Here is an excerpt from MaryEllen Resendez's article on ABC15.com:
"Two men shot earlier this week could be the result of the ongoing battle between Mexican drug cartels now spilling over deep into Arizona, officials say. Pinal County investigators say an area known as the smuggling corridor now stretches from Mexico's border to metro Phoenix. The area , once an area for family hiking and off road vehicles has government signs warning residents of the drug and human smugglers. Night vision cameras have photographed military armed cartel members delivering drugs to vehicles along Highway 8. 'We are three counties deep. How is it that you see pictures like these, not American with semi and fully automatic rifles. How is that okay?' asked Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Babeu said he no longer has control over parts of his county. 'We are outgunned, we are out manned and we don't have the resources here locally to fight this,' he said at a Friday news conference... Babeu said he doesn't believe the drug cartel problems will not be solved when SB 1070 becomes a law, or with President Obama's promise of 1,200 troops spread out among four border states. 'It will fall short. What is truly needed in 3,000 soldiers for Arizona alone,' Babeu said." Link to Full Article
Analysis: I've written at length about the debate over border violence "spillover" - the confusion over what it really entails, and whether or not it's actually happening. The naysayers point to crime statistics, which in several major border cities show that the incidence of major crimes has gone down. El Paso is even considered the 2nd or 3rd safest city in the whole country. However, I don't believe you can use crime statistics alone to determine whether or not border violence spillover is occurring; there is just way too much anecdotal evidence to the contrary.
Sometimes people point to a few sheriffs in border counties and say they're just being paranoid. However, this county is not even along the border - it's three counties in and roughly 80 miles from Arizona's border with Mexico. Even more disturbing is this image I was sent this morning of a sign posted along mile marker 150 of Interstate 8 by the US Bureau of Land Management:
If you're a tourist or any other American driving along I-8 and see this sign, what are you going to think? Personally, you can tell me a hundred times that San Diego and El Paso and other cities along the border have declining crime rates, but if I see this sign, I'm going to book it out of there as fast as I can. Worse yet, this sign comes across (to me, anyway) as an acknowledgement by a federal government agency that this activity is occurring well within US territory with their knowledge, and US law enforcement doesn't have the resources to protect everyone from the threat posed by drug and human smugglers.
Here's a local news video relative to the story:
If this situation doesn't constitute border violence spillover, then I don't know what does.