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In cloud of hate, people associated with Minute Men arrested in killing of 9 year-old girl

“The murders of Flores and his daughter allegedly committed by Minutemen, coming in the same week as a white supremacist opened fire in a Holocaust museum and a pro-life activist gunned down an abortion doctor, raises anew the question of whether hate speech is giving rise to violence.

(excerpt from) East County Magazine
Minute Men Leader–Trained At East County Minute Men Camp–Arrested In Murder Of 9-Year-Old

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Shawna Forde, leader of Minutemen America Defense(MAD), has been arrested along with two men and charged with double homicide in a home invasion. The victims included a nine-year-old girl and her father. Forde has attended training at Camp Vigilance, a high-desert training camp operated by Minuteman Civil Defense near Boulevard in San Diego’s East County in 2008, East County Magazine has learned. A second suspect arrested also has ties to Minutemen Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), which operates a Minutemen training facility in East County.

Forde was arrested along with Albert Robert Gaxiola and Jason Eugene Bush in Pima County, Arizona. All three have been charged with two-counts of first-degree murder and other charges in a home invasion that left Raul Junior Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores, dead. The trio reportedly dressed as law enforcement officers, gunning down Flores and his daughter. The home invasion was reportedly drug related and the motive may have include financial gain. “Forde had previously discussed robbing drug traffickers linked to Mexican organized crime, her mother said,” according to the Everett Herald in Washington State, where Forde had recently resided…

Minutemen Civil Defense Corps is based in Arizona and was founded by Chris Simcox, who left when he began his run for United States Senate.“Minutemen Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) maintains a facility in California near Boulevard known as Camp Vigilance,” Craig said. “In August of 2008, Shawna Forde came [to] the border at Campo, CA and contacted Campo Minuteman Britt Craig. She did not make any comments to indicate she was unstable or violent,” Forde recalled. “She had a Minutemen Civil Defense Corps badge so she presumably had been vetted by the group. Minutemen Civil Defense Corps charges a fee and does a background check.”…

Bush, who goes by the nickname “Gunny”, serves as operations director of MAD according to the group’s website, however the Associated Press reports, he has “recently been living in Arizona and was once associated with the better known and larger Minutemen Civil Defense Corps” which operates Camp Vigilante in East County.

Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) took $10,000 in political contributions from The Minuteman PAC, the political action arm of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC). The MCDC is described as “a nativist extremist group whose members conduct armed patrols of the border” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which tracks hate crimes and hate-related groups nationwide.

San Diego Minutemen (SDMM) founder Jeff Schwilk also denounced the murders…

SDMM is described by the SPLC as a “particularly virulent nativist group…making a thuggish name for itself.” However the SDMM website posting criticizes national Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist for failing to distance himself from Forde.

Today, however, Gilchrist clarified that his past support of Forde has ended, the Hearld reported…

Gilchrist co-founded the California-based Minuteman Project, along with Simcox. After the pair spilt up, Simcox went on to found the MCDC in December 2005. Gilchrist’s Minutemen Project has distributed white supremacist literature and is considered a racist nativist group, according to the SPLC…

The murders of Flores and his daughter allegedly committed by Minutemen, coming in the same week as a white supremacist opened fire in a Holocaust museum and a pro-life activist gunned down an abortion doctor, raises anew the question of whether hate speech is giving rise to violence. One Internet poster, commenting on the reported murder of Flores and his daughter by Minutemen leaders, concluded, “This is terrorism.”

2 Responses

  1. Your claims to have factual information are NOT firsthand reporting, you have no actual factual firsthand knowledge of any of the information in your so called article and I will give you examples.

    1. Your claim that Frode attended training at Camp Vigilance is totally incorrect, I personally have checked signin sheets back to Jan 1, 2008 and she never was on the property in any fashion other that for 1 hour in August 08.
    2. Your claim that Camp Vigilance is operated by Minuteman Civil Defense is also incorrect, it is NOT operated by that group, factually incorrect again. It is operated by Minuteman California Corp Inc. (Not at all associated with MCDC)
    3. Your comment from Enrique Morones from Border Angels should also include his group. Ask him why his group failed to report a young missing woman and child in East county of Feb 2008 to the local & BP officials who was thought to be missing in the freezing cold of winter! Ask Morones why his group went to Mexico looking for this pair for a week and then came back to the US without letting anyone in the rescue area assist! Ask Mr. Morones WHO actually assisted him in a search for these two, ask him! Ask Mr. Morones about who took his 7 people into the mountains of the East county gun club area for over 7 hours looking for these two. Then ask him if that group was Violent!
    4. Again you claim that MCDC maintains the Camp Vigilance facility, this also is incorrect, I am one of the camp leadership people, MCDC has never had a part in any leadership of Camp Vigilance Factually incorrect again. MCDC along with other groups operate out of Camp Vigilance.
    5. More second hand hear say about Britt and Shana Forde going to Camp Vigilance. In August 2008 at roughly 2:00PM her group went to Camp Vigilance, presented a MCDC ID card, and our (New) caretaker let them onto the property. (That card was false identification, as it expired when MCDC let her go in 2006, so she presented false documents to gain access to the facility) . He showed them around, and they were able to convience him to even open our communications center. Upon doing this they procedded to take photos of restructed areas. At approximatley 3:00PM I got a call from the caretaker letting me know who was on the property, he was told to immediatley remove them from the property as they were not, nor never were or have been welcome at Camp Vigilance at which time he did so.
    6. Your claim that SPLC classifies MCDC as a “nativist extreamist group” is also incorrect. MCDC is full of people of color, people from countries around the globe, how on earth could that be “nativist”? Anyway everone with half a brain knows that the SPLC is so far out there they don’t even register any longer as a creditable source for valid information.

    If these people are found to be guilty of committing this hanis crime they will get just what is coming to them, and we stand behing any decission like that, criminals must be punnished! Every criminal, no exceptions.

    As for Minutemen being some type of supremacist group, ask Ted Hays if we are that, he is one of us also. Ask Ted if he ever heard anything racist from us.

    Now, please do all your readers a favor and check your facts, check them more than once, Journalism is a skill, a art form strive to be the best. Re-reporting is for people with no skills.


    • Dear Ken,

      Thank you for reposting the comments that you put at the original article.

      I disagree with some of what you say. But, I think that our details actually confirm some of the reporting in the article.

      I do not believe that the finer points you mention take away from the fact that the Minute Men community was a place where these hateful people, ideas, and skills were allowed to exist.

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