Minutemen Call It Quits

 
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps Announces Plans to Cease Operations, Dissolve Organization

On Tuesday, March 23 Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) president Carmen Mercer sent an e-mail to supporters announcing that the organization is disbanding. The MCDC had recently come under controversy for a March 16 e-mail inviting volunteers to come to the border "locked, loaded and ready" and stating: "We will forcefully engage, detain, and defend our lives and country from the criminals who trample over our culture and laws.” Mercer stated that the organization was afraid that they would be unable to "control" those who responded to the invitation, and did not want to assume the liability.

The MCDC had long been accused of links to right-wing hate groups and anti-government militias. On June 12, 2009 Minutewoman Shawna Forde and two other volunteers were arrested for the first-degree murders of a nine year-old girl and her father in Arivaca, AZ. Forde and her supporters later claimed that they were attempting to steal a cache of drugs in order to help fund their anti-immigrant operations (the drugs turned out to be non-existent).

Although the organization had been active in southern Arizona since 2003, the MCDC entered the national political scene in 2005 when they changed their name from "Civil Homeland Defense Corps" and invited volunteers to join them from across the United States. Although the national organization is folding, numerous local splinter groups continue to operate; likewise, the Minutemen are far from the only vigilante groups to come under criticism for activities along the U.S./Mexico border.

Click here for an archive of Arizona Indymedia coverage of the Minuteman Project.

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