Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, March 07, 2016
NM ranchers outraged by lack of security at border
The story goes like this:
A ranch hand working in New Mexico’s Bootheel stumbles upon men and two or three vehicles stranded in remote cattle country. They turn out to be drug runners from Mexico who take him hostage, load his vehicle with narcotics and force him to drive to Willcox, Ariz., where they leave him alive but warn him not to go to the police. The story goes like this:
That alleged incident and a host of recent break-ins have ranchers across Hidalgo County and in southeastern Arizona outraged about what they say is a decline in border security. The cattle growers associations of both states are hosting a meeting this week in the tiny town of Animas to air their grievances to elected officials – including pleas for more boots on the ground – and they expect to draw a crowd.
The Bootheel’s rugged terrain of ridges and arroyos, sparse roads and sprawling desert has historically presented challenges for law enforcement charged with keeping the region safe, particularly from illegal traffic coming from Mexico. It’s a corridor favored by traffickers moving dope north to the drug-hungry U.S. market. The ranch hand was working for Elbrock Water Systems on the Gray Ranch on Dec. 7 when he was allegedly hij acked by drug runners, according to Tricia Elbrock, who co-owns the Animas-based company that provides well and septic services from Tucson to El Paso. The Elbrocks, their employees and law enforcement searched for him all night before he called from Willcox before noon the next day, she said.
“They kidnapped him, tied him up, threw all our tools out and fittings and loaded our company vehicle with all the drugs,” Elbrock said. “They waited till dark to leave the ranch. They needed him to help guide them through to the highway.”
On the phone, Elbrock gasped back a sob as she said: “This is still pretty raw. We got him back safe. They did rough him up, but we got him back. It’s a mess. I don’t know what to tell you. We have got to have help down here.”...more