A tour of one of the most dangerous stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border—where drug smuggling and human trafficking mean Arizona ranch owners finding bodies in their backyards:
In late 2010, after the ninth corpse or body part had been discovered on his ranch in a span of 12 months, David Lowell sat down and drafted a document that he later took to calling, with a grain of dark pride, ‘my map of atrocities.’ Lowell lives in southern Arizona, 11 miles north of Mexico, in a hinterland canyon in the middle of the busiest drug- and human-smuggling corridor in the United States. Lowell’s map, ‘Sites of Recent Border Violence Within the Atascosa Ranch,’ renders the ranch boundary as a thick black line. Inside the line glow 17 red dots, each stamped with a number. Among the descriptions in the corresponding key: ‘Rape tree with women’s underwear’ (2); ‘Fresh human head without body’ (3); ‘Skull’ (3A); ‘Body found 500 yards west of Lowell home’ (6); ‘Body found 100 yards south of Lowell home’ (7); and ‘Patrolman Terry killed by Mexican bandits’ (12).
“150 Miles of Hell.” — Jeff Tietz, Men’s Journal
See also: “Near/Far.” — Nate Blakeslee, Texas Monthly, August 2010