A nine-year-old boy with a massive tumour was whisked from a gang-infested neighbourhood in Mexico by US agents and taken across the border for treatment in New Mexico.
The boy and his parents were snatched from the gang-infested neighbourhood in Ciudad Juarez – one of the deadliest cities in the world – in an armoured vehicle after members of a New Mexico Baptist church saw him near an orphanage and sought help.
The parents of the child, identified only as Jose to protect his family, said the tumour on his shoulder and neck had grown so large that it affected his eyesight and could move into his heart.
With no money for medical care, the family sought treatment in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, but did not receive any help removing the tumour, which has afflicted Jose since birth.
Denise Gutierrez, a victim assistance co-ordinator for Homeland Security Investigations, said the boy and his parents were granted a 45-day humanitarian visa for treatment in New Mexico, and a coalition of US agencies led by Homeland Security Investigations began working to get them into the United States.
The US Border Patrol helped the family enter the United States.
It is still unclear, however, what treatment is needed or if he will need to return for follow-up visits.
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