Editor’s Note: Video clips from “For the Record” have been added to the bottom of the story.
American ranchers living along Arizona’s southwest border are living in a war zone. They are fed up with a federal government that has failed them and warn that the chaos spilling from Mexico is putting U.S. national security at risk.
On Thursday night’s episode of TheBlaze TV’s For The Record (8:30 p.m. ET), Arizona’s ranchers speak out. They provided TheBlaze with never-before-seen surveillance videos taken from their ranches: proof that their ranches are being seized by drug traffickers and nefarious groups that use the cover of darkness to cross into the United States.
Mary, an Arizona rancher who spoke to TheBlaze on condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution from the drug cartels, warned, “it’s not our country anymore.”
“We may be bound to the laws of our country,” she said. “But we’re living by the law of the cartels.”
Like Mary, many of the ranchers chose to speak on condition that they not be named out of fear for their lives but their stories are all similar. They say the U.S. is “borderless.”
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, who works closely with the ranchers living along his county’s 83-mile border with Mexico, told TheBlaze the increased violence along his community’s southern border is an example that the federal government is failing when it comes to border security.
“Border security should be a primary issue even before we talk about immigration reform,” said Dannels, who has spent more than 25 years in law enforcement along the border. “The biggest change from 1984 until current is the violence on the border.”
For The Record will take viewers into America’s most dangerous borderlands and introduce viewers to brave Americans who battle not only the drug cartel’s who trample through their property but a federal government that refuses to acknowledge them.
Joe Weasel, head of the documentary film division for TheBlaze, said “the ranchers we interviewed were fed up with the mainstream media.”
“The networks had turned them into race-baiters or anti-immigrant but this isn’t the case at all,” said Weasel, who is the writer and director of the documentary. “This issue is about smuggling, national security and that their property is being overrun by drug cartels. We have first hand accounts and evidence.”
TheBlaze made several trips to Cochise County, Ariz. to report on the continuing problems faced by this American border community. On one of those trips, Dannels pointed to the Huachuca Mountains, noting that a radio relay station — built by the drug cartels to communicate — had been replaced several times since his law enforcement officers dismantled the first one.
“The citizens of Cochise County are frustrated, living in danger and many of them have lost faith in the federal government,” Dannels said. “This isn’t just about them, it’s about the national security of our country. It’s about protecting everyone from this very real threat.”
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Feature image photo credit: AP/Rich Pedroncelli