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, October 22, 2012
Drug Smugglers Are Driving Across the Arizona Border in Broad Daylight
...With the election looming, voters needs to hear the truth at a time when Washington is spinning the nation into believing that the mission of securing the border has been accomplished. Nothing to see here, folks -- we've got this under control. Not even close, says rancher John Ladd. His San Jose Ranch sits right on the Arizona-Mexico line, ten and a half miles of land stretching from the town of Naco west toward the San Pedro River. Border Patrol has three camera towers on his property, an eye-in-the-sky Cyclops, and sensors hidden in the desert shrubs that activate when smugglers pass. A pedestrian fence (pictured below) blocks the entire ten and a half miles. None of these security measures have worked. Since the end of February, Ladd has had at least nine drug drive-throughs across his land involving 21 trucks. The smugglers cut the mesh border fence and pull it down, then ramp over the vehicle barrier just inside it. In most cases they tack-weld the fence back up and brush out tracks to disguise the incursion. Eight of these episodes occurred in broad daylight, and in two of them the smugglers passed within 50 feet of a camera tower. The ninth happened near dusk on Friday, September 28. The smugglers cut open a nine-foot-wide portion of the fence and pulled it back, leaving a hole wide enough to accommodate three trucks, including a Suburban and a Tahoe. This is the border that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says is as secure as it has ever been. Over and over she reminds us that crossings have dropped to their lowest level since the Nixon years. Fair enough; folks I talk to every day confirm that the number of workers crossing has plummeted. The lousy economy here is one reason, the robust Mexican economy another. But there's a third explanation: workers are afraid to cross land in northern Mexico controlled by drug gangsters...more