28 February 2014
BORDERLANDS: Disturbing the Peace in Arivaca, Arizona
The tiny town of Arivaca,
population 600, is nestled in the rugged hills of southern Arizona about eleven
miles north of the international border between Mexico and the USA. This cattle-ranching area is â€śrich in
history and natural beautyâ€ť and claims to be â€śthe oldest continually inhabited
townsite in Arizonaâ€ť according to the visitorâ€™s guide.
But someone is disturbing
the peace in Arivaca. Border
Patrol agents carrying guns and wearing olive green uniforms stop all vehicles,
including school buses loaded with children, at checkpoints blocking both ends
of the community. Giant
surveillance towers with cameras, radar, and motion detectors protrude from the
desert floor in the distance. Drones
hum and helicopters hover in the clear blue sky overhead.
â€śItâ€™s like living in a
war zone,â€ť said Arivaca resident Eva Lewis. â€śWe canâ€™t leave our community without being asked a bunch of
questions,â€ť chimed in Carlota Wray whoâ€™s lived in Arivaca for 33 years.