Border militia confronts bat researchers, Jonathan Clark,, 02/09/2014


 « A group of heavily armed militiamen confronted a team of scientists who had been studying bats in a cave near Sonoita last week, apparently mistaking them for illegal border-crossers or drug-smugglers.

 No one was hurt during the late-night encounter in the GardnerCanyon area, but the incident highlights the potential for trouble when citizens take up arms in hopes of defending the U.S.-Mexico border.

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection “does not endorse or support any private group or organization to take border security matters into their own hands as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences” the agency said in a statement.

 The confrontation near Sonoita began at approximately 11 p.m. on Aug. 23, according to a report given by one of the scientists to a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy. The team of three researchers had been counting bats in OnyxCave, and as they began walking back to their campsite near Gardner Canyon Road, they were flashed with a spotlight by a group of men.

 The men reportedly began shouting at the scientists in Spanish, and identified themselves as a militia group protecting the U.S.-Mexico border. The scientists identified themselves and continued to walk to their campsite “while seeking cover,” according to the deputy’s report. » (…)


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