Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blackwater at the border

The small town of Potrero on the California/Mexico border was where one of the first fires broke out on Sunday (see photo) before the whole county became engulfed in fires. Potrero, southwest of Campo, is where the first person died in the San Diego fires. Potrero is also where Blackwater is planning to build a border training camp. (Photo of smoke from Potrero area fire, known as the Harris fire, viewed from a hilltop south of Campo on Sunday afternoon/Brenda Norrell)

Blackwater's run for the border
October 23, 2007

The notorious security contractor has plans for a military-style complex near the U.S.-Mexico border. Critics worry the firm's "mercenary soldiers" could join the U.S. Border Patrol.
By Eilene Zimmerman
There are signs that Blackwater USA, the private security firm that came under intense scrutiny after its employees killed 17 civilians in Iraq in September, is positioning itself for direct involvement in U.S. border security. The company is poised to construct a major new training facility in California, just eight miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. While contracts for U.S. war efforts overseas may no longer be a growth industry for the company, Blackwater executives have lobbied the U.S. government since at least 2005 to help train and even deploy manpower for patrolling America's borders. Blackwater is planning to build an 824-acre military- style training complex in Potrero, Calif., a rural hamlet 45 miles east of San Diego. The company's proposal, which was approved last December by the Potrero Community Planning Group and has drawn protest from within the Potrero community, will turn a former chicken ranch into "Blackwater West," the company's second-largest facility in the country. It will include a multitude of weapons firing ranges, a tactical driving track, a helipad, a 33,000-square-foot urban simulation training area, an armory for storing guns and ammunition, and dorms and classrooms. And it will be located in the heart one of the most active regions in the United States for illegal border crossings.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


"Support the troops!" regales the crowd,
Waving the flag of which so proud,
(If seldom with decorum): they
Love war and like to have their say.

Yet of the US forces in
Iraq--contrary to their spin--
A large majority of these
Are independent mercen´ries.

Indeed, it totals more than half
The mercenary force--a laugh
When one considers all these dupes
Waving flags, spouting "S´port our troops!"

These mercenary forces, or
"Private contractors" as they are
Described in the official jargon
Yet come at not too much a bargain.

To whom are they beholden? None,
Nor with a check upon their gun
Let´s hope that politicks don´t turn
Away--these forces for to spurn--

Or we may see, as such are known
To do--their opposition blown
Away by lethal force. Ha, ha!
For then ´twill be no fol-de-rah,

As joyous citizens that day
Dance to the tune their pipers play,
And they--as bullets ricochet--
Pas de bouree, pas de bouree.

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