Latinos Among Suicides in Border Patrol

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WASHINGTON -- Two Latinos are among the Border Patrol agents who committed suicide in the last two years, La Opinión reports.

Eddie De La Cruz and Juan Tellez are two of the 15 suicides of Border Patrol agents recorded between 2008 and 2010, according to data released by the Associated Press (AP).

The reasons for the record increase in the number of suicides are not yet known.

“Officers are exposed to traumas, have weapons training, have to deal with threatening situations, various elements that generate stress," said Paul Quinneett, chairman of the QPR Institute (Question, Persuade, and Refer), which is dedicated to suicide prevention.

In the case of the Latino Border Patrol agents, one element that seems to add to the stress of their work is coping with the number of Latinos who try to cross the border illegally. The fact that their own family members may have been undocumented immigrants, plus the accusations of treason by the people they arrest, may have a profound psychological impact.

Experts insist that the key to reducing the number of suicides by Border Patrol agents lies in prevention programs.