Last weekend, Shawna Forde, 41, leader of the Minuteman American Defense (MAD) group, and two of her associates were arrested in connection with the murder of a 9-year-old girl, Brisenia Flores, and her father, Raul, in Arivaca, Arizona. Local police are reporting that Forde and her posse broke into the Flores home dressed as law enforcement officers looking for money and drugs to finance her border-watch group—with the intention of leaving no witnesses behind.
Much like Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project and Chris Simcox’s Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Forde’s group is a nativist organization made up of volunteer border vigilantes. MAD has gone into damage control, posting a statement expressing condolences for the Flores family and distancing itself from the violent crime. Yet directly below its offering of “deepest regrets,” the website boasted a “Message from Shawna Forde, Executive Director” (since apparently taken down):
I would like to let everyone know that we are in full operation we have people coming from Florida and other parts of the country to assist in gathering exclusive footage of drug cartel drug smuggling and humane trafficking [sic]… We will expose and report what we know and find, we will recruit the serious and train the revolutionist, time for words have passed the time for bravery and conviction are now. I shall lead you to challenge yourself and your American heart into the future of what was once a great country and will be again but at what price?
On three different occasions in the past, Forde claimed to have been shot, raped, and beaten by Spanish-speaking assailants. Most inside her own anti-immigrant community questioned her credibility and accused her of faking the attack.
See our last post on the politics of immigration.