Border Patrol releases statistics on fatal border crossings

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LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - More people are dying in their attempts to cross the border illegally reports the Laredo sector Border Patrol.

It's part of the statistics they released on Friday, which also shows one drug's rise in apprehensions.

Border Patrol is continuing to push the message of the dangers of border crossing through their border safety initiative.

A 94-percent increase in deaths have been reported by the Laredo Sector Border Patrol, that's 33 deaths compared to last year's 17.

These numbers compare the first six months of this fiscal year to last year's.

Border Patrol's border safety initiative has been ongoing since 1998 yet they continue to respond to distress calls and the challenges that come with them.

"You know, the toughest part is being able to get to those folks and being able to identify that they are in distress. Once that happens, we do have a number of equipment that is available to us to include our border search, trauma, and rescue teams, our borstar teams", said Mario Martinez.

These teams specialize in rescue operations whether on land, air, or water.

Laredo Border Patrol has 111 EMTS and 12 paramedics and six certified divers they depend on for their operations.

Friday's report also shows a rise in other border activity.

Overall, they've seen a considerable rise in heroin seizures
Those are up almost 424-percent.

Cocaine seizures are also up by 62-percent. Up by a slight nine-percent is methamphetamine.

Apprehensions were up slightly by about six percent.

On the decline, marijuana went down by nearly nine percent and rescues by eight.

The announcement also included the introduction of new equipment like an Aerostat, a mobile tower.

They will be used to monitor activity on the Laredo border.

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