On July 13, 2005, 22 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border, patrol agents from the Marfa Sector of the United States Border Patrol surrounded five people traveling through the Chihuahua Desert in West Texas.
Suspecting illegal activity, the agents had been informed that illegal immigrants were detected by the tethered aerostat radar system hovering overhead that provides counter-narcotics and border crossing surveillance and can distinguish targets down to a meter across at ground level.
It is not uncommon that coyotes, smugglers involved in the profession of human trafficking, drive the desolate roads searching for “wets”, the derogatory term for illegal immigrants, in the vast desert expanse surrounding Marfa.
When the five suspects were questioned on the nature of their business the answer was not so clearly comprehended by the Border Patrol.
The suspects were a gallery curator, a photographer, an artist, and two architects who were discussing the selection of the future building site of Prada Marfa, a minimalist sculpture that replicates the luxury boutique where the Fall 2005 line of Prada shoes and bags were to be displayed.....more