Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Shadow Wolves": A Tale of the Border

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times describes a unit of Indian trackers employed by the government to patrol the border with Mexico, which is currently being used as a highway for smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants, in the vicinity of the Tohono O'odham Nation. From the article:
When the U.S. Border Patrol clamped down on crossings in an area east of the reservation five years ago, smuggling rings moved their routes to the forbidding 60-mile backcountry corridor that crosses Tohono O'odham lands. Two billion dollars worth of marijuana, cocaine and heroin have moved through the reservation since then, according to ICE estimates.

The Shadow Wolves use GPS locaters, high-powered radios and other modern tools, but it is their tracking skills and their feel for the hidden box canyons, caves and seasonal watering holes that make them formidable counter-narcotics agents.
The article is revealing mainly for what is left in the background--the failure of the government's war on drugs, and the difficulties facing this country's American Indian population, who are now facing some of the fallout from that war.
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