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Thread: Our Escalating Border War

  1. #201
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    American Citizens Arm and Unite Against Illegal Aliens

    by Amelia Foxwell

    10/12/2010

    Southeast Arizona: September, 2010



    The pre-dawn stillness was broken by the low rumble of a rugged four-wheel drive vehicle as it topped the crest of a hill and stopped.

    Seven camouflaged riders emerged and silently began removing gear and weapons from the vehicle. The group had only recently met and consisted of two men and one woman from Arizona, one man from Georgia, one from Texas and two from Florida. All were military veterans from various branches of service and all knew the seriousness of the situation.

    After donning wildly varying forms of tactical gear purchased with their own money and customized to their liking, five members of the group set off on foot in the direction of the U.S. border with Mexico. One man and the woman remained behind to operate communications relay equipment from the hilltop.

    The five man patrol was a hodge-podge of American patriots from three different states. Only the two from Florida had worked together before and, because of their previous experience, were placed in charge with one taking point and the other operating as fire-team leader. The air remained still and the full darkness covered their movement along the hills as they traveled the two miles to the border.

    Twenty minutes after sunrise the point man observed two distinct trails in the dew along the scrub on the ground. After notifying the fire-team leader with silent hand signals, the patrol switched to tracking mode with 360 degree security in order to avoid a possible ambush. The hunt was on.

    Over rough and rocky terrain more suited for goats than men, the hunt pursuit continued. The fire-team knew that they were closing on Mexican drug runners that made their living by working for powerful cartels on the other side of the border. This was the runners’ domain. They had traveled these hills and mountains many times as they carried and delivered their cargo. The drug runners knew that if the Americans caught them they would be held at gun point and arrested by law enforcement summoned by the communications and relay team far above. If the runners managed to escape but lost the cargo, they would face death at the hands of the cartel. They were armed and decided that it would be better to return temporarily to Mexico or kill the Americans than to risk arrest or losing the cargo.

    At the base of the final rise just on the northern side of the border, the Florida operatives briefed the others on what to expect at the top. The Mexicans would have the high ground and likely be ready. It was a moment of grim reality…

    This is a true account from a man from Florida who went to Arizona in September and will be returning with nine more men in October, in hopes of helping the residents of Arizona secure their border and their homes.

    Few people in America know of, or understand the extent of the chaos and distress in Arizona. The facts have been purposely downplayed and distorted in the mainstream media. There are 370 miles of unsecured international border between Arizona and Mexico which have become overrun by drug smuggling, human trafficking, and extreme violence.

    Eighty miles north of the border into Arizona, the evidence of foreign illegal activity is startling: the mounds of trash and empty drug packs in pristine wilderness areas, the constant flow of illegal immigrants, and a sharp increase in murder and kidnappings. The violence targeting any American or law enforcement is common, and now runs rampant in what used to be a safe part of Arizona - a part that many Americans still call home.

    Phoenix has been called the kidnapping capital of the U.S. In most cases the abductions are tied to human smuggling, which has become the new more lucrative illegal business. The scenario is, more often than not Central American people who have paid others to smuggle them into the U.S. illegally, but instead, upon arrival they are sold as human cargo to members of the drug cartel who then use the men as smuggling mules and use the women for forced prostitution. Many of these people are held for ransom, and in most cases their families simply cannot pay the money, so they are tortured and murdered, or sold as slaves. In the last few years the city has had averaged a kidnapping a day, many resulting in torture and death. These are brutally violent deaths with the victims being found with their arms tied to ceilings, their fingers smashed by bricks and their skin burned with hot iron.

    In comparison to human trafficking the drug trade is nowhere near as profitable, you can sell a human hundreds of times, and drugs can only be sold once. However, the amount of drugs coming into our country over the border is still quite large. Last year, in marijuana alone they seized an average of one and a half tons per day.

    The murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz in late March is only one of many. The subsequent investigation revealed a story of a much loved and charitable man who was simply out on his ATV mending fences on his ranch when he and his dog were shot. The scent of his murderer was followed by dogs fifteen miles back to the Mexican border. Mr Krentz was armed but never got a chance to reach for his weapon. Friends believe he must have come across someone he believed needed help and was therefore caught off guard.

    Local citizens, border patrol, and local law enforcement are overwhelmed. Their cries for help have been ignored by the federal government for reasons this writer will not speculate on. The border is simply too long, and in many cases the barrier is made of three strands of barbed wire. Arizona does not have nearly the manpower or resources needed to even begin to address or solve this problem. They are simply outnumbered and unequipped.

