Armed groups on US border concern Mexico
The group drew a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, and widespread media attention.
Mexico said on Saturday it had “deep concern” about armed groups that intimidate and extort migrants on the border, shortly after the ACLU and Democratic senators called for a probe into such citizen efforts to block migrants from crossing.
GROUP LEADER WERE ARRESTED
“These types of practices can drive human rights abuses of people who migrate or request asylum or refuge in the United States,” Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement, referring to “militia groups” in New Mexico. It added that patrols “on the margins” of the law create risks for the safety of migrants.
The group has posted videos showing members dressed in camouflage and armed with semi-automatic rifles holding groups of migrants, many Central American families seeking asylum, until US Border Patrol agents arrive.
The small volunteer group says it is helping the Border Patrol deal with a surge in undocumented migrants at the southern border. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has toughened various policies and put pressure on Mexico in an attempt to discourage people from attempting to cross into the United States illegally.
FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants after they cross the U.S.-Mexico border into New Mexico.
Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.