Agents rescue group of migrants from rugged mountainside in New Mexico

Border Crime

Santa Teresa Border Patrol Agents conducting surveillance near Mt. Cristo Rey and Sunland Park areas observed individuals illegally crossing the border shortly after midnight on Nov. 24, 2020. (CBP)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol agents found a group of migrants huddled together for warmth after they attempted to enter the U.S. illegally through the rocky terrain of Mount Cristo Rey, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Agents conducting surveillance in the area where New Mexico, Texas, and the Mexican state of Chihuahua meet spotted the group making their way down to the mountain in the dark shortly after midnight on Tuesday in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

A Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team responded and led them to safety.

Mount Cristo Rey — which has a massive statue of Jesus Christ at its summit — for years has been a prime location for human smugglers to operate because of limited infrastructure and the ability to hide, officials have told Border Report.

On Sept. 21, border agents arrested 63 undocumented in that same mountainous area.

Also Tuesday, border agents on ATVs encountered a woman who had sustained serious injuries in a desolate area 11 miles west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry.

Border Patrol agents assist a 49-year-old woman from Guatemala who sustained serious injuries while being guided by smugglers. (CBP)

Agents said the woman was injured while being guided into the country illegally by smugglers. Medics transported her to a nearby hospital via ambulance.

“Almost every day U.S. Border Patrol agents pivot from defenders of the homeland to first responders as they encounter people who are being placed in dangerous situations by smugglers trying to make a buck,” U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said in a statement. “I encourage anyone who has influence in the lives of people who are considering entering the country illegally to urge them not to. Their health and safety are not worth the risk.”

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.