Friday, August 06, 2010

The Violent New Face of Border Smuggling

Border Patrol Agent Jose Morales has patrolled the same stretch of no-man’s-land in his unmarked SUV between Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, Calif., hundreds of times. But the world seemed to stop around 9 a.m. one morning last month when a dispatcher broke through the radio chatter with a solemn announcement, “Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas, you will never be forgotten.” That morning―July 23―was the anniversary of the first on-duty death of a Border Patrol agent by gunfire in 12 years. Rosas was gunned down in a remote area some 60 miles east of San Diego by Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez, then a 16-year-old Mexican citizen who was working with others to lure the 30-year-old father of two out of his patrol vehicle to rob him. Alvarez who pleaded guilty to the agent’s murder, was sentenced in San Diego Federal Court this May as an adult to 40 years in prison. His accomplices remain at large. Chillingly, Rosas is not likely to be the last fatal victim. As the debate over securing U.S. borders heats up once again following Arizona’s controversial immigration law, one key element has been overlooked. Over the past four years there has been a significant increase in assaults against agents, primarily in the southwest sectors. Officials are concerned enough to call for a re-examination of Border Patrol tactics, in the wake of the escalating violence along the U.S.-Mexican border...more

No comments: