Monday, April 12, 2010

Our Lawless Mexican Border - Wall Street Journal

A great sadness will descend over this border town today as mourners fill the local high school gym to pay their respects to Rob Krentz. Two weeks ago, the 58-year-old rancher was shot and killed by what appears to be a drug smuggler. His death has created a tidal wave of emotion—Krentz was a pillar of this community where his family has ranched land here for a century. "The sobbing and crying from people I never thought I'd see cry, it's unbelievable," local veterinarian Gary Thrasher told me. Americans who do not live along the Mexican border often assume the antipathy to illegal immigration arises from racial or cultural concerns. But talk to people on the ground, and what they fear most is the loss of personal security. They are angry that the federal government is unable to provide them with this most basic of human rights. The Krentz ranch sits along the Chiricahua Corridor, a well known smuggling route with dirt trails pounded smooth by decades of foot traffic. For years, Rob's wife, Sue, has written pleading letters to politicians, media and others, detailing how the smuggling of drugs and people has become so bad that family members feared for their lives. "It's worse than anybody knows," rancher Ed Ashurst told me. "There are outlaws roaming around with guns, and if you jack with them they'll kill you." Louie and Susan Pope, who live outside the town of Portal some 46 miles from Mexico, lock their valuables in a safe before taking morning horseback rides. They've had three break-ins. According to Susan, the one-room school in Apache where she is a teacher and bus driver has been broken into so often there's nothing left worth stealing. "Americans shouldn't have to live like this," she told me. She is Rob Krentz's sister...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not quite sure of the implications for this. The US is failing the war on Drugs. The WSJ should be a proponent for a different solution. If the integrity of their reporting doesn't improve their stock price will continue to flail. As cited by Newspaper Integrity