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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.


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June 14, 2010


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As one reader pointed out ... this has probably been going on for quite some time. The growing problem is the level of sophitistication and violence of the smugglers.

A couple of thoughts ...

* It sure looks like the State of Arizona should consider creating its own version of the Texas Rangers. Seems like this kind of added law enforcement could do a lot of good on the Arizona border.

* Isn't there a border fence now running across most of the Arizona/Mexico line? In which case, how are these smugglers getting goods past the fence? Are they somehow launching stuff over the top of the fence? Have they dug more tunnels? Who's really checking this out?

By the way ... as a follow-up to earlier discussion about the shooting of the teenager in El Paso. The USBP released a statement saying that their agents do have training with non-lethal weapons. It's too bad that the agent in question wasn't carrying a rifle that fires pepper balls, because it would have been a very good response against the teenagers who were pelting rocks. The pepper rifle has good accuracy out to 40-50 yards. Seems like the USBP needs to extend the equipment of the agents riding bicycles, so that they have a pepper rifle and a small ballistic shield (the rifle can go on their backs, and the shield can mount to the bicycle). Of course, these non-lethal options would be in ADDITION to the standard weapons that the agents carry.

What you suggest is nothing new, and if fact has been incorporated into the agent’s tool shed long ago, along with a host of other novel ideas to lesson the risk of a criminal becoming dead or injured, while assaulting a Federal Agent. However while in fact reducing the risk for the attacker such tools and thinking greatly increase the risk to the officer. Often, and as was the apparent case in this attack, there are multiple attackers involved in the assault, with each attacker multiplied by two for the number of hands they have. In other words if you have six (6) attackers you in fact have twelve hands which need to be kept track of, if the agent has a snowball chance in Hell of going home in one piece. At any moment any one of those 12 hands can come up with a rock that would be well placed to the head, or something other than a rock like a firearm.
Let me suggest an experiment that you can try at home with six of your friends, to better give you an idea as to what I’m attempting to explain: Instead of rocks however, I’d suggest you arm your six friends with two tennis balls each. One in each hand so that you have twelve balls in play. Mark off a distance of 20 yards or so, and practice keeping track of your six friends 12 hands and balls as they pelt you with them. If you wish, arm yourself with a small shield such as you have suggested, along with a rifle slung across your back, and see how many tennis balls (rocks) you can deflect, as compared to how many times you get struck. Oh, yeah I forgot: while your doing all this remember to keep a hold of the suspect which you already have in custody. While you are deflecting all of these soft balls, also remember to check the bushes, and any other type of concealment for the attacker which you have yet to see, but which is quite likely there.
The event in question here involved an older child, a young man of 14 or perhaps 15 years of age, which of course helped to launch the event into the media spotlight, more so than if the dead person had been of an older age. least we ever forget, it’s not these agent’s job, nor any officer’s to raise someone else’s child, nor to protect that child while they assault the officer. You stop the threat, and you stop it quickly by keeping, or by gaining control of the situation. As reported the agent (s) verbally commanded that the ‘’children’’ put the rocks down or that he (they) would fire, they apparently didn’t…and he did. By doing so he gained control of the event… and the attack ceased. Let me know how you fair in the experiment I suggested with your friends. If in fact you are above average from the pool of the general public, and you only get swatted a time of two, and your shield is still up….think out of the box and bring in six people who hate your guts and give that a whirl.

Sorry P but if these individuals are so brain dead as to take rocks to a gun fight, then society is better of with them not around. To hell with paintballs or rubber balls or hong kong made dog POOP, very simple throw rocks get shot, something tells me they won't be throwing rocks at BP Agents for awhile. As for closing off our homeland, it looks like the Mexicans are taking parts of our country without one soldier firing a shot.
There Sylvia, I editted the offensive word and replaced it with poop. I hope that word will be ok as my 5 year old nephew, and other young children use the word. If it's for anything else, I would ask that in the spirit of our first amendment, which I have risked my life to protect be given some support whether you agree or disagree with me. I can only believe my comment was pulled for one of those two reasons. .................................thank you

I don't mind handling constructive criticism, and I can take a few body blows. Here's my feedback ...

Fred - You make a very good point that multiple assailants using rocks pose a real and dangerous threat. I do agree with your argument that no shield can be effective against rocks thrown from different angles. That situation is inherently dangerous. Therefore - the moral of the story is that the USBP is going to have to suspend one-man patrols. Our agents are going to have to work together as teams always. This will cut down on the coverage out there, but the USBP does need to handle these incidents in a flexible way. Keep in mind that police have been dealing with riots and thrown rocks in cities for a long time. Of course, the answer is that the riot squad doesn't consist of one man on a bicycle. USBP is going to need to beef up their manpower for patrols.

Mauler - I'm a parent of a teenager. Let me point out that obvious fact that teenagers do STUPID things. It's just a fact of life. It doesn't matter whether they are American, Mexican, or any nationality. It's just the phase they are going through. They THINK they know what they're doing ... but really they don't comprehend the consequences. YES we do have to be tough on them when they really screw up - but if possible it shouldn't involve loss of life.

Think about how this situation would have played out if things were reversed. Suppose a group of American teenagers somehow sneaked over the border into Mexico, were goofing off and pelting rocks, and one of them was shot in the head by the Mexican Federales. There would be hell to pay in this country - the media would be all over it.

Bottom line is that we can't afford to let the US-Mexican border deteriorate to the point where it's like Israel-Palestine. We need a range of options.

None of these comments are intended in any way to be critical of the professional agents in the USBP who serve our country bravely every day - while doing a very difficult job. We all understand that there are very dangerous people trying to penetrate the US border every day. Our agents deserve a lot of appreciation for trying to stop this.

You do realize that the teenager in question was a known smuggler right? That's more than just your average teenager doing something stupid. This is a thug who got what he deserved.

i think if your seen jumping my fence, you should be shot on sight, either on the fence, or when u hit the ground. plain and simple. jump it, get killed.

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