Concern About Border Violence Grows Across Southern Arizona

Rancher in Arivaca says she heard gun battle across border

TUCSON, Ariz. – Border security and stability are on the front door of southern Arizona ranchers who are being warned about cartel fighting on the other side.

One rancher described the gunbattle south of Arivaca on Wednesday that ended when the Mexican military showed up.

She said Border Patrol keeps her informed about situations like this and keeps people from running onto her property.

But she is watching for elected officials to come up with a plan to not just protect her but to address the thousands of migrants showing up each day, with some of them asking her for help.

Almost an hour by dirt road south of Arivaca, Tres Bellotas Ranch sits in the shadow of the border wall. But it didn’t shut out the sounds of an armed skirmish on the Mexican side one day in mid-December.

“We could hear automatic weapons and the helicopters were here, Border Patrol was here, so they were making sure that you know, we were safe,” said Lori Lindsay, who owns Tres Bellotas Ranch.

She said the Border Patrol kept her informed and asked to come on her ranch to keep out anyone trying to escape into the United States.

“They updated me that the Mexican military was here and so things ended pretty quickly after that,” she said.

Ever since Customs and Border Protection shifted more resources to processing thousands of asylum seekers, concerns continue about who is able to slip past Border Patrol.

“There are nine gaps that are large enough to drive two semis side-by-side through,” she said as she looked at the border fence from her property.

While Lindsay said that those gaps should be closed, she said that she wants to see a policy solution that not only secures the border but also provides legal immigration.

She said that asylum seekers won’t get the message to not come if we just shut them out, after her own experience with a group of 19 that came to the ranch, many of them were small children.

“This is the best place I’ve ever lived. I’m not going anywhere. I love it here and I do not feel afraid living here,” she declared.

Lindsay said that she and her partner are not naïve that cartels are coming through the border, but that they have yet to see them and believe they don’t want to be seen.

She said that harming Americans would likely bring much-unwanted attention from the U.S. government.

Written by J.D. Wallace for Arizona 13 News ~ December 15, 2023

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