Recently two US soldiers were arrested attempting to smuggling undocumented Mexicans over the border. Marco Nava, Jr. and Joseph Cleveland had successfully done this once before and when arrested during their second run, they opted to snitch on the entire operation. It seems that either only a few facts are known or the details of the investigation remain secret but let’s discuss what we do know.
Nava and Cleveland were arrested at a border checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas with the two immigrants, Jose Rebollar-Osorio and Marcelino Oliveros-Padilla, casually sitting in their back seat. Marco Nava, Jr. told authorities that this was their second run together and that they were paid $1500 per person to do the job, having already received $1000 a piece for their last success. But according to Marco, it goes even further than that. They are only a small part of a larger smuggling ring based at the military’s Fort Bliss that is headed by a yet-to-be-named Private First Class officer. The two immigrants caught up in the arrest were hiding in plain sight since most soldier smugglers have little trouble getting over the border with their military identification. Both undocumented passengers had a record of three previous deportations. No other criminal records were mentioned.
Ft. Bliss has been under investigation before for their part in Operation Fast and Furious which saw the US military conspiring to arm Mexican drug cartels in hopes of pulling off a sting operation tracking down cartel members by tracking the guns. This operation came under intense scrutiny for both its failure in combating the cartels and the fact that they actually ended up making the cartels more powerful by allowing them easy access to weaponry. It has been estimated that at least 200 deaths have occurred due to guns supplied by the operation and such guns have been found at an estimated 170 different crime scenes since the operation’s exposure. Some have even gone so far as to accuse some of the soldiers of knowingly supplying the cartels with little intention of combating them, even alleging that soldiers were being paid off by the cartels. But whether this is true or not, Operation Fast and Furious has tarnished the base’s reputation in the eyes of many.
So what should we make of this recent news. Are these soldiers involved part of a larger alliance between some in the US military and the cartels? Well honestly it wouldn’t be the first time our military has been involved in drug smuggling. Is it just a handful of rogue soldiers deciding to help immigrants either out of the kindness of their hearts? Not likely, especially given the amount of pay. Or most hopeful yet, is this an example of how agorist activities occur naturally in the underground economy when folks are incentivised to help others for their own monetary gain? I guess we’ll see if and when they release more info. My best bet is that the key to knowing rests in finding out Jose and Marcelino’s arrest records. If they are clean aside from the previous deportations then it’s probably the latter case of pure economics. If they have records that link them with a cartel, then it’s still for economic gain but with far more sinister consequences. Let’s hope it’s the latter because we need more folks willing to take the risks to help our immigrant siblings.