Hacked data reveals US Marines contract killers, hunting migrants on the border
By Brenda Norrell
Updated Sunday, June 26, 2011, 10 pm: Assaults on migrants
The hunting and murder of migrants by US Marines along the Arizona border was among the first facts revealed, after LulzSec hacked the Arizona Department of Public Safety on Thursday.
The data exposes the fact that Arizona law enforcement officers were aware that migrants were being hunted by off-duty Marines patrolling the border with assault weapons. The information was in a report for the month of October, 2008, by Arizona's HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Investigative Support Center.
"In other incidents reported in October, U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered two subjects who claimed to be members of the Border Watch Group the Blue Lights based on the Caballo Loco Ranch. The subjects, armed with pistols and at least one M4 rifle, were dressed in full desert camouflage uniforms, similar to those of the United States military. They stated they were not members of the Minutemen, but paid contract employees who ‘get the job done’ and ‘were not just volunteers.’ They possessed valid United States Marine Corps identification cards."
There were more details on the assaults on migrants under the subheading, "Border Banditry and Assaults on Illegal Aliens."
"Border bandit groups continually target illegal aliens and narcotics smugglers. They rove the desert, lying-in-wait to rob or assault them. This occurs both in Mexico and after they enter the United States. The most common area in Mexico is just south of the International Boundary. In Arizona, the most common areas for this type of activity are: Green Valley; Sasabe; Arivaca; Nogales; the west desert near Casa Grande; and on the Indian Reservations. Incidents reported for October included: armed bandits in Mexico robbed illegal aliens, one of whom was shot; bandits in Arizona robbed illegal aliens, one of whom was sexually assaulted," the report states.
A large percentage of the migrants in the Arizona border region are Indigenous Peoples from Central and South America, including many Mayan women and children from Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guatemala.
Murders and rapes by the US military, Arizona law enforcement, the US Border Patrol and anti-immigration groups and other hate groups, are often ignored or concealed.
As it released the hacked data, Lulz Security said in a statement, “We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.”
“Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarrassing personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities fighting an unjust ‘war on drugs.’”
Arizona officials confirmed on Thursday that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Twitter account received a message from LulzSec, after Arpaio complained of heat from the media.
"The media has been giving me a lot of heat lately but nothing compared to tent city! You think you're hot? It's 128 degrees there today!" said Arpaio, who uses the name of RealSheriffJoe on Twitter.
Lulzsec responded, "Media? Heat? You? Chinga La Migra!" using the Spanish words for "F--k the Border Patrol."
Arpaio continued to tweet on Friday, announcing that he would be speaking to the Gun Owners of America tonight in Reno. Yesterday, after Lulzsec's tweet, Arpaio said he met yesterday with Brazilian Counsel General Jose Alfredo Garicia Lima. Arpaio said "illegal immigration" was among the topics discussed.
As the data was slowly released on Thursday night, Arizona human rights activists waited to learn more about police spying on peaceful protests by immigration and border rights activists.
One of the bulletins, tagged "SB 1070 Protests and Civil Disobedience," is from the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center.
The bulletin states that police were watching demonstrators from Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff as they prepared for civil disobedience in reaction to SB 1070 on July 26-31, 2010. However, the bulletin also points out the non-violent nature of the July 22 act of civil disobedience at the courthouse in Phoenix. It also states that counterprotesters at events thus far were non-violent.
On the subject of racial profiling, boingboing.net concludes, "Even after controlling for other explanatory factors, racial/ethnic disparities exist for warnings, repair orders, citations, arrests and seaches. Further analyses of searches and seizures illustrate that hispanic, black and native american drivers were significantly more likely to be searched compared to whites." (This report was previously made public in regards to Native Americans being racially profiled by Arizona law enforcement.)
There is also an admission about the intent of an officer for police brutality. It follows a guide to social networking sites which cautions officers not to boast about beating arrestees on Facebook, because that may be of use to defense attorneys, according to boingboing.net.
One of the notable postings introduced to the jury was that the officer watched the movie "Training Day" (a motion picture that displayed corrupt police behavior and brutality) to brush up on "proper police procedure." One of his postings said, "If he wanted to tune him up some, he should have delayed cuffing him." In another he added, "If you were going to hit a cuffed suspect, at least get your money's worth 'cause now he's going to get disciplined for a relatively light punch."
Meanwhile in Arizona, O’odham and other Native Americans continue to call for an end to the militarization of the border and their homelands. Indigenous rights activists continue to document the abuses of the US Border Patrol in their homelands, from California to Texas.
In Arizona, border rights activists continue to search the Sonoran Desert for those dying and dead, and battle for the right to legally give water to dying migrants on the Tohono O’odham Nation.
While the United States provides media spin to avoid responsibility for the drug war in Mexico, the fact is there would be no drug war without the appetite for illegal drugs in the US.
Recently it was also revealed that the weapons used in the violent drug war come not just from illegal weapons trafficking in the US, but also from the ATF. ATF agents revealed that they were ordered to let weapons “walk” across the border into Mexico, supposedly in sting operations. Ultimately those ATF weapons, in at least two cases, were used to kill US federal agents.
Further, the US has not fully disclosed its role in training members of the Zetas who were initially US Special Forces trained in the US.
In related news, the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed that a neo-Nazi accused of making illegal explosive devices apparently was interested in supplying those munitions to anti-immigration groups patrolling the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona, according to court documents.
Jeffery Harbin, a member of the white supremacist National Socialist Movement, was allegedly building homemade grenades and pipe bombs at home. A federal grand jury indicted Harbin, 28, of Apache Junction, Ariz., on three counts of possessing explosive devices in January.
One area heavily patrolled by anti-immigration and other hate groups, and a site of their camps, is along the eastern boundary line of the Tohono O'odham Nation, between Three Points and Sasabe.
In this video, released in 2010, the militia in camouflage are shown hunting for migrants with assault weapons on the Arizona border: