Factors that contribute to deaths at U.S.-Mexico border

The presence of drug cartels on the border has brought a criminal culture

The deaths of undocumented immigrants have declined 36% in the Arizona desert during the 2013 fiscal year; however, Border Patrol warns that recues have increased.

According to the latest figures from this federal agency, between October 1 and May 1, there have been 64 deaths of illegal immigrants, compared with 101 around the same time last year.

"The number of deaths is down, but as the temperatures begin to rise in the wilderness, dangers increase," said a spokesman for the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, Andres Adame.

The most recent death occurred on May 11 when Border Patrol agents responded to a call of a lost person in the desert, near the town of Tres Puntos (Three Points), where officers found an immigrant who said his friend needed medical attention and had been abandoned by the "coyote" that guided them. The Border Patrol rescue team found the person, but he was already dead.

In fiscal year 2012, the Border Patrol of the Tucson AZ, sector-which covers 90 percent of the border between Arizona and Mexico-reported a record 634 rescues.

The spokesman said that undocumented immigrants not only face the dangers of high temperatures, but also the violence of criminal groups operating in this region.

"We have seen an increase in the number of cases of robberies, raped women, and other crimes committed by criminals in this region," said Adame.

The presence of drug cartels on the border has brought a criminal culture in which an undocumented immigrant is no longer a person, but instead has become a valuable "commodity".

This federal agency is preparing for a tour next week, in which they have invited the Mexican and Central American media to cross the Arizona desert, and show first hand of the dangers that their communities could face.




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