Arizona Violence – the Untold Story
By now everyone has heard of the tragic shootings of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon, and the murder of rancher Robert Krentz. Many including Rush Limbaugh and some Arizona Republicans initially leaped to the conclusion that an undocumented immigrant was behind the shootings of the Congresswoman, until news of the arrest of the suspect, who is not an immigrant and not Latino.
Likewise, many assume the murderer of Robert Krenz on his ranch near the border must be an undocumented immigrant, though to this day this murder remains unsolved. Governor Jan Brewer often claimed headless corpses are often found in the desert, until Arizona coroners all said they had never seen a headless corpse in the desert. The murder of Robert Krenz and Brewer’s claims of headless corpses were major drivers behind Arizona’s infamous immigration law, SB1070, though overall levels of violent crime in Arizona are down, and numerous studies show undocumented immigrants have low incarceration rates. Arizona crime rates were actually dropping when illegal immigration was surging.
Much of the violence in Arizona is NOT reported by the national news media. This week, jury selection begins in the capital murder trial of three minutemen for the murders of a Mexican-American family, one of them Shawna Forde, a national director for one Minutemen group, and formerly a representative for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, which writes most of the anti-immigrant bills.
In the Minutemen case, nine year old girl Brisenia Flores pleaded for her life, but was shot to death anyway. Her father Raúl was also shot to death, but Brisenia’s mother found a gun and was able to fend off her attackers. The minutemen all claim to be patriots, but in this case another term comes to mind…domestic terrorists. The original American Minutemen were true patriots, and many must be rolling in their graves hearing what modern-day “Minutemen” are up to.
There has been NO national media coverage of this atrocity. If the victims had been white and the murderers were Muslims or Undocumented Immigrants wouldn’t we be hearing of this endlessly?
Likewise, there has been no coverage of Rio Rico and Vekol valley shootings of migrants who were not involved in drugs and weren’t robbed either. Sheriff Estrada thinks extremists are behind these shootings. Neo-Nazis also patrol the Vekol Valley, including Neo-Nazi leader J.T. Ready, a well documented friend of Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce who introduced Arizona’s immigration law.
State and local immigration laws have a way of fueling hatred and division, a pattern that has been repeated across the U.S. in countless communities. As Nebraska considers whether to import Arizona’s controversial “papers please” immigration law, do we really want to import Arizona style hatred as well?
Mid-west Regional Outreach Director