Border patrol opens base in NM's isolated Bootheel - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Border patrol opens base in NM's isolated Bootheel

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) -

The U.S. Border Patrol has opened up a new substation in New Mexico's Bootheel -- an area that officials call the last unguarded region along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Camp Garza," named after agent Rene Garza who was killed in 1999, officially opened last month and puts agents in an isolated region that has long been difficult to patrol around the clock.

Officials say illegal immigration and drug trafficking have been pushed into the remote area as border security has tightened in adjacent sections.

The camp had been long sought by area residents but the project gained serious momentum after the 2010 murder of a southeastern Arizona rancher.

The opening also comes after a heated debate with nearby ranchers who wanted the substation closer to the border.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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