AZ Militia's first armed patrol set for today


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AZTOY
January 4, 2003, 03:38 PM
AZ Militia's first armed patrol set for today


Mayors predict border action will attract few
By Ignacio Ibarra and Tim Steller
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Bisbee militia leader Chris Simcox says he is set today to launch the first patrols along the border with members of his Civil Homeland Defense group.

Simcox has said he plans to have groups of armed citizens patrolling three areas of the Arizona-Mexico line, though he wouldn't specify the sites. A second patrol, to be put on for the news media, is scheduled for Sunday.

Simcox's critics in Cochise County question whether he will be able to muster more than a few people. Mayors Dusty Escapule of Tombstone and Ray Borane of Douglas both said Friday that the press coverage of Simcox's fledgling group has far outpaced its significance.

"All they've done is talk. The talk has created enough attention," Escapule said.

But Borane views the group as menacing enough to warrant a letter he sent this week to Simcox, in which he said, "You have sounded a call to arms much greater than the few militiamen you have gathered."

He asked Simcox not to go on with the patrols, so as not to escalate tensions with the illegal border crossers and others.

Borane said he has yet to hear back from Simcox himself, but on Friday he was inundated by calls from U.S. and Mexican reporters about the letter, which Simcox had told them was a threat.

"That's my whole point. He likes the attention of the press, and in order to justify the continued attention he has to ratchet up each event in order to keep the attention on himself," Borane said.

Simcox did not return repeated calls from Arizona Daily Star reporters Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, he held a training session for Civil Homeland Defense that was attended by more reporters - who numbered four - than volunteers.

The opening of Simcox's campaign comes at a time when the number of border-crossers evident on Mexico's side of the border is very low.

In Agua Prieta, across the border from Douglas, employees at several hotels said their business, including would-be-illegal entrants, was nearly
non-existent because of the Christmas holiday. But they also said business should pick up after Jan. 6.

Civil Homeland Defense is known to border-crossers such as German Vasquez. He said he has been stuck in Agua Prieta for six months as he tries to get back to his wife, son and job in Southern California.

Vasquez said he has heard of Simcox, and he has encountered the original civilian patrollers of Cochise County, Roger and Don Barnett. But Vasquez said the real deterrent is the U.S. Border Patrol, not the four citizens' groups who have launched efforts at patrolling the border.

"They don't scare me. I've been crossing a long time, and it's always been dangerous to cross," Vasquez said. "I was detained by those two ranchers, the Barnetts, last year. They had guns and dogs. They were intimidating, but they did not get violent or abusive."

Vasquez said he and the others in the group were eventually let go when the Border Patrol did not arrive to pick them up.

Don Barnett, of Bisbee, said Vasquez must be mistaken. He and his brother detained more than 2,300 border-crossers on their ranch east of Douglas last year and would never release a group of illegal entrants caught trespassing, he said.

"It must have been someone else," said Barnett.

While some criticize Simcox for his media-oriented effort, Roger Barnett credits him with rejuvenating the citizens' patrol movement he and his brother began in 1999.

"He brought it back out to national attention," Barnett said.


* Contact reporter Ignacio Ibarra at (520) 432-2766 or at nacho@primenet.com.
* Contact reporter Tim Steller at 434-4086 or at steller@azstarnet.com.


http://www.azstarnet.com/border/30104BORDERMILITIA2fjco2fgec.html:uhoh:

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BudS
January 4, 2003, 09:35 PM
And this oughta be implemented all along our borders, everywhere! THEN, maybe our politicians :rolleyes: MAY get a clue to our distaste!:cuss:

Rant ends....

Gordon
January 4, 2003, 09:59 PM
Come on back you armed snow birds lets get up a convoy!:D

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