    Arizona governor Jan Brewer has made many appeals to President Obama for help from the federal government. She was eventually allocated a little over five hundred national guardsmen with no powers of arrest and instructions not to interfere with the illegals. As of this writing a grand total of thirty guardsmen have actually been sent to Arizona. The federal government's final response to the situation has been to post signs stating that the area is a known drug trafficking area and is unsafe for Americans. Additionally, the Justice Department has filed suit against Arizona for trying to solve the border problems plaguing its citizens through SB-1070. There are ranchers, families, and individuals who live in or near these areas who have been left defenseless.

    Some time ago, a group of Arizona residents sent out a request for help. A small contingent of Florida patriots and veterans answered. This group has been to Arizona to assess the problems, and work with the local law enforcement, border patrol, and citizens to stop the illegal and dangerous activity in this area. Their primary concern was to provide our brothers and sisters in Arizona with safety and security.

    The Florida group is now preparing to return in a few weeks to help secure the border. They are calling this mission OPERATION HARVEST. This is the time of the year when the poppy crop as well as others are harvested in Mexico and the drug trafficking picks up considerably. That's why the mission was planned for this time of year, with the goal to make a powerful impact in securing the border.

    The men who have volunteered for this dangerous mission are patriots, and are going to help their fellow Americans in a time of need. These men hope to give help and support where the federal government has refused to do so. One of the men leading the group has posted a page for donations to help with travel expenses. For those who would like to make a donation or for more information, the link is below.

    http://realworldsurvival.webs.com/recondonations.htm

    Also, here are some clips of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer challenging President Obama:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLgZ1LWLlko
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzDlN7VLmXQ

    For Arizona and all of America the enemy is no longer at the gates. The enemy has invaded our home and will not leave without drastic action vigilance and the determination of all who care.

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  2. #202
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Is this really a true story? Can anyone vet it?
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Mexico’s ‘war next door’ linked directly to United States

    Federal authorities say traffickers are now entrenched in at least 270 American cities



    MIAMI — For most Americans it is likely hard to understand the level of brutality consuming many regions in Mexico now as vicious drug-trafficking cartels fight with each other and the authorities over smuggling routes to the United States and distribution rights in Mexican neighborhoods. The bulk of this murderous conflict occurs just south of the 2,000-mile-long U.S. border, so close-by that bullets from gunfire in Mexico have struck buildings on the American side of the fence.

    In the nearly four years since Mexican President Felipe Calderon, firmly supported by the U.S. government, launched an unprecedented attack on Mexico's drug kingpins, nearly 30,000 people have been killed. The victims include thousands of police officers, soldiers, public officials, judges and journalists, as the traffickers fight back with powerful weapons, many of them purchased in the United States. Often Mexican police find themselves outmanned and outgunned by the criminals.

    Terrified Mexican officials have fled across the border seeking political asylum and some Mexican villages have become ghost towns after traffickers killed or pushed out the residents to clear the way for their smuggling operations.

    The Mexican trafficking organizations have also crossed deeply into the United States, peddling tons of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to American drug users, who reward the cartels with an estimated 19 to 39 billion dollars a year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal authorities say Mexican traffickers are now entrenched in at least 270 American cities, running sophisticated and disciplined networks that not only bring the drugs in, but also ship truckloads of cash back to Mexico.

    "Mexico and its government are looking as transnational drug trafficking as a national security threat. We, too, have to look at it seriously in our country," said David Gaddis, the DEA's chief for global enforcement operations. "It is our country's number one organized crime threat."

    Making al-Qaida ‘look tame’

    A distinguishing feature of the Mexican drug war is the unspeakable violence played out daily on the streets and posted in graphic detail by newspapers and media websites. Large-scale gun battles, mass executions, corpses strewn in public, beheadings, torture and grenade attacks have become commonplace. As of this writing, at least a dozen Mexican mayors have been killed in 2010 alone. A gubernatorial candidate was shot dead on a highway. After a Mexican marine was killed during a raid against a drug kingpin, gunmen massacred the young man's family after his funeral.

    "I think they make al-Qaida look tame in terms of what they do. I can't explain how someone loses their humanity and resorts to these things," said Anthony Coulson, a recently retired DEA supervisor. Coulson ran the DEA's Tucson District Office, overseeing 255 miles of border between the U.S. and Mexico. He argued that the violence, and the amounts of illicit drugs flowing from Mexico into the United States, has never been higher and that the traffickers have never been more powerful or in control of more territory than they are now.

    "It's getting worse. I've never seen it at this level before," said Coulson.

    Of particular concern is Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's fourth largest city with a population of 1.3 million people sitting right across the border from El Paso, Texas. Two major drug cartels and local gangs have been engaged in a vicious battle there over turf and smuggling routes. Last year alone, 2,800 people were killed there and the death toll this year could be higher. In two separate incidents within one week this October, gunmen stormed private parties in Juarez homes and opened fire.

    In the first massacre, nine were killed. In the second, thirteen — ranging in age from 16 to 25 years old — died when gunmen stormed a birthday party and opened fire. The attackers escaped, but authorities suspect the rampage is somehow connected to the ongoing turf war over drugs. Several other mass killings have occurred in drug rehabilitation facilities.

    Adding to the terror in Juarez, a remote-controlled car bomb aimed at police was detonated in the downtown area, killing three people and raising concerns over a heightened level of violence. To lure police to the scene, the bombers shot a man, dressed him in a police uniform, laid him on a street corner and then made an emergency call reporting an officer down. When responders arrived, the bomb hidden in a brief case exploded.

    A two-nation threat
    Political and law enforcement leaders in both countries agree that American drug users fuel the Mexican trafficking cartels by purchasing their illicit products. They insist that demand reduction is an important component for calming the violence. There also are arguments about whether drug legalization would help, although the predominant view is both countries is that such measures are unlikely to be implemented on a national scale.

    Another debate is over who is over who is actually winning the fight between the Mexican government and the drug traffickers.

    "I don't think it's a winnable war," said Tony Payan, a drug cartel expert who teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso. "The reason I don't think it's winnable is that the United States is not addressing the consumption part. It's not doing its part to reduce the market itself."

    David Gaddis, of the DEA, agrees than demand reduction is crucial, but he also points to recent arrests of major traffickers, large drug seizures and increase cooperation and intelligence sharing between Mexican and U.S. authorities. He argued that the extreme violence is the result of traffickers being threatened and cut off from their normal smuggling activities by the Mexican police and military.

    "I see it as very positive, despite the violence that's ongoing throughout Mexico," Gaddis said.

    "Desperation results in desperate acts, such as the brutality and the massacres that are ongoing. So we would expect to see continued violence for some time. But at some point, it will yield."

    Others fear that Mexico is now in a long-term spiral toward more bloodshed as the brazen traffickers lash out and fight for control. Mexico's next presidential election in 2012, they say, is critical, because it will determine whether the current level of pressure on the cartels will continue past President Calderon's administration.

    Jose Reyes Ferriz, who just completed a term as mayor of Juarez, insists the United States must fully understand that the current drug war deeply affects both sides of the border and should do more to help. "The same gangs that are in Mexico are the same gangs that distribute drugs in the United States," he said. "It is a joint problem, and (solving) the problems of Mexico prevents the problem from jumping to the United States."

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  4. #204
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    America's Third War: Texas Strikes Back
    November 18, 2010

    “I never thought that we’d be in this paramilitary type of engagement. It's a war on the border," said Captain Stacy Holland with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    Holland leads a fleet of 16 state-of-the-art helicopters that make up the aviation assets used by the Texas DPS to fight Mexican drug cartels.

    In recent years, the cartels have become bolder and more ruthless.

    They cross the border with AK-47s on their backs, wearing military camouflage. They recruit in prisons and schools on the American side. Spotters sit in duck blinds along the Rio Grande and call out the positions of the U.S. Border Patrol.

    To combat the cartels, the Texas Department of Public Safety is launching a counterinsurgency.

    Tactical strike teams send field intelligence they gather to Austin to a joint operation intelligence center, or JOIC in military terminology.

    “It certainly is a war in a sense that we’re doing what we can to protect Texans and the rest of the nation from clearly a threat that has emerged over the last several years,” said Former FBI prosecutor Steve McCraw, who runs the undeclared "war."

    And now that there is added pressure on the cartels, the drug runners are employing new techniques, known as a splash down. When the heat is on, they attempt to return to Mexico with the drugs, often times in broad daylight. And because the Texas law enforcement’s authority ends at the border -- in this case the river -- they even have time to put on their life jackets.

    “The cartels may be ruthless, they may be vicious, they may be cowardly ... but they’re not stupid,” said McCraw. “They’ll adapt their tactics and recently they’ve adapted their tactics to utilize smaller loads, cross with rafts, stolen vehicles on our side.”

    President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have recently said the Mexican border is more secure now than it has been in 20 years, but some along this border strongly disagree.

    "To suggest the southwest border is secure is ridiculous," said Holland.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Why the HELL are we fighting a war?

    Let's get some Americans and go kick some drug cartel ASS!
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    The Texas Governor is calling for the US to send troops in to Mexico today.
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the United States should consider deploying military forces into Mexico to stem the drug-related violence afflicting the border region.

