern for their well-being. They are only thinking of profit.”



    ‘THE ELEMENTS’

    While the Rio Grande proves a dangerous adversary with treacherous currents, the deadlier threat has been the harsh terrain through which many have trekked in an effort to avoid the Border Patrol checkpoints in Falfurrias and Sarita, Mendiola said. Those checkpoints sit along the main highways heading out of the Rio Grande Valley.

    “People don’t realize the dangers that come with walking through unknown terrain,” Mendiola said.

    Human smugglers typically cram immigrants who have entered the country illegally into stash houses for days, and once there they are given little food or water before they are moved north, Mendiola said. That means that when many set out, they are already malnourished and dehydrated.

    “They begin their journey in a weakened state as it is,” he said. “There have been times when we have had to rescue our own agents who have gotten lost and fallen ill from the elements.”

    Brushy areas, like the routes many take to get around the Falfurrias checkpoint in Brooks County, hold many hidden dangers, said Rafael Hernandez, the leader of Angeles del Desierto. The rescue group searches for missing immigrants and too often ends up finding their bodies.

    Hernandez, who is based in California, began taking a closer look at the Rio Grande Valley in 2012 after receiving numerous calls from people saying their loved ones went missing as they left the Rio Grande Valley.

    While the number of immigrants who die along the way continues to climb, the actual numbers may be much higher since bodies are generally found along transited areas or by coincidence, Hernandez said.

    “There are large expanses of land in that area that haven’t been searched,” Hernandez said in Spanish.

    Hernandez has reached out — unsuccessfully — to various ranchers to get access to their properties to try to bring closure to the hundreds of families that wait for a phone call to learn the fate of their loved one.

    “Getting lost, the heat, the wildlife, the lack of water can easily kill a person,” he said.

    --
    Last edited by working4change; 04-10-2013 at 08:19 AM.

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