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The leader of an anti-migrant militia arrested in the United States


Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 70, was arrested by the FBI at a time when Mexico was denouncing the presence of these armed groups.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 70, was arrested by the FBI at a time when Mexico was denouncing the presence of these armed groups.

The leader of an armed militia patrolling the US-Mexico border to capture migrants has been arrested for carrying a prohibited weapon, the FBI announced on Saturday, while Mexico denounced the "intimidation and extortion" perpetrated by this type of small group.

The suspect, 70-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins, is the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), a small, heavily armed group of mostly veterans who set out to patrol the border between the United States. US state of New Mexico and the neighboring Mexican state of Chihuahua until the anti-migrant wall wanted by President Donald Trump was erected. Border surveillance movements by self-defense groups are well established in the United States. As early as 1999, the Observatory of Extremist Groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), spoke of "questionable arrests of migrants by private citizens".

"Intimidation and extortion against migrants"

"This FBI arrest makes it clear that law enforcement must remain in the hands of well-trained law enforcement officers, not armed law enforcement," said New Mexico's Attorney General Hector Balderas. He called Larry Mitchell Hopkins, a regular radio broadcaster also known as "Striker", a "dangerous criminal who should not hang around with children and families."

At the same time, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "deep concern over the intimidation and extortion of migrants by militia groups on the New Mexico border." "This type of practice can lead to human rights violations against people who migrate or seek asylum in the United States," the ministry said in a statement.

Thousands of migrants, most of whom are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, have arrived in recent months in Mexico with the United States as their final destination. US President Donald Trump regularly calls them a threat to national security and has claimed billions of dollars in Congress for building an anti-immigration wall at the border.

Source: europe1

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