Throughout our BorderReport.com Tour, we’ve seen the various types of barriers over the U.S.-Mexico border. From walls to fences to vehicle barriers, there are a variety of enforcement methods to try to keep people from illegally passing between the two countries.
And then, there are spots without any barrier at all.
The Brite Ranch in West Texas is one of those spots. In fact, much of West Texas southeast of El Paso has an open border with Mexico.
On Friday afternoon, the BorderReport.com team had the opportunity to fly above Brite Ranch to see the area. You can check out the video above.
The ranch was the location of a prominent raid in the early 20th Century. Here’s some background from the Texas State Historical Association:
The ranch of Lucas Charles Brite, at Capote Peak in western Presidio County, was attacked by about forty-five Mexicans, possibly supporters of Francisco (Pancho) Villa, on Christmas Day 1917. The raid was well planned. The attackers cut the ranch’s telephone lines to prevent any call for help. They chose a holiday, when most of the ranch workers were away and the Brites were at their Marfa home. The family of T. T. Van Neill, ranch foreman, was at the ranch. The first awareness of the assault came when the foreman’s father saw riders dismounting in the yard and scattering for cover. He fired on the evident leader of the attackers, and a gunfight developed between the Neills and the raiders. The bandits captured two ranch workers and sent one, José Sánchez, to tell the Neills that the other would be killed if they did not surrender. The Neills knew they were outnumbered and gave the raiders the key to Brite’s Store to appease them. After looting the store of clothes, canned goods, and cash, the raiders rounded up the best horses and stole all the ranch’s saddles. During the looting of the store, postman Mickey Welch arrived at the ranch in his mail stage with two Mexican passengers. The robbers shot the passengers and hanged Welch in the store.
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