The Newton-Azrak award is a legacy Border Patrol award named in tribute to two inspectors who were kidnapped and murdered by drug traffickers back in 1967.
LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - The Laredo Sector of U.S. Border Patrol honored two of its agents with the highest recognitions.
The ceremony was this morning at TAMIU's Student Center Ballroom.
Agents Ruben Mendoza and Pedro Saldivar received the two highest awards in the U.S. Border Patrol for their actions last year.
Saldivar was shot in the line of duty on a road near Hebronville when the two responded at night to a vehicle in distress.
Mendoza received the Newton-Azrak Award and Saldivar received the Commissioner's Meritorious Service for Valor Award.
Commander of the Border Patrol's South Texas Campaign and Chief of Laredo Sector Robert Harris said what happened was an example of the situations faced by agents on a daily basis.
"That's what I think makes the job of a border patrol agent really dangerous, because we make more arrests and more law enforcement encounters, arguably than any law enforcement agency in the United States," said Harris.
Harris said there are 6500 agents in the Border Patrol. Each year, he said many are nominated for these awards.