East Arizona, Part 17
Another border gateway to America exists at the
larger town of Douglas, Arizona. This part of the border is quite
built up and has fully paved streets and many traffic lights.
It even has a McDonalds. In fact, it has one of the finest McDonalds
anywhere in the United States. If food gathering is on your to-do
list then stopping just shy of the Douglas Port of Entry and feasting
on real cholesterol, offered in total abundance, will
be a refreshing treat.
The town of Douglas is about one tenth the size
of the Mexican town of Agua
Prieta just to its south.
Border violence has ravaged the area unabated
for over a hundred years but it has never been as violent as it
is today. Even Agua Prieta's chief of police suddenly, spontaneously,
has just reached immortality. Yes, Police Chief Ramón Tacho
Verdugo seems to have stepped into a horizontal rain squall of
hot lead. More than 40 bullets perforated him in an ambush right
outside his Agua Prieta police headquarters. The motive is murky,
but it almost certainly involved control of the smuggling routes
into Arizona, Mexican and U.S. officials said
The remoteness of this place has, for over a
century, made it a nexus for smuggling of all kinds.
The town has fed off the smugglers by providing
food, tools, clothing, guns, whatever was needed for their dynamic
enterprise. The violence and rampant criminality has made closing
this part of the border a priority.
The townsfolk were not too happy to discover
a massive US Border Patrol station was to be built not four miles
to the north. The good news for the town is that the influx of
Border Patrol Agents has made up in large part for their loss
of smuggling business.
Just because the city of Douglas has this huge
United States Border Patrol facility bringing safety to the children
of the community does not mean that it is welcome. The
mayor of Douglas is reported by the local media as favoring
open borders and so the U.S. Border Patrol is certainly in the
While you might think of "smuggling"
as nothing but booze and maybe marijuana, the reality is that
this part of the border had trafficking in drugs, sex slaves,
and even human organs.
The Border Patrol Station at Douglas is huge
but not nearly large enough to handle the rush.