A 60-year old woman working for the National Park Service has been critically hurt in an attack in Arizona near the Mexican border. Authorities have not stated if the attack came from a Mexican national who entered the U.S. illegally, but the remote area of the attack is heavily traversed by both illegal immigrants and narcotics traffickers.
The victim, Karen Gonzales, was found in a public restroom, unconscious and with a serious head injury. A local newspaper reports the victim is in critical but stable condition. They also report authorities released a grainy photo of the alleged assailant in the victim’s government vehicle, showing a man with dark hair.
The victim’s government vehicle had been stolen and was later found at the U.S./Mexico border in the town of Douglas, Arizona. Mexican drug cartels routinely send mules carrying narcotics into the U.S. through the remote area’s canyons, and those mules later return to Mexico for more. This fact, coupled with the location of the vehicle, suggests the possibility of a cartel mule being involved rather than a migrant worker.
The attack occurred in the Chiricahua Mountains, northeast of the border town where the vehicle was found. The mountains are in Arizona’s Cochise County, an area I recently visited on assignment for Breitbart News.
Sylvia Longmire, one of our nation’s foremost experts on Mexican cartels and the drug war, recently gave an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on her visit to the remote county bordering Mexico. She toured the area’s Geronimo Trail with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department and described the labyrinth of unmaintained dirt roads and off-shooting trails throughout the region. The trails connect to roads that go right alongside the border fence.
“There’s endless scrub–ocotillos and prickly pear cacti and acacias–as far as the eye can see, all growing on a sandy ground that is hard to walk on, especially when that sand is baking in 100+ degrees,” she said. “The area is heavily used by both illegal immigrants and drug smugglers, and while I didn’t see any while I was out there with a Cochise County Sheriff’s Deputy, there was evidence of their passage everywhere–empty water bottles, clothing draped on bushes, and scattered bits of trash.”
I took this video of the U.S./Mexico border south of the mountains where the attack occurred. The town of Douglas, Arizona, where the victim’s government vehicle was found, can be seen in the distance.