The following commentary was penned by Ed Ashurst of Apache, Arizona:
I believe story telling to be an art form, certainly verbal record is the oldest form of recording history and recognized by historians worldwide. There is an old adage among those who love to tell a good tale, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” And yet there are times when the truth is even more fantastic than exaggeration. What I write here is the truth, plain and simple.
I reside on, and manage a large cattle ranch in the far southeastern corner of Arizona. I’ve been here for 13 years and in that time frame have become far too familiar with the illegal trafficking in human beings, marijuana and other illicit drugs. Some have called it “the wetback culture” or “America’s border problem”. Lately it’s been taking steroids.
The recent murder of Robert Krentz by an illegal alien has received massive amounts of publicity worldwide. I live on the ranch bordering the Krentz ranch to the east and north. I can see the Krentz home looking out of my front door approximately 10 miles away. The day after Rob’s death I was involved in tracking the outlaw into Mexico. I saw the outlaw’s footprints where he crossed the border fence. I mention this to say I feel that I’m qualified to speak about current border issues.
My home has been broken into twice. My son’s home has been broken into also and between us we have had between twenty and thirty thousand dollars worth of stuff stolen from us including two ranch pick-ups, a four wheeler, 9 firearms (including a loaded AK 47) cash, jewelry all of our credit cards, driver’s license, etc. A guest house here on the ranch has been broken into so many times we quit counting… many times we haven’t even called the Sheriff’s dept. The Cochise County Sheriff’s dept. has no less than fifteen reports on file where I’ve called for assistance dealing with an outlaw illegal alien.
Several months ago, not long after Rob Krentz’s death, Fox news (channel 10 in Phoenix AZ) contacted me and expressed interest in coming down and doing a news story about me and the problems myself and other ranchers in this area have had in recent months with illegal outlaws. To prepare for my interview with Fox, I asked for assistance from six other neighboring ranchers and businessmen. All of these men are prominent men in the community, tax payers, business owners and individuals who have the best of reputations. Together we made a map of the area which covered from the southeastern corner of AZ going west about 20 miles to the silver creek area, and going north about 30 miles to the area around the towns of Portal, AZ and Rodeo, N.M. On this map we made marks recording violations to United States law committed by illegal aliens. We did not use government statistics (we wouldn’t know how to get them) but recorded incidents that we knew had happened first hand, many of which we had witnessed. We tried to record only the incidents that have happened in the last several years.
- The sum total of what we recorded is this:
- The arrest or capture of 40 illegal in one bunch – 40
(we didn’t bother with the countless smaller groups)
- Loads of Marijuana found and captured – 213
- Dangerous encounters with illegal aliens – 132
(assault, burglaries, forced entries, etc.)
- Dead illegal aliens found by civilians – 16
- High speed vehicle chases between dope haulers and law enforcement – 14
- Illegal aliens spotted with firearms – 12
- Fires started by illegal aliens – 9
Over 100,000 acres burned with the cost to taxpayers of $ 40,000,000. One fire near Portal AZ in June of 2010 cost $10,000,000. to fight (forest Service estimate)
- Outlandish incidents – 4
Example: One bachelor in the Portal area was burglarized around 100 times. He finally took all his valuables and put them in a steel vault and welded the door shut. He then moved out of his house into a shed hoping the illegal aliens would leave him alone. They did not and he finally abandoned his property. Another outlandish event was when outlaws stole a brand new Caterpillar motor grader on the Geronimo Trail east of Douglas, AZ and drove south through the border fence never to be seen again. The grader belonged to Cochise County Hwy Dept.
- Financial losses to private sector - $100,000,000.00
(losses in real estate value, personal property, etc., losses in wildlife habitat – immeasurable)
Last but certainly not least, the murder of Rob Krentz, which is right in the center of our map.
Let me put this in perspective. The area I’m talking about is an area that covers approximately 17 or 18 townships with only 20 miles being adjacent to the US – Mexico Boundary. Within this area, there is a population of perhaps 600 people, 90% of which reside in Rodeo, N.M. or Portal, AZ, 30 miles or so north of Mexico. No less than 80% of the people in this area have been burglarized or otherwise molested by illegal aliens. This area is about half as big as the Diamond A ranch or Babbitt ranch in northern AZ, both of which I’ve been employed on.
I’m sorry to report that this, in my opinion, is the small part of the story. The Mexican-American border has taken a dramatic change for the worse in the last several years. Those of us who live here see it first hand. As early as February of 1999 Sheriff Larry Dever warned me and others at a town hall meeting at the Apache School that the Sinaloa Cartel was moving into the Douglas-Agua Prieta area (Rob Krentz was at this meeting). The cities of Nuevo Laredo, Coahila, Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua, and other border towns south of Texas have been controlled by outlaws for years. There is virtually no law enforcement in those places. The law is the law of the jungle. Until the last two years it seemed that Agua Prieta and Nogales were safer places but that has dramatically changed in recent months.
I am personally acquainted with 2 Mexican men, that I know to be honest and trustworthy, who have been involved first hand with Mexican outlaw terrorist acts. One witnessed first hand an execution of several people in broad daylight in Juarez. Several weeks later his daughter witnessed an assassination in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua no more than fifteen feet from where she stood. The other man is a legal Mexican green card holder (who was employed by the Krentz family for years) whose nephew was murdered by cartel members in Sonora. At night people in Douglas are hearing machine gun fire from Agua Prieta south of the border fence.
