Pancho Villa, prostitutes and spies: The U.S.-Mexico border wall’s wild origins

For we the border dwellers, that old Mexican border draws like a magnet. Those of us who grew up on the Mexican border are not without “stories” of our own — everything from the loss of virginity to a Mexican prostitute to encounters with the “Federalies” where we learned the meaning of the the Spanish phrase, “Quanto questa el permiso?” A (almost lifetime) friend of mine (RIP brother) was no exception.

My friend ran a smuggling operation-trading post in a small village called Lajitas on the banks of the Rio Grande just north of Big Bend National Park. The smuggling of Candelilla wax (extracted from a plant) out of Mexico was against Mexican law but it was not against US or Texas law to smuggle it in. My friend made a good living buying wax from Mexican smugglers and selling it to manufacturers of chewing gum and other products.

The smugglers would cross the river (usually at night) with burros loaded with wax. My friend would spend the night cutting and weighing wax, paying the smugglers and then most of the day selling them supplies (groceries, beer, clothes, ammunition, etc).

One night the Federalies decided to set a trap for the smugglers that resulted in a running gun battle just across the river from the trading post. Periodically throughout the night, both sides (smugglers and Federalies) ran low on ammunition which my friend gladly supplied (as in sold) to both sides. I miss you bro. — jtl, 419

Land & Livestock International, Inc.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsFor we the border dwellers, that old Mexican border draws like a magnet. Those of us who grew up on the Mexican border are not without “stories” of our own — everything from the loss of virginity to a Mexican prostitute to encounters with the “Federalies” where we learned the meaning of the the Spanish phrase, “Quanto questa el permiso?” A (almost lifetime) friend of mine (RIP brother) was no exception.

My friend ran a smuggling operation-trading post in a small village called Lajitas on the banks of the Rio Grande just north of Big Bend National Park. Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteThe smuggling of Candelilla wax (extracted from a plant) out of Mexico was against Mexican law but it was not against US or Texas law to smuggle it in. My friend made a good living buying wax from Mexican smugglers and selling it to manufacturers of chewing gum and other products.

The…

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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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