Nogales, AZ

Man Shot, Is Border Tension Growing?

Marcus Ringo

Kino Springs, AZ - On January 30, 2023, George Alan Kelly, a 73-year-old Arizona Rancher shot a Mexican Citizen in a confrontation that US News describes as "Sketchy". The incident is reported to have occurred at Kelly's cattle ranch northeast of the Nogales border. Kelly was being held on $1m bail and set to return to court this week.

The alleged victim was a 48-year-old Nogales resident named Gabriel Cuen-Butimea. The documents found on his person proved he was a Mexican Voter.

Authorities have not yet divulged a motive for the killing and it is unknown if the two men had any prior connection with each other.

Border tension is at an all-time high and Arizona's strict immigration policies create fight-or-flight scenarios for both US citizens and those crossing the border. The details of this specific situation are still unknown but we can only assume more cases of violence between residents and immigrants are likely to occur in the near future.

This 2017 LA TIMES article tells us of a somewhat similar situation that occurred a few years ago in Douglass, Arizona. In 2010, 58-year-old Rob Krentz was found in his ATV, murdered in cold blood. His death went unsolved, and it is purported to have been illegal immigrants, although this has not been proven.

The Krentz residence was 7 miles from any neighbors. There were as many as 30 potential suspects in the case and Krentz's widow is quoted saying:

“It wasn’t a U.S. resident who shot him,” she said in an interview. “You show me which U.S. resident it was. Give me their name and address. Because there’s nothing down there. There’s not a house for seven miles.”

This case at the time was cited by sponsors of SB 1070 to help push the bill through. The law was challenged due to it opening the floodgates for racial profiling.

Situations like these can often be used as ammunition to push political agendas, often not solving the underlying issues that we are facing as a state and country.

One thing that continues to hold true is that the border and neighboring towns are becoming an increasingly hostile environment where tension coupled with worldwide economic hardships spell out a recipe for violence.

How do you feel we can civilly prevent these types of situations from occurring in the future? Is it possible? let us know in the comments.

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Freelance writer, unapologetic centrist, spirit of the world.

New River, AZ

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