Mexican Drug Cartels Control Parts of Arizona


July 6, 2010 by esarsea

The following was reprinted with the express written consent of Roger Hedgecock. The article originally appeared on the Human Events blog. Roger Hedgecock is a nationally-syndicated radio talk host on the Radio America network. Visit for more information.


By Roger Hedgecock

The United States is ceding parts of Arizona to the Mexican drug cartels. So says Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu.

In a press conference ignored by the American national media, the sheriff described how his deputies were outmanned and outgunned by the cartel smugglers who increasingly operate using military tactics and weapons. The result, said Sheriff Babeu, was that a wide corridor of Arizona from the border North to the outskirts of Phoenix is effectively controlled by the cartels. “We do not have control of this area,” the sheriff said.

At the same time as the sheriff’s ignored press conference, the national media did cover assurances from the Obama Administration that crime was down at the border; that the border had never been safer. This ludicrous propaganda was based on selected crime stats from San Diego, Phoenix, Austin and San Antonio. The new reign of terror on the border in Arizona was airbrushed out of the picture.

Here’s the real picture Obama does not want you to see. Warning signs were posted this past month by the federal government 80 miles North of the border on the South side of I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend urging U.S. citizens not to camp or hike in the “Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area” because “Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals.” Here is a picture of one of those signs:

Click on photo to view larger image

Think about it. A part of America is off limits to U.S. citizens because it is now controlled by an army of foreigners.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffers report that the 3,500 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in this area is closed to U.S. citizens as well and is “adversely affected” by cartel operations. Where’s the Sierra Club?

The border between the U.S. and Mexico is almost 2,000 miles long. According to DEA sources, nearly half of all the cocaine and illegal aliens are smuggled into the U.S. over the 365 mile long Arizona border with Mexico. There’s a war going on in Arizona which puts into perspective that state’s new immigration law and makes clear that the “boycott Arizona” effort is cartel propaganda. “Boycott” cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are siding with the cartels.

As with other recent wars, the American taxpayer seems to be funding both sides of this one. The “War on Drugs,” “Homeland Security,” the FBI, the Justice Department—all spend billions every year. On the other side, Los Zetas and other elements of the various drug gangs in Mexico are composed of former Mexican Army troops who were originally trained in military tactics and weapons at your expense, some right here in the U.S.

The only reason the cartels have not taken over all of Mexico is that they frequently fight each other in bloody largely unreported battles for control of valuable drug trafficking routes. Beheading of rival gang members and Mexican police are now routine. The latest barbarity was the grisly discovery of the skinned face of a murdered gang rival stretched over a soccer ball found in a youth soccer field.

Frequent cross border incursions into the U.S. by cartel soldiers in Mexican Army uniforms driving American-made Humvees and toting automatic weapons support an increasingly sophisticated web of smuggling routes. Patrolling sheriff deputies or lone Border Patrol officers are no match for this firepower and are ordered to fall back when confronted with the cartels’ military might.

Aerial photographs taken by American civilian pilots show cartel bulldozers improving dirt roads across the undefended border after a seasonal rain to facilitate the nightly drug runs.

Obamanites attempt to blame you for this horrific state of affairs. If it weren’t for your drug demand, all this would not be happening.

It’s like saying bank robbery is the bank’s fault for keeping so much tempting money in one place.

The border is a national security issue. Homeland Security has sent an official warning to border law enforcement agencies to watch for Somali terrorists suspected of taking advantage of the smuggling expertise of the cartels to sneak into the U.S. “The border has never been safer”?

The Obama response to growing public awareness of the realities of border violence was to loudly announce deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops to the border. At the same time, Obama officials quietly assured the Mexican government that the troops would be used only in support and clerical positions and would not be used to interdict smuggling operations.

Against this horrifying real news, the American national media continues to play the pawn to cartel propaganda. For two weeks, border news has been dominated by the shooting of a 15-year-old Mexican by a Border Patrol officer. In no “news” report of this incident is it mentioned that the “child” was a known smuggler or that the rocks thrown at the officers is a tactic used to distract officers away from an area where a smuggling operation is going down.

Sophomoric political appeals for “comprehensive immigration reform” are either ignorant of these facts of life along the border or a deliberate attempt to surrender to the cartels.

Wake up and smell the carnage, America. This ain’t about strawberry pickers rights anymore.


Related articles:

Arizona Govenor Jan Brewer Slams Administration over signs
(Fox News)
Jan Brewer Ad blasts Obama
(Huffington Post)
Recent arms siezure at AZ/Mexico border
(Slideshow – Human Events Blog)


8 thoughts on “Mexican Drug Cartels Control Parts of Arizona

  1. Mexican Drug Cartels Control Parts of Arizona…

    I found your entry interesting so I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Stu says:

    This does illustrate the depth of problems AZ is having, and helps explain why AZ passed their tough new immigration law…which the US Dept of Justice is fighting. According to this article in the LA Times, the DOJ has filed suit in AZ, “… seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Arizona from enforcing the law when it goes into effect July 29.”

