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EXCLUSIVE: Mexican Standoff

By David Codrea.

“In Mexico, where criminals are armed to the teeth…the country has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world,” NPR reports. “Law-abiding Mexicans who want a gun to defend themselves have no good options. Either they fight government red tape to get a legal permit, or they buy one on the black market.”

This is illustrated with deadly seriousness in the story of Colonia LeBaron, a community in Chihuahua founded by a sect of “breakaway” Mormons. Following kidnappings and murders of their members by cartel thugs, the community armed itself in order to provide the protection their government can’t and won’t.

In cases where there is no one to band with, individuals often just give up. I recently was a guest on Houston-based American Trigger Sports Network (ATSN.tv), and fellow panelist Barbara Crown of “The Hunting Report” (HuntingReport.com) relayed stories of how some Mexican hunts must now be conducted under the protection of armed guards, and how some ranch owners have given up hunting their own lands due to cartels appropriating their property for supply routes. The hapless ranchers must now book their own hunting excursions in regions with less conflict—assuming they don’t just flee their homes altogether.

Which brings us to the story of a man who did not surrender and relinquish what was his, who left us with an example of determination, courage and principle, and who was nonetheless doomed by his government’s failures and the reality that there are too few like him.

Don Alejo Garza Tamez, 77, was a rancher and respected businessman. A cartel wanted his property and gave him 24 hours to vacate—or else. Instead, he told the criminals he would be waiting for them, and told his workers to take the next day off.

“He dedicated the rest of Saturday to taking stock of his weapons and ammunition and creating a military fortress-style defense strategy for his home,” Borderland Beat reported.

A lifelong hunter, Don Alejo had amassed a collection of weapons, something only a man of means could afford. When the thugs drove up Sunday morning in trucks firing guns and expecting no resistance, he was waiting for them with guns at each window, returning fire with precision, forcing the astonished invaders to resort to grenades. When the smoke cleared, Don Alejo was dead. So were four of his attackers, with another two wounded and presumed dead by their fleeing associates.

That the Mexican government insists on maintaining its monopoly of violence only means they and the cartels will continue the carnage. But there are unintended consequences, as ordinary people, sick of living in fear, are beginning to fight back—desperately, and at times adopting the terror tactics of their persecutors.

Los Matas Zetas (“The Zeta-Killers”) have begun killing cartel members, even beheading some on videotape. Per LiveLeak.com, “They claim they are civilians who have had family members killed in the drug war violence and that they want revenge.”

That’s what you end up with when a corrupt system betrays those like Don Alejo, who simply want freedom and dignity.

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  1. Southern Arizona border ranchers are separated from their Mexican ranching friends and neighbors in many areas by only a four-strand barbed wire fence. Some of these beloved Mexican friends have mysteriously disappeared only to be found weeks later in shallow graves after refusing to allow the cartels to use their properties as smuggling routes. Cartel violence has taken place as far north as Phoenix, and a human body missing the head, hands and feet dumped on a ranch in a National Monument 65 miles north of Mexico just a few weeks ago at the same time a similar victim was discovered near Hollywood, CA.

    Most of the violent cartel crimes, however, are unreported because the victims are here illegally and government sources tell us one out of five illegal crossers already has a violent criminal record of their own.

    Don Alejo Garza Tamez stood against evil till his dying breath no less than the patriots who’ve given their lives for America’s freedom. He will be long remembered as a true hero. The names of the men he killed are already forgotten.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    And the MOST corrupt are the damnable swill passing themselves off as “Law Enforcement”. ESPECIALLY in the United States where EVERY “Law Enforcement” officer takes and oath to the Constitution before pinning on the badge. Unfortunately, as soon as the badge goes on, the swill instead grovel before their Masters, spit on that oath, and then do WHATEVER they are told. Not until every one of them is rotting where they belong will people be free.

  3. Beware. It may come to this here in the US. By hook or crook, Obama and his crowd want to take away our guns.

  4. David, that is one of your best. Succinct, eloquent, moving and tragic. But full of lessons for our side of the border. If you give up your guns, you give up your freedom, and you may give up your life. But even under those conditions, I’m glad to see that some brave Mexicans are fighting back, even at grave risk to themeselves.

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