It’s been a bad month at Black Rock for the Patriots Border Alliance, a border vigilante group formed last year by disgruntled former Minuteman Civil Defense Corps officials.
First Phoenix New Times blogger Stephen Lemons unearthed a photo of Patriots Border Alliance leaders and members posing with a wheelchair-bound Elton Hall, a septuagenarian neo-Nazi and past Arizona organizer for George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party who still frequently attends racist skinhead festivals and anti-immigration demonstrations in the Phoenix area. Hall was injured in February when he was struck by a car while participating in a Patriots Border Alliance-sponsored protest outside a day labor center. The photo of him surrounded by adoring Patriots Border Alliance activists was posted on the group’s website accompanied by this caption: “PATRIOTS BORDER ALLIANCE HONORING ELTON HALL: In appreciation for your service, devotion, commitment to securing American border and promoting THE RULE OF LAW.”
Three days after the Hall photo surfaced, the El Paso Times ran a story in which Border Patrol spokesman Doug Mosier debunked several outlandish claims made by Patriots Border Alliance president Bob Wright at a recent meeting of the far-right Eagle Forum in Alamagordo, N.M.
At that meeting, Wright claimed that he’d been shocked during one recent mission on the Texas border when he’d spotted “hundreds” of people massed on the Mexican side of the line, waiting to cross.
Mosier told the Times, “We have never seen anything like that, nor have we even heard of anything like that.”
Wright also repeated the common border vigilante legend about “rape trees” on the border (Wright called them “sex trees”), to which women are supposedly tied and gang-raped by Mexican bandits.
“Again, we have never heard or seen such a thing,” Mosier said. “I am sure if this was factual, we would have at least heard something about it. … We know that some [women] are attacked. But trees? No. That is not true.”