Al Garza's resigned as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps' second in command.
No, the "war" is not over, says Garza, who'd been the organization's vice president, but he can no longer support the Minuteman organization for a host of reasons -- including political infighting and how the group is perceived by the general public.
"Unfortunately, the public perception of the Minutemen has been tainted by our detractors and the media, which has successfully been enflamed by the internal and unnecessary strife," Garza says in a statement. "I do not see an end in sight for the problems plaguing what was once the greatest citizen movement in America."
But don't think for a moment that Garza's giving up the border cause.
No sir! Garza says he's been asked to head a new organization of border vigilantes called the Patriots Coalition, which seems like the same deal, only smaller, than the group Garza's leaving.
Well-known border vigilante Chris Simcox stepped down as president of Garza's former org to run for the U.S. Senate against John McCain. With both Simcox and Garza gone, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. is now being run by Garza's friend Carmen Mercer.
Garza's listed as founder/executive director of the Patriots Coalition. Looks like it will become one of many border-watch groups that have sprung up in southern Arizona since Garza and Simcox's old bunch kicked off.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And we're not sure if Garza's new outfit has any members, except him and possibly his family.
But you don't need many members to try to intimidate Mexicans along the border, as Minuteman American Defense "leader" Shawna Forde proved. Sources said she may have been the only real member of her group, before she and a couple of cohorts (one of them a neo-Nazi suspected in two previous murders in Washington state) allegedly killed a reputed drug runner and his little girl in the town of Arivaca to get money to finance her border patrols.
Guess with Forde in the clink, Garza might figure there's an opening for still another band of Mexican harassers -- um, we mean patriotic Americans.