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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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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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January 26, 2011

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Sylvia,
I attempted to send a comment on your article earlier. I decided to 'preview' it before hitting the send button, and could not retrieve it. I'll try again - but with a shorter statement than before.

You stated "...it is remarkably disturbing to me that the approach being taken is one of deflection rather than interdiction."

Based on what I am seeing in Table Top, Vekol Valley and areas farther west, two things are happening. First, the barricades may be stopping load trucks on the south side of Table Top, but the illegal immigrants continue on foot through the spider web of trails and washes. This merely adds one day (or night) of travel before reaching their pick up points.

Second, the barricades are indeed deflecting some of the traffic to the mountain ranges west of Table Top. These are areas that are even more remote and difficult to monitor or patrol. I have found trails that now cut through the Javelina Mountains west of Table Top. Tracks go in both directions, indicating these are for drug traffic rather than illegal immigrants. Farther west, human and drug smugglers are coming up through the Goldwater Air Force Range - unchallenged by law enforcement.

On successive nights in February I saw: a group of 14 illegals come through the Hot Zone of the range on their way to I-8, a drug haul truck returning to Mexico through the Hot Zone, and a group of 19 illegals on the same trail that was used the night before. I also found the tracks of another large group farther south that was not detected.

The BLM barricade program certainly is needed to prevent further damage to the Wilderness Area. Unfortunately, there are so many unmonitored alternate routes to the west that smugglers are probably unfazed by BLM's actions. Their traffic and trash has simply moved.

My personal opinion is that the Border Patrol is not nearly as effective as Napolitano claims them to be.

Thanks for your very thoughtful article on this issue.

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