    --Ten days after Florida Democrats suffered major election losses, Karen Thurman announced plans on Friday to step down after six years as state party chairwoman. ... The early front-runner for [new] chairman is Rod Smith of Gainesville, a former state senator and state attorney and running mate of Alex Sink, who narrowly lost the contest for governor to Republican Rick Scott.
    -- The state House's top budget writer said Thursday that cutting 10 days out of South Carolina's school year could save $210 million and help ease an $800 million deficit.
    -- Gov. Bob McDonnell and members of Virginia's congressional delegation will finally meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates about proposed defense cuts, including the recommended closure of the Joint Forces Command, a military installation employing more than 6,000 in Hampton Roads.
    -- North Carolina's alcohol commission on Thursday approved an exception to liquor laws to allow stores that no longer want to stock alcoholic energy drinks to secure a refund from their suppliers.
    -- A campaign volunteer for Republican U.S. Sen.-elect Rand Paul who was caught on videotape stepping on a liberal activist outside a U.S. Senate debate in Kentucky has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.
    -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's top financial adviser said Wednesday that a 16-point plan touted by Treasurer John Kennedy as a way to eliminate the state's budget shortfall is unrealistic and based on faulty figures.
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Agreed.
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Obama Pulling Almost All National Guard Off The Border By Feb [Update]


    The Obama Administration sent out notice today that he will be pulling almost all of the National Guard he deployed to the border in September 2010 off of the border by February 2011.

    One has to sit and wonder just a bit how much the midterm elections came into play with his decision to send the troops there in the first place. With an election occurring in November, National Guard troops are sent to the border 2 months before the election and then will be promptly removed 2 months later.

    It is obviously all a dog and pony show and there was no concern in the first place with securing our nation's borders. The amount of troops sent to the border was not enough to have any impact on the flood of illegal aliens, drugs and potential terrorists coming across the border. The mission given to the Guard - that of simply acting in desk jobs - also was a sign that the whole plan was ill conceived and applied.

    Sara Carter at the Washington Examiner reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry received this word from the Obama Administration.
    "In February, 2011, the Texas, New Mexico, and California National Guard forces that were deployed to the border in September, 2010, under President's Obama's Southwest Border Augmentation Plan, will have 30 days to complete a total draw down of forces."
    The troops along the Arizona border will remain and be augmented with 100 troops from those removed on other portions of the border in Texas, New Mexico and California. They will remain in their ineffective positions of support however.

    Let us just contemplate for a minute how much of a tragic failure of an operation this entire scheme was. Imagine for a minute that someone deployed you to a job you weren't familiar with in a location you weren't familiar and in office space you weren't familiar with.

    On top of this some of the people coming with you didn't arrive until October, a month after you got there. How long would it take you to get up to speed as a group? One month? Two months? I argue that they are just now becoming familiar with what they were sent there to do.

    Now they get the word that they need to start wrapping up shop.

    Congressman Ted Poe of Texas told Carter that this is probably Obama's idea of saving money.
    "It's apparently a plan the Obama administration believes will save money. We don't need fewer National Guard we need more."
    And how much exactly is this supposed to save the citizens of this country that they claim they are securing the border for?

    Well, the entire budget of the deployment was set at $135 million and slated to end in July 2011. For those who have been paying attention to other spending recently in this country lets look a little at our priorities.

    President Obama just got back from a two week sightseeing trip of India and the far east. There were some reports that his trip was costing $200 million per day (I do not believe these figures, but the trip certainly was expensive. Even at about 70% of that figure, the president spent 6 months of border security per day on his trip). Also to put this spending on defending our national security into perspective, let us not forget the $787 billion stimulus bill.

    For the price of the stimulus, those troops could have been deployed permanently along the southern border for 970+ years!

    Or double the troops for 485 years; 4 times the troops for 242 years; 10 times the troops for 97 years; 100 times the troops for just about 10 years. You get the idea.

    Yet to defend our southern border the president only allocates $135 million for a six month deployment of desk jockeying. This was all done without consulting the states in any way on what they needed. And they wonder why people claim they are not being serious about securing the border.

    Update

    Congressman Ted Poe released a statement via Facebook just after this story broke:

    "I am sending a letter to the White House today, urging against any plan being considered by the administration to begin withdrawing National Guard Troops from the U.S.-Mexico border. We need more security, not less."

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    If I am not mistaken, nearly every state has the RIGHT to put their own militia into service... the "National Guard" belongs NOT to the Federal Authorities, but to the States' governors.

    The Feds only place them on "active duty" in time of war (when they basically draft state organizations to go to Iraq for instance).

    The Texas Governor should, perhaps with some deep legal ramifications, call on his own state militia to guard his own border.....

