Judicial Watch • U.S. Park Visitors Warned Of Mexican Smuggling Violence

U.S. Park Visitors Warned Of Mexican Smuggling Violence

U.S. Park Visitors Warned Of Mexican Smuggling Violence

JUNE 16, 2010

In yet another solid argument for securing the southern border, American families planning to visit national parks this summer are being warned of the imminent danger created by Mexican drug and immigrant smugglers.

The violence is so severe that the federal government has posted strongly-worded signs at national parks near the border warning visitors of the risks. Many of the public lands are not located directly on the southern border but are used as pathways for traffickers—transporting drugs and illegal immigrants—en route to major metropolitan cities.

Most of the problem areas are located in southern Arizona and are annually visited by thousands of unsuspecting people. In an effort to protect the public, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has posted warnings at various parks, including the Sonoran Desert National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Coronado National Forest.

The situation has become so dire that authorities recently put up stronger warnings at several of the parks, according to a national news report. Nearly a dozen new signs have been erected at various locations in an effort to give the public a heads up on the increasingly dangerous situation. The new signs warn visitors about smuggling vehicles speeding, instruct them to walk away if they see something suspicious and avoid abandoned vehicles and backpacks because they may contain drugs stashed by smugglers.

The problem is especially critical at the Sonoran Desert National Monument, located about 80 miles south of Phoenix. The most biologically diverse of the North American deserts, the park spans nearly 500,000 acres and houses three congressionally designated wilderness areas as well as significant archeological and historic sites. It’s popular among families but also a favorite pathway for Mexican smugglers making their way into Phoenix.

A local law enforcement officer—a Pinal County sheriff deputy—was recently shot in the area during a confrontation with Mexican drug smugglers. In a separate incident just a few weeks apart, two suspected smugglers were also fatally shot in the area.

Violence is hardly the only problem infesting public parks and national monuments near the Mexican border. Every year tens of millions of pounds of trash and human waste are left behind by illegal immigrants who cross into the U.S. through federal and state parks and ruin this country’s most prized national forests, vegetation and wildlife. In one recent year American taxpayers dished out $63 million to clean up the deplorable mess in parts of Arizona and California.


 

Sign Up for Updates!


© 2010-2014 Judicial Watch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.