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Armed Right-Wing Vigilantes Detain Migrants at Gunpoint in New Mexico

April 19, 2019 (1 min read)

Angela Kocherga, Albuquerque Journal, Apr. 19, 2019

"The ACLU of New Mexico is calling for the governor and attorney general to investigate an “armed vigilante group currently engaged in unlawful detention of hundreds of migrants” on the border near Sunland Park.

The organization sent a letter Thursday to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Hector Balderas, both Democrats, asking for an investigation after seeing video posted on social media by the United Constitutional Patriots.

“I was horrified. I was outraged to see young children being held apparently at gunpoint in the dead of night in a remote part of the desert by people who have unknown motives,” said Peter Simonson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico."

Simon Romero, New York Times, Apr. 18, 2019

"A right-wing militia group operating in southern New Mexico has begun stopping groups of migrant families and detaining them at gunpoint before handing them over to Border Patrol agents, raising tension over the tactics of armed vigilantes along the border between the United States and Mexico.

Members of the group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, filmed several of their actions in recent days, including the detention this week of a group of about 200 migrants who had recently crossed the border near Sunland Park, N.M., with the intention of seeking asylum. They uploaded videos to social media of exhausted looking migrant families, blinking in the darkness in the glare of what appeared to be the militia’s spotlights."