Video Depicts Border Murder

Crazed vigilantes stalking the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes of catching undocumented immigrants may be old news, but is it possible that such individuals could be murderers?

Videos obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization based in Alabama, appear to show armed Anglos shooting at alleged border crossers, with one scene depicting the  killing of one.One video was obtained by SPLC through e-mail, where the organization says that Robert Crooks, head of the California-based Mountain Minutemen group, mailed several nativist leaders the video and allegedly wrote that “this video shows how to keep a ‘Home Depot’ parking lot empty.”

From the report:

Filmed through a night-vision scope, the four-minute video shows two or three men standing on a hill that appears to be on the Mexican side of the border, beyond a barbed-wire fence.

Then, after muttering about the distant figures being “cockroaches,” the man shouts out loud, “Hey putos [“faggots”], one, two, three!” Next comes the distinct sound of a shotgun shell being chambered, followed by a sudden flash of light and the sound of a shotgun blast. The direction of the gunfire is unclear.

Another video that SPLC obtained, which looks remarkably similar to the first one, appears to show the murder of a man on the border:

At this point in the video, the backpack-wearing figure begins to slowly emerge from behind the rock outcropping.

There are two flashes of light and the sound of two semi-automatic rifle shots in quick succession. The figure wearing the backpack appears to fly backward and drop from view.

Colorado has hosted it’s share of Minutemen groups, which take their name from the Guerrilla fighters who battled British forces in the Revolutionary War.

Currently, the Web site for the Colorado Minutemen Project is out of commission, but that still leaves the Rocky Mountain Minutemen and vigilante activities at Sovereignty Colorado–in a state that doesn’t even border Mexico.

According to SPLC, Crooks denies filming the video or participating in it. But whether the picture is a true depiction or a hoax, the organization has found it disturbing enough to pass along to the police.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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