East Arizona, Part 15
The term "Naco" is from the Opata language
and means prickly pear fruit. The local Indians are of two groups:
The Opata and the Pima. The Catholic missionaries detailed the
local demographics in the text Orinoco Ilustrado by a
Father Johann Nentvig in which reported the comments of Father
Gumilla. In that work Gumilla describes the Opata: "Their
nature is based upon four traits, each more despicable than the
one that follows -- Ignorance, Ingratitude, Inconstancy, and Laziness."
The locals can be forgiven because they were
/ are the prey of the Apaches just to the north. Considering their
history as being one of merely sheep to the slaughter would not
be too unkind. Today, some psychologist on a million dollar government
research grant might instead call them "passive aggressive."
front of the United States Border Patrol Station at Naco is about
the size of a Wendy's or Arby's restaurant.
As with Boeing's contract for the "Secure"
Border Initiative, cameras are alive and looking east and west.
That we have no one to catch the smugglers and no place to put
them if we did, seems not the point of SBI.
As we approach the border at Naco we are warned
that the citizens of Mexico do not enjoy any Second Amendment
Rights and that guns are illegal in Mexico.
Since the border area just to the south of us
is being patrolled by the Mexican Army in real live fully armed
tanks and the drug cartels are fighting pitched gun battles everywhere
from Juarez to Nogales and even to distant Tijuana where the border
touches the Pacific Ocean, any firearm you could possibly fit
inside your vehicle would be far too small to offer you any effective
A Potemkin Border exists at Naco. To each side
of the less than inspiring port of entry the border is reinforced
with steel plate. This reinforcement only extends about half a
mile east and west of the port of entry.
The federal authorities in Washington seem to
operate on the logic that people can be trapped on an escalator
by turning it off. Walking a few feet to either side of the steel
reinforcement would be .. cheating!