Human Smugglers Leave Injured Migrant to Die in California Canyon

CBP aircrew rescues injured Border Patrol agent in Arizona mountains. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
File Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents rescued a Mexican migrant after he injured his leg in a canyon past the California border with Mexico. Human smugglers abandoned the man after he suffered a “severe leg injury” and left him to die.

San Diego Sector agents received a distress call regarding a man stranded in Copper Canyon in the Otay Mountain range Monday evening. The man said he could not walk and had limited provisions, according to San Diego Sector officials.

Agents executed an immediate search and rescue operation and eventually located the man. The agents provided medical assistance for a “severe leg injury” and called for a helicopter. The aircrew transported the Mexican national to an ambulance which completed the journey to an area hospital.

After receiving treatment, doctors released the man to immigration officers who are holding the migrant for removal proceedings.

“While Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) continue to exploit, abuse, and profit from the desperation of these susceptible people, heroic agents continue to risk their own lives to save others,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a written statement.

Under current CBP and DHS proceedings, it is likely the migrant will be removed and sent deep into the interior regions of Mexico.

A program implemented by the Trump administration earlier this year resulted in the transport of more than 1,000 Mexican nationals into the interior of Mexico, Breitbart Texas reported in February.

During the peak of the 2019 migrant border crisis, the Trump administration negotiated an agreement to return Mexican nationals found illegally in the United States into Mexico’s interior, according to information obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. Under previous agreements, Mexican nationals were simply returned to across the border–making it easy to simply re-cross elsewhere.

Under the Interior Repatriation Initiative (IRI) joint agreement, U.S. officials returned more than 1,000 Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. to the interior of Mexico instead of a trans-border removal.

“This is yet another successful Trump Administration initiative that demonstrates our urgency to apprehend and quickly remove those who illegally cross our border,” CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said at the time. “By returning these individuals into the interior of Mexico, they will be much less likely to attempt a dangerous and potentially deadly journey north.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook or contact him at


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