US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Calexico Border Patrol Agent Receives Agency's Highest Honor

Release Date: 
February 23, 2021

CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agent from the El Centro Sector receives award for actions beyond the call of duty on Feb. 12, 2021.

Award
Border Patrol Agent C. Lara is presented
with the Newton-Azrak Award.

On Feb. 18, 2019, Agent C. Lara was assigned to the Calexico, California Border Patrol Station’s area of responsibility when he rescued a male subject from the All-American Canal. The canal is 80 miles long, approximately 120 feet wide, and 20 feet deep in most parts. The canal water is frigid, swift, and has underwater currents that are extremely treacherous.

During Agent Lara’s shift, he responded to an illegal alien struggling to swim across the canal. Several attempts were made to assist the drowning male subject using a rescue disc from the water’s edge. Rescue discs act as tethers used by agents to pull near drowning victims to safety.

Agent Lara, disregarding the dangers of the swift water, swam toward the victim knowing that the individual would soon give in to exhaustion and be pulled under. Agent Lara took hold of the man and pulled him from imminent danger. Agent Lara’s heroism and disregard for being pulled under himself most certainly saved the man’s life. Agent Lara went beyond the call of duty by risking his own life to save the life of another.

Last modified: 
February 23, 2021