    Just a thought.
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    This Administration will turn them over to the UN for human rights violations like they did Arizona with the MSM blocking and tackling all the way for them.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Having had job offers in TX, NM, & AZ, don't think it'd be prudent to take one given the situation at the border. It's open to potential serious threats as is.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Texas probably, Arizona maybe. Those are the only 2 with any balls to do anything about the problem.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    BORDER PATROL AGENT KILLED IN ACTION

    Report: Authorities close in on fifth suspect in desert northwest of Nogales

    Posted: Dec 15, 2010 6:41 AM CST Updated: Dec 15, 2010 3:48 PM CST

    VIDEO
    http://www.kold.com/global/Category....partnerclipid=





    Brian Terry Source: ODMP.org

    Also on the Web


    NOGALES, AZ (KOLD) - Law enforcement officials continue to search for a fifth suspect in the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent near Rio Rico.

    The Nogales International website is reporting that authorities are closing in on a suspect as of 1 p.m. Thursday:
    Police radio chatter at around 1 p.m. said the suspect, last seen heading south on foot from the Peck Canyon area in blue pants and a blue-and-white-striped shirt, had possibly been sighted on the west slope of Atascosa Peak. Shortly after the radio report, the Nogales International witnessed a Department of Homeland Security Blackhawk helicopter circling over the peak, approximately 15 miles northwest of Nogales.
    Agent Brian Terry, 40, was shot when he encountered a group of suspects Tuesday night, according to a release from the Border Patrol.

    Terry was with a team of agents in a remote desert area when a gunfight broke out with the suspects, a union leader representing the Border Patrol said.

    National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner says the agents were trying to catch suspected bandits, who target illegal immigrants for robbery.

    Four of those suspects were arrested. One is still at large, authorities said.

    Border Patrol officials and officers with the Department of Public Safety are scouring the area with K9 units in an effort to find that suspect.
    The incident happened just after 11 p.m. in the Peck Canyon area just north of Nogales.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigations is now involved in the case and is looking into the agent's death, Border Patrol spokesman Eric Cantu said.
    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Terry family for their tragic loss," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin. "Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act."

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who requested 1,200 National Guard troops for the border in May, said more must be done to ensure the safety of those who work and live near the border.

    "What additional tragedies must Southern Arizonans endure before my colleagues in Congress and the Obama administration address this crisis with the full weight of our resources? We must act and we must act now."

    Sen. John McCain, whose request for 6,000 troops was rebuffed, also called for more resources along the border.

    "The increased violence . . . demands that Congress provide the necessary resources and personnel to ensure the safety of all Americans, especially border patrol agents stationed on the border, and fulfill the Federal government's responsibility to secure our border."

    Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva called for stronger efforts to quell border violence.

    "Neither we nor our neighbors want to see the border region become more dangerous, either for civilians or the brave men and women who protect them," Grijalva said. "This crime should not deter the many peaceful efforts underway to improve the quality of life for people on both sides of the border."

    Peck Canyon is notorious for smuggling. The Tucson Weekly reported in November that the terrain makes border inforcement difficult.
    The area today is still extremely remote, largely unpopulated and federally managed. Countless smuggling trails cross the terrain, many leading into the mostly road-less Atascosas.

    (Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony) Estrada says these mountains are so rough that on some occasions, his investigators, unable to reach areas by ATV or even horseback, have had to be dropped in by helicopter. The terrain puts law enforcement in a reactive mode. "Once smugglers hit that country, you have no capability of knowing where they're going, and they have days to move a load through," says Keith Graves, who worked for 10 years as Nogales district ranger for the Coronado National Forest.

    He is now a liaison between the Forest Service and the Secure Border Initiative. "Even if they trip a sensor, there are only certain things Border Patrol can do. They usually have to wait until the smugglers come out."
    Terry is the third agent killed on duty this year. Mark Van Doren was killed in May in an auto accident in Texas, and Michael V. Gallagher was killed by a drunk driver in September on the Tohono O'odham Reservation near Casa Grande.

    Since 1919, 111 Border Patrol agents have died in the line of duty, most in vehicle accidents.

    KOLD News 13 has dispatched reporter Lauren Burgoyne to the scene.
    Stay with KOLD News and KOLD.com on your mobile phone, computer and TV for updates to this developing story.

    ©2010 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Mexican Drone Crashes In Backyard Of El Paso Home
    December 17, 2010

    A Mexican drone crashed in El Paso's Lower Valley, sparking a federal investigation and raising questions about why the aircraft was in U.S. airspace.

    "We are collecting data about the crash. We don't have the aircraft because it was returned to its owner," said Keith Holloway, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates aircraft crashes in the United States and in other countries that request its help.

    Though the U.S. is known to use drones to patrol the border, this is thought to be the first time a Mexican drone has been reported operating at the border.

    The drone crashed Tuesday on Craddock Avenue, near the intersection with Yarbrough Drive.

