Border violence against women spreading into US?

Current Affairs

I stumbled across a story today on that reports on what, if true, is a horrible bit of news for us in Arizona and in Phoenix:

“Although many politicians would like to believe that the violence will stay to the south of the border, the reality is that it has already begun to affect South Western states. The revelation that Phoenix is now the ‘kidnapping capital’ of the United States only affirms what many residents already knew.

Recently, a new method of marking territory has crossed over into the United States. ‘Rape trees’ are popping up in Southern Arizona and their significance is horrific and disgusting. These ‘rape trees’ are places where cartel members and coyotes rape female border crossers and hang their clothes, specifically undergarments, to mark their conquest and territory.”

Read the full article here.

The comments on the story show that there’s some skepticism about the report. For what it’s worth, this is the first I’ve heard of either the trees, or that Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the US. I guess I could believe the latter. We do hear regular reports of running gun battles in parts of the city – mostly between warring gangs of Coyotes (human smugglers) that are trying to steal the “clients” of another gang stashed away in a drop house.

It’s not yet started to effect downtown Phoenix as far as I can tell, though our Cathedral sexton tells us that graffiti tags showing up on the Diocesan offices and the Cathedral are from Mexican gangs marking their territory.

Can any of you verify the veracity of the “rape tree” part of the story?

I did find this story from a couple of years ago that would at least verify the violence though not the “rape tree” part of the story.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. Hi Nick,
    ABC News ran the story of Phoenix being he kidnapping capital back in February. The major networks have been slow to pick up the stories about the growing violence but it has defiantly been on both sides of the border for some time.
    I guess I didn’t speak enough about this durring our retreat, “Mea culpa!”

  2. Hi Again Nick,
    CNN just released a story about cross border violence in Texas. “U.S. teens are accused of acting as Mexican cartel hit men in Laredo, Texas”
    I put links on my blog. Take a look.

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