Border Wars: As the U.S. Military Melds With Civilian Police Agencies, the

| September 21, 2000

Border Wars: As the U.S. Military Melds With Civilian Police Agencies, the First Casualties Are Immigrants

'The death toll along California's border with Mexico has reached 567 ... all [who died] were trying to evade Operation Gatekeeper, a six-year-old blockade that has tripled the number of armed U.S. Border Patrol agents in San Diego,' writes Tim Dunn on

Dunn, the author of The Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border: Low-Intensity Conflict Doctrine Comes Home, has written a gripping exposé on the federal police force that has been condemned by both Amnesty International and U.N. Human Rights Secretary Mary Robinson.

Dunn suggests that beefing up the U.S. Border Patrol has less to do with the original intent of supporting the war on drugs than with militarization. He cites how different civilian agencies such as the sheriff's departments now use military equipment, strategies, and techniques, and how 'thousands of military troops have been deployed along the border for patrols, surveillance, and training.'

On a more positive note, the website, dedicated to demonstrating the connections between people of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United Sates, also includes a link to an article on the growing network of peace activists that are fighting against these practices. -- Sara V. Buckwitz
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