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U.S. Border Patrol Rescues Toddlers Dropped by Smuggler over Border Barrier

Release Date: 
March 31, 2021

**View the video

SANTA TERESA, N.M. – U.S. Border Patrol Agents responded to a potentially life-threatening situation involving two female tender-aged toddlers mistreated and abandoned by human smugglers just west of Mt. Cristo Rey.

Screen shot of dropped child.
Screen shot of dropped child.

On Tuesday evening, a Santa Teresa agent utilizing camera technology observed a smuggler dropping two young children from the top of the approximately 14-foot-high border barrier. Immediately after both children landed on the ground, two smugglers immediately fled the area and abandoned the helpless little girls on the north side of the international boundary line.

The camera operator alerted Santa Teresa agents and directed them to the remote location of the incident. Responding agents found the three-year-old and five-year-old Ecuadoran children and rendered aid to them. The two toddlers are sisters and both were alert when agents made contact with them.

The minor children were transported to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station for evaluation by medical personnel. Agents contacted Emergency Medical Services and the toddlers were transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons and further evaluation. The two girls were medically cleared and currently remain in Border Patrol temporary holding pending placement by Health and Human Services.

“I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night. If not for the vigilance of our Agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to the harsh elements of desert environment for hours,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “We are currently working with our law enforcement partners in Mexico and attempting to identify these ruthless human smugglers so as to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635- 2509.

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @USBPChiefEPT and @CBPWestTexas.

Last modified: 
April 2, 2021