After a few similar adventures — one involving Couto's using his bare hands to rip open a garbage bag full of horse entrails, filling the Corolla with a slaughterhouse stench — he stops to capture on camera a cluster of signs hand-scrawled in English and topped with a Cuban flag: "Respect our business and properties"; "This is unacceptable, Stop the abuse!"

"Well, too bad," Couto tells his camera. "This is definitely over for good, and they know it."

Even as the C-9 Basin comes down piece by piece, Couto has found other ways to keep himself busy. He's attempting to infiltrate a cockfighting ring in South Miami. He claims to be working with CNN on exposing Florida's booming bestiality tourism industry. And the displaced guajiros of the C-9 Basin aren't exactly going to find office jobs and beachfront condos.

Luis Delgado on the raids on his outlaw land: "You would have thought they had found the Taliban."
Photo by C. Stiles
Luis Delgado on the raids on his outlaw land: "You would have thought they had found the Taliban."
Richard Cuoto
Photo by Ian Witlen
Richard Cuoto

Couto's watched them slowly move operations to a nearby area. "They don't know I'm on to them yet," he says. Richard Sr. is tight-lipped through most of the car ride. But when they return to the Range Rover, he demands of his son: "Do you have a death wish?"

Kudo doesn't hesitate. "This is something I'm willing to die for."

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7 comments
lindajaniebroussard
lindajaniebroussard

The writer describes ARM's supporters as "rabid."  Why?  Sounds like a small part of the writer thinks that there's something wrong with putting a stop to the horrors perpetuated by the criminals in the C9 area.  It's complete hogwash to imply that the so-called 'rights' of these landowners are being trampled upon.  These men represent worst sort of immigrants... send them home if they don't like American laws.

Kozzie69
Kozzie69

Go in there with the fricken army and cull them out. This is a disgusting thing they do with animals. Let them go back to their native land and butcher pets....we JUST DON'T DO IT HERE!!!!!

Olaf
Olaf

They are in Clewiston!!!

Lorinda Bloch
Lorinda Bloch

Agreed, Mr. Cuoto is just what this country needs--what Florida needs. And I hope more brave souls come forth and do what he is doing and has done. Every animal lover--especially horse owners--should be praising his name to the Highest Power. I say, "Thank you, Richard Cuoto." And thanks to the authors of this article and to New Times for reporting it.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!! May the dreadful people who commit these unlawful inhumane acts get a taste of the very fates they have inflicted on these poor animals. It's going to be a nasty ride in Hell for them. And Hell is a very very long sentence.

Debbie
Debbie

Mr. Couto is a hero. His father should be super proud of him!!!! How to get in touch with him to give our support? These illegal acts have finally been put to a stop. We don't want cock-fighting, illegal slaughters, illegal dumping! Great article, Mr. Alvarado and Mr. Garcia-Roberts. We need people in this country and world like the three of you -- willing to combat crap, and willing to write about it. PETA should give an award to Mr. Couto! As should Miami-Dade and the State of Florida! I had no idea about all the illegal activities going on at the C-9 basin until this article.

Christy
Christy

I will be eternally grateful to Kudo for what he has done. The illegal slaughter industry down here is abominable, disgusting and gives Miami a bad name. When they started pulling meat off horses while they were still alive...right in their stalls or tied to trees... GAME OVER. This will end. Come near my horse...you won't like what you find.

Kozzie69
Kozzie69

 People need to put baby monitors in their barns and be ready with a gun to blow anyone away who messes with their property, which livestock is considered.

 
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