News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Human-smuggler industry well-organized, like cartels

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MESA — Human smugglers have built sophisticated criminal enterprises generating an estimated $2.5 billion annually through their Arizona operations alone, authorities say.

Working in league with Mexican drug cartels, human-smuggling kingpins have set up networks of drivers, warehouse operators, distribution specialists and enforcers to move their loads from northern Sonora through the Phoenix metropolitan area and to their final destinations throughout the U.S.

The smugglers, or coyotes, call the illegal immigrants pollos — chickens — human cargo without value beyond what it can bring on the open market, the East Valley Tribune reported in a series on the human-smuggling industry.

"For a while, I think there was a sense that the coyotes were sort of freedom fighters, that they were one step removed from the Humane Borders people who provide water and transportation out of the goodness of their hearts," said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, whose agency has gone after the money generated by human-smuggling rings.

"The people we are dealing with are well-organized, very well-armed, and apparently will stop at nothing to maximize their profit from human beings.

"That includes examples of severe brutality and murder. It makes the drug business look almost good by comparison."

Police and federal immigration agents on the American side of the border acknowledge they don't know much about the inner workings of the human-smuggling organizations, particularly about their upper echelons in Mexico.

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