The Obama administration has expanded its financing of Mexican and Central American military forces—many of whom committed the mass killing and torture of political opponents and indigenous communities only two decades prior.
While southern Arizona continues to be ground zero for the most extreme measures of border militarization today, it is also home to powerful nodes of civil resistance. On December 8, local residents from Arivaca and the surrounding area held their first protest at a Border Patrol checkpoint—one out of about a dozen located throughout the region. I documented the event in the video posted below.
The pathway to citizenship outlined in the Senate's immigration reform bill would benefit a great number of people, but before those provisions can come into effect, certain border security triggers must first be met. NACLA’s Border Wars writer Todd Miller was interviewed on Berkley’s KPFA about the potential consequences of further border militarization.
On the Texas border with Mexico, the isolated and beautiful Big Bend National Park is unique. Without many Border Patrol agents, it defies the notion that border policing is an enduring part of this landscape. At the same time, it upholds the fundamental inequalities of national border and immigration policy.
A recent visit to Nogales, Arizona, and to the U.S. Border Patrol station there—the country's largest—brings home the dramatic transformation of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands over the last couple of decades. It also illustrates how U.S. authorities are envisioning and laying the groundwork for a "war" without end against what they construct as an endless supply of threats emanating from the Mexican side of the international divide.
On February 26, I was driving with a friend in an isolated region of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico when we saw a military tank positioned to be pointed toward the south. A lot has been said, written, and documented about the degree and ongoing process of border militarization, but I had never seen anything like this. This wasn't any old tank, it was a Stryker—used extensively in both Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. military.