    Holloway said the aircraft that crossed into U.S. airspace is a mini orbiter unmanned aerial vehicle developed by the Aeronautics Defense System.

    According to the developer's website, the aircraft is designed for use in military and Homeland Security missions. It can be used for reconnaissance missions, low-intensity conflicts and urban warfare.

    Officials at the Mexican consul's office in El Paso did not call back to provide details about what kind of operation the drone was a part of, how long drones have been in use or which government agency controlled it.

    Vincent Perez, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, said, "Our office was notified about the incident today (Thursday) after we asked Department of Homeland Security about the press reports on it. We don't have all the details yet, but we expect to receive more information."

    Reyes, D-Texas, former chief of the U.S. Border Patrol-El Paso sector, is chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Perez said Reyes' staff was certain that drones were not part of the equipment earmarked for Mexico under the Merida Initiative.

    The North American Aerospace Defense Command would not comment on the incident and referred all questions to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.

    In a statement, Jenny L. Burke, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said, "We responded to a concerned citizen's call and recovered a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which belonged to the Government of Mexico (GOM).

    "We worked collaboratively with the GOM and other U.S. federal agencies to coordinate the return of the UAV to (Mexico)."

    Neither Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Border Patrol officials would say why the drone was returned to Mexico before investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board could inspect it.

    Border Patrol Agent Ramiro Cordero said only that numerous agencies were involved in returning the drone to Mexico on Wednesday.

    "It is an ongoing investigation," Cordero said.

    U.S. federal officials also would not disclose the exact address on Craddock Avenue where the crash occurred.

    Depending on the exact point of impact, the drone might have been from a third of a mile to a half-mile inside the United States.

    The El Paso Police Department was the first agency to confirm that the Mexican drone had crashed in the city.

    "I was told that it crashed in somebody's backyard, and that no one was injured. I was paged at 6:28 p.m. on Tuesday, so it happened shortly before that," El Paso police Detective Mike Baranyay said. "We were told it was not a police matter."

    Baranyay said the U.S. Border Patrol secured the aircraft, which was transported back to one of the international bridges, where it was returned to Mexican officials.

    According to www.defenseindustrydaily.com in 2009, Aeronautics Defense Systems of Yavneh, Israel, planned to sell Mexico's federal police over $22 million worth of its Skystar 300 surveillance aerostats and small Orbiter UAVs.

    "Mexico doesn't make the headlines very often, but the country faces what counter-terrorist analyst John Robb has called a growing 'open source insurgency' of narco-traffickers and some leftist groups," the website said.

    An online site that sells weapons (http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapo...r/Orbiter.html) advertises the same kind of mini UAV that crashed in the Lower Valley.

    John Concha, spokesman for the Fire Department, said emergency units were not sent to the crash site because no one was injured.

    The crash occurred after sunset on Tuesday in the yard of a house on Craddock Drive near Yarbrough and the César Chávez Border Highway.

    The homes in the former agricultural area sit on lots of one to two acres that contain large fields and tall trees.

    The neighborhood is separated from Mexico by the Rio Grande, floodlights, the 15- to 18-foot tall rust-colored border fence, a chain-link fence, a line of poles with surveillance cameras and the César Chávez Border Highway.

    Border Patrol agents are a part of daily life in the neighborhood, but residents said they were surprised to hear about the crash of a Mexican drone.

    A U.S. helicopter flew along the Rio Grande on Thursday afternoon while Bobby Garcia, accompanied by his two dogs, did yard work at his home on Craddock Avenue near Yarbrough Drive.

    "The helicopter will roam around once in a while, but nothing like that," Garcia said after hearing about the drone incident.

    Garcia lives less than a half-mile from the border.

    "I feel pretty safe, I guess," Garcia said. "If anybody crosses over, they are just making tracks to get farther north. They don't stop here."

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    159 convicts escape prison on Mexico-U.S. border

    By Robin Emmott, Reuters December 17, 2010 1:48 PM



    MEXICO CITY - At least 159 inmates escaped from a Mexican prison near the U.S. border Friday, deepening alarm in a region suffering extreme violence from rival drug gangs.

    "There were 159 inmates who apparently left through the main entrance," an employee with the city's penitentiary system told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    The break-out from the facility in the northeastern Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo — which lies just across the Rio Grande river from the city of Laredo in the U.S. state of Texas — was one of the biggest in Mexico in recent years.

    The last big escape was on September 10 in northern border city Reynosa, when 85 inmates fled.

    Between January and September, an estimated 200 prisoners have escaped from prisons in Tamaulipas state, where Nuevo Laredo is located, according to public security officials.

    The whole northern border area is the scene of a bloody struggle between two heavily armed gangs, the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, according to officials.

