A six-year-old boy, of Costa Rican nationality, was rescued by US Border Patrol, abandoned by a smuggler in the Arizona desert, just north of the Mexican border.

Image for illustrative purposes

The Cost Rica Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the minor was found in good condition and was identified on Tuesday afternoon and is receiving attention from the Consulate General of Costa Rica in Los Angeles.

According to the report from the US Customs and Border Protection Office, the minor indicated that he was left there by an uncle, who asked him to continue alone and told him that at some point he would be rescued by the border patrol.

The boy added that he was on his way to see his mother in the U.S.

The US Customs and Border Protection Office said the incident highlights the dangers faced by migrants at the hands of smugglers. Children, in particular, are extremely vulnerable, not only to exploitation but also to the elements in the environment. “Arizona’s desert is a merciless environment for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather. The Border Patrol advises anyone in distress to call 9-1-1 or activate a rescue beacon as soon as possible.”

“The child did not talk much and did not provide further details, he only indicated that he lived in Costa Rica and that he made a trip with his uncle, we are attending the case in a priority manner and with an integral approach,” said Mabel Segura, Costa Rica’s Consul in Los Angeles.

The Foreign Ministry, this is the first minor found at the US border in the last five years. The Consulate of Costa Rica made sure that it is in a safe, quiet space, with the necessary care and that it is approached with all social services.

The Foreign Ministry maintained that this case is not related to the US policy of separating families that cross the border illegally, which President Donald Trump repealed on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it has contacted the also contacted the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) – child welfare agency – to talk with the child’s relatives in Costa Rica.