Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ranchers report smuggler scouts on the border area hilltops

One of the more interesting aspects of the battle to secure our borders is the tactics of the drug and people smugglers operating across the line. I have talked to many ranchers who run cattle near the border and on the cartel smuggling corridors on US public lands north of the border to the outskirts of Tucson. I hear the same story over and over….the smugglers have scouts all over the place on tops of hills and mountains watching what is going on and communicating with the coyotes down in the canyons when to move and when to hide from the Border Patrol. The smugglers are avoiding roads and staying in canyons and washes where the Border Patrol can only go on foot or on horseback. The BP is mostly concentrated in vehicles on the road system. Aid workers looking to assist undocumented entrants in trouble confirm the road avoidance strategy of illegal entrants and smugglers. The cowboys are seeing the scouts constantly. According to the ranchers, the scouts are camping on this high points for days at a time. The cowboys are trying to avoid getting in the crossfire between the smugglers, bandits and others running around the back country with guns. They see the scouts, they go the other way. One rancher, whose family has been down here since the 1850’s, described the situation is being similar to the Apache War…with the smuggler scouts using the exact same observation sites the Apaches did 150 years ago...more

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