    Rising lawlessness as the cartels battle it out for lucrative smuggling routes into the United States, and engaging in clashes with Mexican police and military, have raised concerns on both sides of the border.

    Extra Mexican police and troops have been brought in to reinforce security at prisons.

    Officials said this week the number of deaths in Mexico's vicious four-year drug gang war has soared past 30,000, with 12,456 fatalities this year alone.

    President Felipe Calderon launched a massive military crackdown on the cartels in December 2006, and since then there has been an escalating cycle of violence.







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    South Texas Highway Crew Shot At From Mexico Side Of Border
    January 14, 2011

    Highway construction crews doing road work on a highway near the Rio Grande river border with Mexico were shot at by individuals in Mexico on Thursday, authorities said.

    "I'm having to at least suspect if nothing else that it was a scare tactic to get them out of the area," Hudspeth County Chief Deputy Mike Doyle said today.

    A total of eight shots were fired. Nobody in the road crew was hurt.

    He said the shooting took place near the border town of Ft. Hancock. That area is a hotbed of drug gang violence which has forced hundreds of people who live in the tiny towns that dot the south bank of the Rio Grande to seek sanctuary in the U.S.

    Deputies in Hudspeth County say they frequently see fires across the river, as drug gangs burn the homes of residents to clear smuggling routes.

    "That particular area where they were working, it has always been an area where we look at pretty hard for smuggling," Doyle said.

    It was in a similar area in Hudspeth County, which is the sparsely populated county just east of El Paso, that a group of men dressed in Mexican Army clothing were seen escorting a shipment of drugs across the river into the U.S. in 2006.

    Doyle says the shooting does not appear to have been an accident.

    "I can't imagine eight shots coming into their area while they were working, and someone else being the target," he said.

    He said a vehicle was seen on the Mexican side of the river after the shooting, but nobody got a good look at the gunmen.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Mexico Federal Police Take Delivery of UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopters

    Published 25 January 2011



    The United States has delivered three UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters to the government of Mexico's Federal Police; the aircraft are the first of six advanced helicopters designed to support Mexico's law enforcement operations as part of the Merida Initiative, a security cooperation agreement between the two countries.

    Tens of thousands of assault rifles and other weapons are smuggled every year from the United States to Mexico, bolstering the armies of the drug cartels and allowing them, in many cases, not only to challenge the Mexican police and military, but overpower them.

    The U.S. government is trying to redress this imbalance. The Department of State has delivered three UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters to the government of Mexico’s Federal Police (FP). Designed and manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., the aircraft are the first of six advanced helicopters designed to support Mexico’s law enforcement operations as part of the Merida Initiative, a security cooperation agreement between the two countries.

    The three UH-60M aircraft expand the Federal Police force’s existing fleet of seven UH-60L BLACK HAWK helicopters. Operational since 2008, those aircraft have become a critical law enforcement tool for disaster relief, troop transport, rescue, surveillance, and in the fight against organized crime and illegal drug trafficking across Mexico.

    Introduced into service with the U.S. Army in 2006, the UH-60M is the latest and most advanced variant of Sikorsky’s successful H-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter series. The U.S. Army took delivery of its 200th M model in mid 2010, which comes equipped with an advanced flight control system to reduce pilot workload, and an infrared camera for night operations.

    “Use of the forward looking IR sensor, and this BLACK HAWK helicopter’s superior lift range and speed will further enhance the capabilities of the Federal Police to perform their very important law enforcement mission,” said David L. Powell, Sikorsky Vice President of Sales for the Americas.

    At a Mexico City reception to recognize delivery of the UH-60M helicopters, Sergei Sikorsky, son of Igor Sikorsky, who designed the first viable helicopter in the 1930s, remarked that helicopter operations in Mexico had lived up to his father’s ardent desire that rotary wing aircraft be deployed for humanitarian purposes.

    In the summer of 1945, his father accompanied a 1945 scientific expedition to photograph the interior of Mexico’s erupting Paricutin volcano. The U.S. Army Air Corps and the Government of Mexico arranged for a Sikorsky R-6A helicopter to fly above the crater to help scientists observe the volcano’s interior during more than 100 flights at altitudes as high as 8,000 feet. It is believed the flights were the first ever by a helicopter in Mexico, and the first to conduct scientific observations of an active volcano.

    Then in early October 1955, helicopters were again deployed to Mexico, this time by the U.S. Marine Corps from aboard the light aircraft carrier USS Saipan. Their mission: to evacuate thousands of Yucatan residents stranded by flooding caused by Hurricane Janet.

