Monday, June 14, 2010

Stop Exploiting the Death of Humanitarian Rancher Robert Krentz! Instead, Stop Drugs and Border Violence!

The murder of rancher Robert Krentz remains unsolved although numerous politicians in Arizona continue to exploit the murder for their own personal gains. On the top of the list of political exploiters and groups are supporters of sb1070, including: Senate Seat: John McCain, his opponent JD Hayworth; Governor up for 1st election: Jan Brewer (la bruja); State Senator: Russell Pearce; Sheriff Arpaio. John Tanton's groups FAIR and NumbersUSA.

John Tanton's groups FAIR and NumbersUSA also aggressively pushed HR5016 just 14 days after the death of Robert Krentz. This is extremely odd because Robert Krentz was an environmentalist and HR5016 eases restrictions on Federal Land. HR5016 reads: "Neither the Secretary of Interior nor the Secretary of Agriculture shall impede, prohibit, or restrict activities of the Secretary of Homeland Security on public lands to achieve operational control (as defined in section 2(b) of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 over the international land and maritime borders of the United States." This bill allows vehicles and people into protected lands and animal sanctuaries.

I've been reading a few articles about Rancher Kre
ntz. Rob and Sue Krentz were married in 1977. Their families were long time ranchers in Southeastern Arizona. Rob was a high school football star and graduated from the University of AZ in 1973. Rob and Sue met in 1976. It was love at first sight. They married the next year. Their honeymoon was short and they quickly returned to the difficult ranching life. They raised three beautiful children. They were good Catholics and went to church every Sunday. Being so close to the Mexican border, the Krentzes had frequent, friendly, contact with Mexicans (their daughter married a Mexican American). Rob Krentz was a friend, neighbor, active in the community and also an environmentalist. He was a member of the local school board since 1979, member of the Whitewater Draw NRCD board and became a leader in a group called "the Malpai Borderlands Project."

The Malpai Borderlands Project (MBP) is a community-based ecosystem management effort under the leadership of a number of landowners within the planning region which extends along the Mexican Border from near Douglas, Arizona to Antelope Wells, New Mexico and North to New Mexico Highway 9. The patchwork of ownership includes 53%private and 47% made up of state trust land in New Mexico and Arizona and public land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

The MBP Group's goal: "To preserve and maintain the natural processes that create and protect a healthy, unfragmented landscape to support a diverse, flourishing community of human, plant, and animal life in the borderlands region." Malpai ranchers pioneered "grassbanking," moving cattle from ranches stressed by drought to graze temporarily on others less affected by the lack of rain. The practice has saved some ranchers from having to sell their spreads.

The Krentz's were good neighbors and had many rancher friends who were also members of the MBP. This was a tremendous ecological partnership between private ranchers and the government. "We are trying to preserve this landscape as an area devoted to wildlife." MBP's mission is to stop the use and abuse of these lands from environmental damage created by humans including vacationers, off-roaders, land developers and any landcrossers. To combat some of the environmental damage created by perpetrators, the ranchers recently received a grant from the Bureau of Land Management to help pay for the huge daily trash pickups.

Like many of their rancher neighbors, the Krentz's n
oticed many trespassers including border crossers travelling across their land. The Krentz's often provided them water and occassionally called the Border Patrol if they needed help. In the late 1990s, the Krentz's noticed a difference in some of those crossing the border. Some of the crossers were now carrying large bales of marijuana. These crossers were different than those coming to the U.S. to work. They were not friendly. They also noticed Minutemen trespassing on their land. They often reported these intruders to the local border patrol, police and ICE offices. Nothing was ever done. Over the years, they just put up with the changes knowing their complaints fell on deaf ears. Gradually they became angry at the Federal Government for not finding out why the border had changed and for not passing Immigration Reform and securing the border.

On the morning of March 27, 2010, Rob and his brother were tending his ranch. They had set off on their separate tasks. At 10:30, Rob called Phil on his hand held radio and said he had just seen an "undocumented alien" near a water well on the property who appeared to be "in need of help." Rob asked his brother to contact Border Patrol to help him. Phil said there wasn't any urgency in Rob's voice and that type of thing happens all the time so he wasn't worried. They were supposed to meet at noon but Rob didn't show. Phil called family and friends to look for Rob but they couldn't find him. They called Sheriff Dever at 6:15 pm. The sheriff sent out a search and rescue team. They sent out six police cars and two ATVs to the Krentz ranch. The Border Patrol and other agencies also responded. However it was now dark. They searched for five hours and finally found him about 11:30pm. He was dead, shot on his left side. Rob's rifle and pistol were still holstered. His dog Blue was also shot, later euthanised. The police followed the tire tracks and found Rob was shot about 300 yards away. At the shooting location they found three 9MM bullet shells. Trackers were brought in and found one set of footprints which came from the north and were headed south and tracked toward the Mexico line, where the trail ended. The Sheriff said he has no suspects. Local ranchers say they do not believe it was migrants since they never travel alone. They do suspect it may be a drug dealer, travelling from north to south, but to date, there are no suspects.

Mrs. Krentz is in mourning. She lost the love of her life. "All we wanted was to be able to live in safety on our own land. We don't want anyone on our property who isn't invited — drug smugglers, Minutemen, anyone. I guess that was too much to ask."
I hope whoever committed this heinous murder is identified and prosecuted. Robert Krentz should not have been murdered. Additionally, his death should not be exploited as numerous politicians and groups are now doing. He also would not have wanted the HR5016 bill to pass. He was an environmentalist. I doubt he would have been in support of sb1070. What he and his wife wanted was secure borders. sb1070 has nothing to do with secure borders.

They wanted the government to find out WHY so many people are coming here and why there has been such a drug trafficking increase into our country over the last 10 years. The Krentz's said the primary drug being brought across their land were bales of marijuana.

If we truly want to do something about the border problems and associated drug violence, I agree, we need to get to the root cause of why there has been such an increase in drug trafficking into our country and stop it.
1. Stop the flow of marijuana into our country.
2. Target the drug cartels and drug users.

Cowboy Down: Rob Krentz's Family Talks
HR5016 - Thomas Library
NumbersUSA: Support HR5016 for Robert Krentz
The Malpai Borderlands Project
The Formation & History of the Malpai Borderlands Group
Malpai Borderlands Newsletter

1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

Portland City Hall condemns Arizona immigration law - City Council voted to support lawsuits against that state brought forward by Arizona cities Flagstaff, Tucson and others.

Growing list of City Boycotters and City Condemners of Arizona :

Austin TX, Berkeley CA, Boston MA, Bloomington IN, Boulder CO, Brownsville TX, Burlington VT, Calexico CA, Coachella CA, Chicago IL, Columbus OH, Cook County IL, El Paso TX, Fulton County GA, Gallup NM, Hartford CT, Los Angeles City CA, Los Angeles County CA, Oakland CA, Pasadena CA, Portland OR, Richmond CA, San Diego CA, San Jose CA, San Pablo CA, Santa Ana CA, St. Paul MN, Santa Monica CA, San Francisco CA, Seattle WA, Tacoma WA, Washigton DC, West Hollywood CA, etc ...

Vicente Duque

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