Los Diablos: Mexican Firefighters in the US
Lorne Matalon - Fronteras Desk
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April 10, 2013



A member Los Diablos wildfire fighting team crosses Rio Grande legally into United States. (Lorne Matalon/Fronteras Desk)

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas - Even in a post- Sept. 11 world, there is one group of people with permission from the United States government to freely - and legally - cross into the country from Mexico and back without passing through a formal border crossing.

It’s a crew of firefighters from Mexico that U.S. authorities say are among the best in the world in fighting wildfires, as they’ve proven time and again across the country.

It’s early morning in Big Bend National Park. Horses ferrying an exclusive group of firefighters from Coahuila state in northern Mexico are moving quickly across the Rio Grande into West Texas. This time, there’s no fire. They’re in for a day of training.

The are known as Los Diablos, or the devils. Twenty years ago, they told rangers in Big Bend National Park that if U.S. authorities allowed them to help fire fires in the Park, they would work “like the devil.” Since then they’ve been true to their word, many times over.

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