Two FBI Agents, one of whom was a woman, were beaten severely in 2002 at the U.S./Mexico border in an area on the outskirts of El Paso known as Sunland Park. Eleven years later, the only barrier between the dozens of men who committed the crime and U.S. citizens is a small, chain-link fence–one that locals told me is often climbed over.
In 2002, the FBI was conducting an operation to stop escalating thefts from rail cars in the U.S. near the heavily populated border shared by Sunland Park and Juarez, Mexico. Men from Mexico were routinely jumping the chain-link fence and committing the heists in the U.S., only to bring the merchandise and goods back to Mexico where they could not be prosecuted. Two Special Agents got separated from the group. They were surrounded by dozens of Mexican nationals who beat them until they were in comas–all on U.S. soil.
Only a few of the men were eventually prosecuted, as most were deported back to Mexico prior to prosecution. Unless something else happened or they moved, the men are still free and presumably operating in the area.
I visited the Sunland Park border fence on August 16, 2013 on assignment for Breitbart News. Several children appeared from the Mexico side of the fence and talked with me about their lives. They told me that many people still cross the fence and that narco-traffickers were present in the area. (Please note that it is illegal to pass things, including money, through the fence.)