    “The thousands of trapped residents whose lives were saved by the biggest helicopter rescue operation of its time was a great source of pride and pleasure to my father,” said Sergei. “I am proud to recognize the excellent work of the Mexico Federal Police to use Sikorsky helicopters for law enforcement.”

    Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in aircraft design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Arizona Sheriff Expects Armed Conflict With Cartels Soon
    Says a gun battle is all but certain within the next 30 to 60 days

    February 4, 2011

    Pinal County's sheriff is anticipating an armed conflict between his deputies and cartel members within the next 30 to 60 days.

    Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu made that prediction last week as he addressed an Ahwatukee, Ariz., Republican women's club, and reiterated it Tuesday on the heels of a speech by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asserting that border communities are safer than ever.

    A gun battle is all but certain because his deputies and members of a regional SWAT team now work routinely to stop smugglers from pushing cargo through the county, Babeu said.

    "We have had enough," he said. "That's why we're going into these areas and sending a very clear message to the cartels: We see you, and we're not going to let you through."

    An outspoken critic of U.S. immigration policy, Babeu said cartels have stepped up their tactics in Pinal County by reinforcing smuggling routes with armed guards to ward off potential bandits in addition to stationing more lookouts on high points of the landscape.

    Some bandits are impersonating police, Babeu said, and he worries that smugglers won't know the difference.

    "When we announce ourselves in Spanish, 'This is the sheriff. Drop your weapons. This is an arrest,' I pray every time they will surrender," Babeu said. "In the event that any of them decide to point their weapons at our deputies, . . . my directive is there had better be rounds going downrange to neutralize that threat."

    Babeu for months has faulted Napolitano, accusing her of downplaying border-related violence and of being "divorced from reality."

    Speaking at the University of Texas in El Paso, Napolitano said numbers show 30 percent less violent crime in border counties since the Southwest Border Initiative began in March 2009. And border apprehensions have decreased by 36 percent, she said, with increased manpower and technology as a deterrent.

    "It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control," Napolitano said. "This statement, often made only to score political points, is just plain wrong."

    But Babeu says apprehensions, drug seizures and immigration-related pursuits are on the rise in his county, about 70 miles north of the border.

    "The border is not more secure than before and this problem hasn't gone away," Babeu said.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    US troops may have to fight in Mexico

    Army of the future in transition; focus may be Mexico

    Published: Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 12:15 a.m. MST
    By Steve Fidel, Deseret News

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    SALT LAKE CITY — Insurgents the Army battles in the future may be in Mexico, not the Middle East, Army Undersecretary Joseph W. Westphal said during a Monday lecture at the University of Utah.

    "This isn't just about drugs and illegal immigrants. This is about the potential takeover of a government that's right on our border," Westphal said of the effects corruption could have in Mexico, which is already a focal point of cultural and political controversy.

    From the archive


    He said the United States would do well to pay close attention to the scarcity of civilian government involvement in military forces throughout Latin America, where he said the balance between the two "is very fragile."

    The State Department has had a travel warning in place for Mexico since September, citing ongoing violence that erupts as organized crime battles the Mexican government's effort to combat drug trafficking, and as drug traffickers have turf battles with each other.

    News reports on the proliferation of violence and instability in Mexico are characterized by the Feb. 3 headline in the Miami Herald, that asks "Is Mexico at war?"
    "As gangsters demonstrate an ample repertoire of fighting skills, it is little wonder that four years into President Felipe Calderon's battle against organized crime, many Mexicans aren't sure what to call the turmoil in their country," the Herald summarized.

    Westphal said he does not want to see "armed soldiers fighting an insurgency right on our border or just across our borders."

    Westphal's alert came in a speech to faculty and students at the U.'s Hinckley Institute of Politics about the vision for the Army beyond current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Whether the Army of the future will be as dependent on "boots on the ground" as it is now is an issue neither the Army nor the think-tanks can agree on, Westphal said.

    A high priority, he said, is achieving a more sustainable mix of deployment versus at-home time, where soldiers are with their families as they train and fill education requirements the Army has let slip during the deployment surge.
    "The combatant commander has an appetite for troops — an insatiable appetite," he said. But current conflicts have drawn support troops into combat situations, and involved troops generally in deployments that take as long as the time they are at home.

    "We're doing OK" with recruitment and retention levels, Westphal said, but he'd like to see the at-home time double the time spent on deployment.

    That deployment-to-home ratio is a significant issue in Utah, where current conflicts have meant frequent duty for Army personnel in both the Guard and Reserve.

    Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, said the ideal for reserve-component troops, who juggle military obligations with civilian jobs, would be one year of deployment in every five years of service.

    Currently, Utahns in the National Guard who work in aviation, intelligence or special forces are seeing deployments well beyond ideal levels. "That's where there are shortages Army-wide," he said.

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