Blackwater Goes to Mexico.

By JOHN ROSS

If and when private security contractor Blackwater USA and its heavily-armed operatives are forced to pull out of Iraq as the result of the September 16th rampage in downtown Baghdad when its employees massacred up to 28 Iraqis, Mexico could be a profitable option for the North Carolina-based company.

Actually, Blackwater is almost in Mexico already. For months, the North Carolina-based corporation has been pressuring local San Diego officials to grant it an operating license for an 824-acre training site to be known as Blackwater West in Potrero California 45 miles east of that bustling port city but only six miles from the Tecate Mexico border crossing. The site, some of which snakes through the Cleveland National Forest, is a favored transit route for undocumented Mexican workers heading north and has been recently scorched by out-of-control wildfires.

Blackwater USA’s plans have drawn the ire of locals who are not happy about having 15 firing ranges in earshot and a coalition of homeowners, local farmers, environmentalists, and peaceniks has been pieced together to oppose the project. Nonetheless, Blackwater has kept up a full court press on county officials, even sailing the company yacht flying a humongous Blackwater flag, into a local marina last spring and inviting members of the planning commission aboard for cocktails.

Blackwater USA is attracted to the San Diego area because of the heavy concentration of military bases such as Camp Pendleton in the environs that could produce a windfall of security and training contracts from its pals in the Pentagon. Blackwater USA was founded by ex-Navy Seal Eric Prince who cultivates close ties with the military.

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