May 22, 2011

U.S. - Mexico Border: Turmoil in Hudspeth, Texas: Border violence, cartel violence ongoing problems for residents of 'twilight zone'

Turmoil in Hudspeth: Border violence, cartel violence ongoing problems for residents of 'twilight zone' - El Paso Times: "Jim Ed Miller grows Pima cotton and other crops on his family farm near Fort Hancock in what he calls 'almost America.'

Almost America, according to Miller, is a forsaken area in southern Hudspeth and El Paso counties. It is bordered on the south by Mexico and on the north, east and west by a ring of U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints.

The land has a rugged, prickly beauty. It is populated by cranes, Mexican burrowing owls, coyotes and myriad other desert creatures. But it is the two-legged mammals -- illegal border crossers and uniformed U.S. Border Patrol agents -- that give Miller heartburn. ...

The fact that the drug trade is immensely profitable makes problems inevitable, Miller said. He has analyzed the situation at length and believes there is a solution.

"If we legalize it, you take all the profit out of it," Miller said. He knows there is culturally ingrained resistance to such action. "But it wasn't a hippie that invented marijuana," he said, "and it wasn't a redneck that invented corn whiskey."

Terry Rose also farms cotton around Fort Hancock. He identifies himself as a conservative. Rose also supports legalization.

"The drug cartels already have invaded this country," Rose said, pointing to steady supply lines and healthy retail sales. "And along with it comes the violence.""

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