    Full text here:

  3. Bill says:

    I’m very confused. A news outlet (and now I’ll have to go find the damn link) reported last week that violent crime along Arizon’s border is down, way down, causing some supporters of SB1070 to thump their chests and say,”See? This stuff really works!” and causing critics to say,”See? You’re over-reacting and don’t have facts on your side!”

    Personally, I don’t have that big of a problem with, but I’m tellin’ you, there are people on both sides of this thing that sound out of their minds.

  4. Bill says:

    PHOENIX Crime

    Here’s one quicky I just googled from The Altlanta-Journal Constitution:

    “In Phoenix, police spokesman Trent Crump said, “Despite all the hype, in every single reportable crime category, we’re significantly down.” Mr. Crump said Phoenix’s most recent data for 2010 indicated still lower crime. For the first quarter of 2010, violent crime was down 17% overall in the city, while homicides were down 38% and robberies 27%, compared with the same period in 2009.

    Arizona’s major cities all registered declines. A perceived rise in crime is one reason often cited by proponents of a new law intended to crack down on illegal immigration. The number of kidnappings reported in Phoenix, which hit 368 in 2008, was also down, though police officials didn’t have exact figures.

    Over at the libertarian Cato Institute, writer Griswold reminds readers that he’s been saying that all along.

    Meanwhile, though, a group of police officials from around the country is worried about the plans some states have to emulate Arizona’s unjust — and perhaps unconstitutional — law. They say that brutal intimidation of immigrants will cause crime to rise.”


    And, finally, this, from AZ.Central.COM

    NOGALES, Ariz. – Assistant Police Chief Roy Bermudez shakes his head and smiles when he hears politicians and pundits declaring that Mexican cartel violence is overrunning his Arizona border town.

    “We have not, thank God, witnessed any spillover violence from Mexico,” Bermudez says emphatically. “You can look at the crime stats. I think Nogales, Arizona, is one of the safest places to live in all of America.”

    FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.

    There’s much, much more at

    Like I said, I’m confused. Do I believe a radio talker who gets paid to attack the administration or the cops who are there and the FBI?

    • Stu says:

      Cops like the Pinal County Sheriff, perhaps? :-)

      Talk about confusing! I’m with you. The article you linked to above talks about violence not being up on the Arizona border, the crime rate dropping, etc. But then it adds,

      “Border Patrol presence has been backed by increases in counter-smuggling technology and intelligence, the establishment of permanent highway checkpoints and a dramatic increase in customs inspectors at U.S. ports.

      “The border is as secure now as it has ever been,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate panel last week.

      Given that level of security, Bermudez and others say, it is no wonder that cartel operatives pass through border communities as quickly as possible, avoiding conflicts and attention.

      In fact, violent-crime data suggest that violence from Mexico leapfrogs the border to smuggling hubs and destinations, where cartel members do take part in murders, home invasions and kidnappings.

      In Phoenix and Tucson, cartel-related violence is hardly new.

      In 1996, for example, Valley law-enforcement agents estimated that 40 percent of all homicides in Maricopa County were a result of conflicts involving Mexican narcotics organizations, mostly from Sinaloa state. A decade later, the Attorney General’s Office exposed a $2 billion human-smuggling business based in metro Phoenix, where criminals often assaulted illegal aliens while holding them for payment of smuggling fees. More recently, cartel-related home invasions and abductions put Phoenix among the world leaders in kidnappings.”

      Mixed messages here? Sounds like the problems are moving away from the border towns, but still present. But you’re right – it is confusing to try and sort through the different perspectives, and their motivations.

  5. Stu says:

    Speaking of which, it seems Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is now receiving death threats as a result of his outspoken support of SB1070. Some of the threats are coming from the mexican mafia and drug cartel members according to Chief Deputy Steve Henry. Story and video here:

    and here:

  6. dagoddess says:

    I find it very uncomfortable that the feds are going to sue a state for enacting a law that’s meant to help enforce federal law. Is that crazy or what?

    I still don’t understand what part of “illegal” the majority of protesters don’t get. Illegal immigrants. Not here legally. There’s crime. There’s increased strain on our resources (which don’t even begin to cover the people already here).

    People want to say this is just an Arizona issue. It’s not. California and Texas also have problems with drug running, human cargo, etc. It’s huge. HUGE.

    I’m all for people wanting to come to America to improve their lives and the lives of their families. But I don’t want to pay for them to have that privilege and not give anything back in return. I also don’t want to give criminals a free pass to wander in and out of our country harming legal citizens.

    • torqdog says:

      Not only are they going after Arizona for basically trying to enact a law that mirrors federal law due to decades of federal inaction, BUT, they also seem to turn the other way when it comes to Cities and States who blatantly thumb their noses at the feds by declaring themselves santuaries. Maybe if all the law enforcement agencies in Arizona became Black Panthers, they could then get a pass from Eric Holder and the DOJ.

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