CAPS Sometimes they come out of the shadows to tell their stories. They are the American citizens who live on or near our Mexican border. Their stories reveal that the U.S. side of these areas is no longer under U.S. control.
Last fall I spoke with a woman who lives in one of these areas. She told me that the Mexican drug cartels do what they please, moving back and forth across the border. This woman and her American neighbors live in a climate of fear. They firmly believe, she told me, that it would do no good to report cartel activities to American authorities, and that doing so would only endanger her and her neighbors.
Another story told to me firsthand comes from two brothers in Arizona, both ranchers. A few years back they took a journalist to the border so he could report on what was going on. He got an experience far beyond his expectations. As the American trio stood at the border, a squad of men in Mexican military uniforms approached and – with no provocation – began shooting at them. One of the brothers, a former Marine, returned fire, as he and the other two jumped into his truck and raced off in fear for their lives.
As they looked back, the uniformed men crossed into the U.S. in a vehicle and began chasing them. Mounted on the vehicle was a 50 caliber machine gun. Finally, the Americans outdistanced their pursuers. Later they reported the incident to federal authorities who had little sympathy for what they had been through, or interest in doing anything about it.