The Sinaloa Cartel is now putting a stranglehold on Agua Prieta. No more than 2 months ago 8 armed Mexicans were confronted by 2, U.S. Border Patrol agents north of the International Boundary in southeast Cochise County disguised as Federalizes. They were in fact cartel employees armed with assault rifles and automatic pistols. Mexican people that know tell me the situation in Agua Prieta has deteriorated dramatically in recent months. The good people are told to look the other way “or else.” Volumes could be written about this subject alone, but I will move on.
You could ask, “So what does this have to do with us living north of the border fence?” Plenty! The situation on the border isn’t just about a few workers walking north. It has everything to do with big business. Billions of dollars are being made trafficking humans, drugs, and contraband across the International Boundary. The Sinaloa Cartel, headed by Chapo Guzman and others, is reaping huge profits doing business along the border. The average coyote charges $1500 - $2500 to guide an illegal alien north to find work; usually abandoning them a short distance north of the line. A young man willing to pack dope north can make more than a construction worker or a teacher in the U.S. and only work a day or two a week.
This is not all south of the line. I could take you and show you businesses where checks and credit cards are not accepted and where very few customers walk through the door, yet the owners live in the largest mansions in town and drive very expensive cars. Could there be some money laundering going on? There are only two industries of any significance in Douglas, AZ: law enforcement (Douglas has one of the largest Border Patrol stations in America), and the illegal trafficking of drugs, people, etc. across the border. These two industries feed on each other, and the powers that be seem happy with the situation. Crooked politicians look good to the public when they clean up drunk driving and prostitution, until you find they own bars and whore houses south of the line. These things have happened!
But this, in my opinion, is only the beginning. Chapo Guzman who heads up the Sinaloa Cartel is a multibillionaire. This guy and others like him may be cruel and sinister people but they are also very smart businessmen. They are reaping profits off of the largest tax free unregulated business on the planet. They have so much cash they are befuddled what to do with it all. But they are going to figure it out.
There are rumors that Guzman is financing modern, state of the art feedlots and packing houses in Mexico with plans to overtake America as the Western hemisphere’s leading beef producer. This is probably only a small part of his plans. Mexico is a nation rich in natural resources. Petroleum is abundant and the corrupt Mexican government is in control of all of it. Pemex is the only gas station in town. Pemex, because of the incompetent Mexican government, is broke. Chapo Guzman is at war with the Mexican government and has dreams (not unrealistic) of controlling the entire nation. Think of all of Mexico’s natural resources in the control of Chapo Guzman! He already has the most profitable business in the world - selling Marijuana to your next door neighbor. Think what he could do with a tax free unregulated strangle hold on a nation of poor people begging to work for practically nothing.
Do you think that Chapo Guzman and others like him haven’t thought of all of this? Do you think that Guzman isn’t laughing all the way to the bank as he watches the evening news and hears how the American Government proclaims that the situation on the border is under control? What is going on in northern Mexico is capitalism in its rawest form. They have an untaxed unregulated business making huge profits and they have no plans of closing up shop any time soon. We here in the U.S. are overtaxed, over-regulated and being smothered by increasingly intrusive government that makes it hard to do business in a successful manner. You don’t have to be rocket scientist to figure this one out.
This has nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat or Latino or White. It has everything to do with being right or wrong. I came from a long line of Democrats. My great uncle was a U.S. Senator for several decades. My grandfather was an attorney, and a Superior Court Judge. I have a 1939 copy of a Time Magazine with his picture when he ran as a Democrat for Congress. The only time in history the U.S deficit was paid off was by a Democrat – Andrew Jackson. John Kennedy announced nearly 50 years ago that America could put a man on the moon and in less than a decade we did it.
I am now a registered Republican, but I’m not a Democrat hater. But, how can the president of the “can do” nation of Andrew Jackson’s and JFK’s party say we can’t seal the border? We conquered Adolph Hitler in World War II, but can’t seal the border? We put a man on the moon but can’t seal a leaking oil well in less than 90 days? While this is going on we tax and regulate American business with a vengeance that stifles the free market system that has made our country great. While Janet Napolitano announces the border is safer than ever, Chapo Guzman and others pack billions of American dollars south to invest in a tax free market with one of the largest cheap labor force on the planet at his disposal!
I challenge you to come to Douglas, AZ and drive east on the Geronimo Trail, or northeast on US Hwy 80 to places on the map like Chiracahua and Apache. Or go to Rodeo and Hatchita, NM. Go and search out the 5 biggest cattle ranches in the Apache, AZ area and ask them what they think. Go to Hidalgo County, N.M. and ask the ranchers and cowboys there what they are seeing and hearing. Ask the people who we do business with what they think of our opinions. I challenge you to ask the prominent people in this area, who work hard and pay taxes if they agree with Barack Obama or Ed Ashurst when it comes to what is really going on near the U.S.-Mexican border. Unlike Obama and others I don’t have to be surrounded by sycophants to make a statement. I purposefully left out the names of those who helped me with my map and the data I collected when preparing for the Fox interview.
In closing I challenge you to look around to see if what I say is the truth. This isn’t about a few Mexicans wandering around looking for a job. This is about American civilization going into a time of tremendous change – a building has foundations and walls, maybe the foundation of our country is still strong, I don’t know, but the walls have certainly fallen down and the keepers of the house are out to lunch.
July 25, 2010
Ed Ashurst, Apache Arizona