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Suicides among border agents on the rise

The Associated Press has a story and video documenting a disturbing trend: A spike in suicides among U.S. Border Patrol agents. According to the story, at least 15 agents have taken their own lives since February 2008. More from the story:

Federal officials insist the deaths have nothing to do with the agency, which has doubled in size since 2004, or the increasingly volatile U.S.-Mexico border. But administrators have quietly undertaken urgent suicide-prevention initiatives, including special training for supervisors, videos about warning signs and educational programs for 22,000 agents nationwide

Whatever the reason behind the deaths, there is no question that patrolling the border hinterlands is a backbreaking job. It is also one that has become increasingly dangerous over the years as the human smuggling trade has been overtaken by organized crime, posing a threat not only to the migrants trying to enter the country illegally, but to the agents trying to stop them.

The website of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents agents, had this post written by an agent earlier this month, urging "Suicide is Never the Answer."