Nogales International report on BORTAC and Peck Canyonby Hugh Holub on Dec. 20, 2010, under border issues, drug smuggling, politics
This very informative article from the Nogales International on BORTAC and the border bandits in Peck Canyon…
As a member of an elite SWAT-type Border Patrol unit, Agent Brian A. Terry came to the canyonlands northwest of Nogales to help stem a wave of assaults, robberies and rapes that has long plagued the area.
Instead, he became its latest victim.
Hotbed for bandits
Peck Canyon lies at the northern end of a 15-to-20-mile series of ravines that run northeast from the U.S.-Mexico border, past Peña Blanca Lake and up to Interstate 19. Set mostly in undeveloped U.S. Forest Service areas, the canyons’ isolation and rugged terrain have long made them popular corridors for human and drug smuggling.
That activity, in turn, has attracted another type of criminal behavior. So-called border bandits, or “bajadores,” now roam the canyons, sometimes carrying assault rifles and sporting ski masks. They rob drug smugglers of their loads, relieve illegal immigrants of their cash, and sexually assault undocumented women. When they encounter other armed individuals – like Border Patrol agents, hunters or ranchers – they sometimes react violently.