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Camouflaged Gunmen Ambush and Kill Migrants in Arizona

A group of armed men dressed in camouflage ambushed and killed two migrants near Eloy, Arizona late Sunday night.

According to a press release from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the migrants were traveling in a pickup truck on a road “commonly used for human smuggling” when they were ambushed by an “unknown number of subjects in camouflage clothing armed with rifles.”

Dawn M. Barkman, a spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, told the Arizona Republic they don’t know why gunmen opened fire on the truck, but that “every possibility is being investigated.”

Although authorities are suggesting this ambush killing may be the work of bajadores, or riff-off crews, it has the clear signs of white supremacist militia groups known to operate in the area.

Police say a similar attack happened in January 2007.

In June 2011, hacked AZDPS emails revealed officers knew of Marines, clad in camouflage and carrying A14 rifles, working as private contractors in nearby Sasabe, Arizona.

On May 30, 2009, a group lead by Shawna Forde, leader of Minutemen American Defense, also dressed in camouflage, attacked and killed Raúl Flores and his nine-year old daughter, Brisenia Flores.

Beyond armed white supremacists is the United States Border Patrol, who have recently been criticized by international NGOs for violating the human rights of migrants.

The barbarity of having unarmed men and women, and even children, brutally attacked and killed in the United States by armed gunmen is a direct result of the United States’ militarization of the US-Mexico border. For it end, the governments of Mexico and Central America, along with NGOs and the United Nations, need to begin applying pressure on the United States to enact policies which demilitarize the border and humanize migrants.

This culture of violence and white supremacy will not end on its own.

Image: Paramilitary white supremacists patrol the Arizona border; Credit: Miami NewTimes