Are U.S.-born vigilantes murdering Latino immigrants near the U.S.-Arizona border?
The Southern Poverty Law Center today released its latest issue of the Intelligence Report, and the magazine’s cover story sifts through some of the evidence suggesting that undocumented immigrants may have been killed by nativist extremists in Arizona.
While the story is not conclusive, it cites internal law enforcement documents focusing on the murders of four people in two 2007 incidents near Eloy, Ariz., that say that “[i]t appears that the same group of individuals is working in concert to intentionally kill IAs [illegal aliens].” The story also examines the remarkably similar murders of two people this April in the same remote area of the state.
“In Arizona, we might not have Hammerskins or Volksfront or the Klan,” one retired Arizona detective, referencing several well-known white supremacist groups, told the Report. “What we do have is a lot of angry, militant white men on the border sitting like hunters waiting for these people to come across.”
Other stories in the newly released Intelligence Report include:
- A feature probing WorldNetDaily, a conspiracy theory factory posing as a “news” source for conservatives. The organization run by one-time news executive Joseph Farah is filled with absurd claims and end-of-the-world predictions, but the one that best characterizes its foolishness is its breathless claim, made in a multi-part series, that soybeans cause homosexuality.
- A description of the personal price paid by a police officer who spent seven years successfully infiltrating racist gangs in Florida.
- A look at two Greensboro, N.C., detectives’ path-breaking efforts to protect their county against the “paper terrorism” practiced by local “sovereign citizens,” people who do not believe they have to obey most federal tax and criminal laws. (Earlier this month, two police officers were allegedly murdered by sovereign citizens, bringing to eight the number of law enforcement officials slain by members of the movement since 2000.)
- An investigative piece examining the National Alliance, once America’s leading neo-Nazi organization, 10 years after the death of its founder. As one racist laments, “It’s a shame watching yet another organization collapse.”
- A feature about Paul Pantone, an eccentric in Oklahoma who claims he’s invented a motor that will run on almost any liquid — and who had drawn the interest of radical rightists, his neighbors and local law enforcement.
- A look at a cult-like Catholic-bashing group near Shawano, Wis., whose members fear that a Vatican conspiracy aims to silence their founder.