- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Guatemalan woman died in the Arizona desert this week after the group she was traveling with left her behind, authorities said Wednesday.

Border Patrol agents received a call from Mexican authorities that they’d been alerted to a group in distress on the Barry M. Goldwater Firing Range, a vast military reservation in southwestern Arizona that encompasses some of the remotest deserts in the U.S.

The Mexican authorities told agents that the group of 10 people reported one of them, the woman, had lost consciousness and they had left her behind.

A search and rescue team was deployed and after 78 minutes spotted the woman’s body, as well as five other migrants. Agents on the ground found four other migrants.

Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik said the group would have been deterred, and the woman’s life perhaps saved, if there had been border fencing along that stretch of the U.S.-Mexico line.

“This was an unnecessary death,” Chief Porvaznik said. “This group should never have been on the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range. Yuma Sector agents have seen an increase in illegal entries in this area and we feel strongly that effective anti-pedestrian/vehicle barriers are needed to improve the security and safety there.”

The woman’s name wasn’t released.

The nine migrants traveling with her were evaluated and found to be healthy, according to Customs and Border Protection.

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