The Bootheel

Couple of interesting stories out of the Bootheel this past week – and there aren’t many weeks you can say that about NM’s southernmost tip. According to the March 1 Deming Headlight, Forest Service workers found the body of a 72-year-old Deming man near his pickup south of Lordsburg, five miles from the border. No indication of foul play, and apparently no clue what he was doing so far from home and so close to the line; in reporting him missing his wife said he was “disoriented” from his cancer meds.
That same day according to El Paso TV the Border Patrol captured another pickup, this one a heavy-duty Ford F350 that  “breached” the border carrying 1,600 lbs of pot. (Good news for Colorado merchants who sold a reported 2.5 tons of legal marijuana last year; I’m sure they appreciate the feds protecting their market from cut-rate foreign imports.) The truck was boosted in Tucson, driven south and loaded up and then sent on a kamikaze run north through the Bootheel. The truck was apparently chased down by helicopter and the driver and passenger fled on foot before capture.  A bold move that must have made the two mulas instant heroes of a new corrido in the Lordsburg lockup, but it’s hard to guess how they could have thought it would work out otherwise, given the concentration of local, state and fed’l LEOs around Deming and Lordsburg. It was a scheme Cheech and Chong would have rejected as impractical.
It’s been years since I’ve been down as far as Antelope Wells, which must certainly be the most isolated (legal) crossing anywhere along the 2,000 mile border, but the Bootheel has always been a dangerous place. The route through the Burro Mountains and down along the Peloncillos was a favorite Apache trail from the Mogollons to the Sierra Madre.

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