Militia groups along the Texas-Mexico border have grown to more than 10 active “teams” from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley, despite warnings from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and state lawmakers.
More than 30 photos obtained by the San Antonio Express-News show dozens of members carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear, providing a first glimpse of the militias.
The armed individuals are seen posing at campsites, walking along the Rio Grande while speaking with Border Patrol agents, and pointing rifles and pistols out of frame.
A spokesperson for the group provided the photos under the condition that members’ faces be blurred because of fear of being identified by “cartel and gang members.”
CBP said this month that it does not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands, as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”
One of the photos shows a Border Patrol agent providing directions to a vehicle of armed militia members. The agency did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Gov. Rick Perry, who last week ordered 1,000 Texas National Guard members to the border, declined to comment through a spokesman specifically on whether he supports the militia groups but said the governor is “leading to secure the border.”
SOURCE: Kolten Parker
Chron.com | express-news.net