Two-way radio to help rescue migrants in U.S.-Mexico border desert
A land mobile radio communications system on a tower in the Mexican desert between Mexicali and Tecate along the Southern California U.S. border is expected to help agents of the Mexican National Migration Institute’s Beta Group to rescue lost and injured migrants attempting to reach the United States.
Crackdowns at urban border points on illegal immigration has caused increased attempts by migrants to penetrate the United States in isolated areas with dangerous conditions, including 110-degree heat and a lack of water.
Antennas atop a 66-foot tower built in the desert will serve radio communications used to coordinate the Mexican government’s search and rescue operations. The tower itself, with its flashing beacon lights, will help migrants to find their way. In addition, supplies of food and water kept at the base of the tower may save lives. Beta Group agents are expected to visit the tower every four hours.
Photovoltaic cells (solar panels) and batteries supply power for the radio system and the lights. The tower was completed on July 11. As many as nine similar towers might be built along the border.
Mexican authorities have estimated that 236 migrants have died in the nearby desert since 2000 on both sides of the border.