The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is no longer.

The Arizona-based border watch group that burst onto the national scene in 2005 sent an email to its members this week announcing the corporation has dissolved.

The group’s president, Carmen Mercer, of Tombstone, said she and the board’s two other directors voted to end the group’s five-year run because they were worried her recent “call to action” would attract the wrong people to the border.

On March 16, Mercer sent out an e-mail urging members to come to the border “locked, loaded and ready” and urged people to bring “long arms.” She proposed changing the group’s rules to allow members to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers instead of just reporting the activity to the Border Patrol. 

“We will forcefully engage, detain, and defend our lives and country from the criminals who trample over our culture and laws,” she wrote in the March 16 e-mail.

Mercer said she received a more feverish response than she expected — 350 personal e-mails she said — and decided the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps couldn’t shoulder the responsibility and liability of what could occur, she said.

“People are ready to come lock and loaded and that’s not what we are all about,” Mercer said. “It only takes one bad apple to destroy everything we’ve done for the last eight years.”

The group formed as Civil Homeland Defense in 2002 and later became the Minuteman Project in April 2005. The named changed again to Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

To read more, click on the Border Boletín link in the related stories box at top left.

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