Officers Outgunned on U.S. Border

U.S.-Mexico border seeing surge in violence as gangs try to protect lucrative cargo

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 11,000 of the agency's non-supervisory agents, said violence by gangs battling to control smuggling routes into this country has increased dramatically and is spilling into some U.S. communities.

Mr. Bonner said that while much of the violence is directed at rival gang members, there is an "inevitable spillover that touches innocent civilians and law-enforcement officials on both sides of the border."

He said assaults against Border Patrol agents have more than doubled over the past two years, mainly by drug cartels "far more inclined to utilize violence as a means of achieving their goal of successfully smuggling contraband and people."