Thursday, December 8, 2011



Border Patrol agent shoots, kills man near border
Associated Press | Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 5:52 pm |

A U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot a Guatemalan man near Sells
on the Tohono O'odham Nation in southern Arizona as the illegal
border-crosser allegedly attacked an agent.
Tribal police say a struggle ensued in the desert between the man and
a border agent Wednesday night.
Julia Guzman, the consul general of Guatemala in Arizona, said the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent her government a summary of
the struggle, which began as border agents encountered a group of
illegal immigrants.
Guzman said U.S. authorities reported that the 28-year-old from Rio
Hondo-Zacapa in eastern Guatemala became combative and got control of
an agent's collapsible steel baton and attacked an agent and a police
She said the man, whose identity hasn't been released by U.S.,
Guatemalan and tribal authorities, was shot once in the chest by an
Authorities tried to resuscitate the man, but he was pronounced dead
at the scene about 45 minutes after the confrontation, Guzman said.
Other immigrants, including seven from Guatemala, were taken into
custody, said Guzman, who interviewed the Guatemalans on Thursday and
added that none of them saw what led up to the shooting.
"We regret the loss of life, and we will fully cooperate with the
investigation," said Border Patrol supervisory agent Steven
Passement. He wouldn't release the agent's name and didn't have any
immediate information on the agent's background.
The Tohono O'odham Nation police and the FBI were investigating the
FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson said his agency was involved because the
case involved an assault on a federal law enforcement agent. He would
not release any information about the shooting.
Tohono O'odham police were handling the shooting investigation to
determine whether the agent was justified in killing the man.
The shooting was the latest in a series this year that have raised
tensions along the Mexico-U.S. border. Last December, Border Patrol
agent Brian A. Terry was killed in a shootout between agents and
bandits about 13 miles north of the border, near Nogales.

Read more:

New Border Patrol chief hopes to target key smuggling areas
Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Wednesday, December 7,
2011 12:00 am |

Richard Barlow
The key to uprooting smugglers from their well-established routes
through Arizona is moving forward with the strategic and focused
attack already in place, the new chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson
Sector said Tuesday.
"It has to be fueled by intelligence," said Richard Barlow, 50, who
took over as Tucson Sector chief in September after serving as deputy
chief for one year. "Understanding where the threats are, where are
the areas that pose the biggest risk to security and then developing
plans and strategies to attack those specific areas."
Barlow began his Border Patrol career 26 years ago in San Diego,
where he was born. He now oversees a sector with about 4,200 agents
that is responsible for 262 miles of U.S.-Mexico border from New
Mexico to Yuma County.
Arrests of illegal immigrants have dropped by nearly 60 percent over
the past seven years in the Tucson Sector, which has been the busiest
along the U.S.-Mexico border for illegal crossings since 1998.
Arrests in the sector accounted for 38 percent of all Southwest
border apprehensions through the first 11 months of fiscal 2011, down
from 44 percent to 47 percent from 2007 to 2009.
The downturn in illegal crossings and increase in agents allow Barlow
to better plan how to slow the sophisticated smuggling organizations
that have a lot of money and don't have to follow the rules.
"Now that the numbers are down, we have the ability to really focus
in and work on the intelligence to identify who they are and come up
with plans to disrupt their capabilities," Barlow said.
On StarNet: Read more about border-related issues in Brady McCombs'
blog, Border Boletín, at
Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or

Note: mostly because of rules of engagement, and policy. Also be
interesting to know where the concerns about "militarizing" the
border and seeing "armed troops" are coming from. One would think
that with a war going on, a military deployment is appropriate and in
fact, necessary.

Critics call Guard deployment on border wasteful
The Washington Post The Washington Post | Posted: Thursday, December
8, 2011 12:00 am |

HIDALGO, Texas - President Obama's decision last year to send 1,200
National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border may have been smart
politics, but a growing number of skeptics say the deployment is an
expensive, inefficient mission that has made little difference in
homeland security.
Critics of the deployment include budget hawks, who say it is a waste
of money, and residents here along the border, who say they are tired
of seeing armed troops in their backyards.
State Department officials worry that the domestic use of U.S. troops
increases the perception that the border is militarized, while
Chamber of Commerce boosters say the National Guard presence sends
the message that the U.S. side of the border is a dangerous place,
though it is not. Crime statistics show that the border is among the
safer regions in the country.
Most of the criticism of the deployment focuses on its costs and
benefits. The 1,200 National Guard troops have helped Border Patrol
agents apprehend 25,514 illegal immigrants at a cost of $160 million
- or $6,271 for each person caught.
"As a mayor, I am not going to say we don't want more security. But
as a taxpayer? I would say something different," said John David
Franz, mayor of Hidalgo, in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.
Proponents of the mission stress that the guardsmen deter drug
smugglers and illegal immigrants, a role that is impossible to
measure in dollars.
Under pressure from governors in the southwestern border states,
Obama ordered the deployment, dubbed Operation Phalanx, in July 2010
during a federal showdown in Arizona over a new law targeting illegal
Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, also pushed the
president to deploy the Guard, saying they feared spillover violence
from Mexican drug cartels.
While citizens might imagine the National Guard patrolling the muddy
cane breaks along the Rio Grande in search of drug cartel incursions,
many of the troops instead serve as stationary observers, a kind of
neighborhood watch with M-16s, often perched 30 feet in the air in
portable watchtowers the size of phone booths. Other troops work the
telephones and computers in back offices.
According to rules of engagement set by the Pentagon, Guard troops
are not allowed to pursue, confront or detain suspects, including
illegal immigrants, or investigate crimes, make arrests, stop and
search vehicles, or seize drugs. Nor do they check Mexico-bound
vehicles for bulk cash or smuggled weapons headed to the drug cartels.
"We are the eyes and ears, mainly. We do not have a law enforcement
role," said Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, head of the Arizona National
Guard, who said that his 560 soldiers in Arizona mostly act as an
"entry identification team," watching the border fence.
The National Guard is working the border at a time when apprehensions
of illegal crossers have fallen to historic lows and the number of
Border Patrol agents has soared.
There are now 18,152 Border Patrol agents stationed along the
Southwestern border, up from 9,100 in 2001.
Apprehensions of illegal crossers have fallen by two-thirds, from a
high of 1.6 million arrests in 2000 to 447,731 last year. This year's
tally is expected to be lower still, reaching levels not seen since
the early 1970s.

Read more:

Matan a cuatro en Salvador Alvarado y Culiacán
Jueves 08 de diciembre de 2011

Calcinado en Culiacán. Los rastros de la barbarie

Cuatro personas fueron encontradas muertas a balazos en los
municipios de Salvador Alvarado y Culiacán, una de ellas calcinada,
de acuerdo con los primeros reportes de la Policía Ministerial del

En las cercanías del poblado La escalera, en Salvador Alvarado, había
tres cadáveres que no han sido identificados. Las víctimas tenían
lesiones de bala y dos de ellas un torniquete en el cuello.

Los cadáveres estaban a cerca de dos kilómetros de la carretera La

En Culiacán, alrededor del campestre San Jorge, en el sector norte,
fue hallado sin vida Gilberto Mirales Osuna, de 19 años, quien se
estaba desaparecido desde el martes pasado y fue quemado por los
homicidas. Sus familiares lo identificaron, luego de que desde este
miércoles empezaron a buscarlo.

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