KVOA 4 UPDATES:Mexico threatens legal action against Minutemen ProjectFri Apr 1, 2005 04:0064.140.158.4
WE ARE SENDING JANE TO MEXICO TO SETTLE THINGS DOWN!
Mexico threatens legal action against border watch program
March 30, 2005, 07:58 AM
Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said Tuesday that Mexican consulates in Arizona will file criminal complaints against any illegal detentions of its citizens by volunteers of the so-called Minuteman Project.
In a press statement, the department said it would also weigh further steps _ apparently civil lawsuits _ against people involved in what it described as "vigilanteism" against undocumented Mexican migrants.
In February, Mexico sent the U.S. government a diplomatic note in which it asked American officials to ensure the migrants' rights are respected
In an apparent bid to dampen any possible confrontation, the U.S. Homeland Security Department announced two days before the Minuteman project is set to begin that it will assign more than 500 additional patrol agents to the porous Arizona border.
Hundreds of civilian "Minuteman" volunteers have signed up to patrol a stretch of the southeast Arizona border. They say they will merely identify and follow illegal border-crossers and not interact with them. But some of the volunteers plan to arm themselves, although they have little or no training to confront border-crossers.
The 370-mile Arizona border is considered the most vulnerable stretch of the 2,000-mile southern border. Of the 1.1 million illegal immigrants apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol last year, 51 percent crossed into the country at the Arizona border.
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Lupita Murillo Reports
Minuteman Project causes concern in Mexico
March 30, 2005, 06:34 AM
Later this week, the spotlight will be on Southeastern Arizona. Starting Friday, the month-long Minuteman Project will have volunteers, some armed, watching and waiting for illegal border crossers.
It's gaining international attention. Tuesday, Mexican officials met with the Mayor of Douglas to discus how they will handle potential violence.
Angela Castillo Lopez and her 10-year-old granddaughter live in Agua Prieta Sonora. They cross daily into Douglas to visit family and to buy groceries.
But with word of the Minuteman Project, Lopez says she won't be crossing after April 1st. She feels its too dangerous.
That concerns Agua Prieta Mayor David Figueroa and Douglas Mayor Ray Borane. They met privately to discuss the situations.
Mayor Borane showed fugueroa a flyer distributed over the weekend by a group calling themselves National Alliance.
Borane says, "I think they are concerned, maybe a little bit more, because its going to be dealing with their compatriots."
That's why the Agua Prieta Mayor called a meeting with 50 other local and national officials.
It was one of those officials who bought another flyer to distribute to Mexican citizens. It warns people about crossing the desert in April.
The flyer states, "vigilantes" will be patrolling 24 hours and might be armed.
Mayor Figueroa says his plan is to be cautions and to maintain a low profile. The last thing he want is to provoke violence.
David Morales, a spokesman for Agua Prieta says, "We understand it can become a volitale situation and we don't want to contribute to that in any form."
The Mexican military is on stand-by. One unit has about a thousand soldiers. They're located just across the border.
They're united with the Mayor of Agua Prieta and they're saying they're hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
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