TUCSON, AZ: On Sunday, May 5th, No More Deaths launched a search and rescue mission in the West Desert outside of Ajo, AZ, resulting in the ultimate recovery of four sets of human remains. The remains were encountered in the Growler Valley, the same valley in which Dr. Scott Warren was issued as citation for leaving water in summer 2017. Dr. Warren has been on trial the past two days and continuing into today for charges related to that incident
The search and rescue was launched in response to a call that came through the No More Deaths Missing Migrant Hotline after family members calling the hotline asked for support in urging Border Patrol’s Search and Rescue arm to initiate a rescue operation and CBP refused to mobilize resources. The first day of the search resulted in the team encountering a set of skeletal human remains that had been found and reported to the Pima County Sheriff in December 2017 by the Armadillos del Desierto, a San Diego based search and rescue organization. The Sheriff never recovered the body. The second day of the search, volunteers found three more sets of remains within a few miles of a newly installed rescue beacon.
The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, where the remains were recovered, is one of the deadliest migration corridors of the US/Mexico borderlands. The Refuge does not grant No More Deaths and others humanitarian groups access to administrative roads, even in emergency situations. Search groups must embark on foot from the edge of the wilderness boundary – greatly diminishing response time and scope.
Dr. Warren has testified in court to his spiritual beliefs that compel him to provide humanitarian aid on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge The discovery of four sets of remains in two days confirmed Warren’s testimony that “the Growler Valley is the area of highest and most need.
The No More Deaths abuse documentation team is investigating systemic governmental inaction to reported emergencies from distressed migrants in the desert. The findings will be published in Part III of The Disappeared report later this year.
The remains from the past two days have been reported to the Pima County Sheriff. The missing person has not been found.
Note: The image above reflects remains recovered in April of 2019 and does not include data about the individuals mentioned in this article.
The Abuse Documentation team is working hard on the third and final installment of the report series Disappeared: How US Border-Enforcement Agencies Are Fueling a Missing-Persons Crisis. Part 3 will deal with emergency nonresponse: the routine failure of the Border Patrol and other law-enforcement agencies to respond adequately to search-and-rescue requests in order to save the lives of people who have gone missing while crossing the US–Mexico border. Continue reading Final “Disappeared” report coming in 2019
Kate Morgan of No More Deaths and César Ortigoza of Armadillos Búsqueda y Rescate are traveling to Amsterdam to give the opening remarks at “Border Deaths and Migration Policies: State and Non-state Approaches.” Continue reading Volunteers take borderlands perspective to international audience
Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept, January 17, 2018
A new report says that humanitarian groups working along the U.S. border with Mexico have documented the systematic destruction of thousands of jugs of water left for migrants trekking north through the desert—and that U.S. Border Patrol agents are to blame. Continue reading US Border Patrol systematically destroyed water supplies left for migrants in desert, report says
Rory Carroll, The Guardian, January 17, 2018
United States border patrol agents routinely vandalise containers of water and other supplies left in the Arizona desert for migrants, condemning people to die of thirst in baking temperatures, according to two humanitarian groups. Continue reading US border patrol routinely sabotages water left for migrants, report says
Yesterday, No More Deaths, in collaboration with La Coalición de Derechos Humanos, released Interference with Humanitarian Aid: Death and Disappearance on the US–Mexico Border. This report is the second installment of a three-part report series entitled Disappeared: How US Border-Enforcement Agencies Are Fueling a Missing-Persons Crisis. In part 2, we detail the intentional destruction of over 3,000 gallons of water left out for border crossers, implicating the US Border Patrol in the majority of this destruction. We document how Border Patrol agents engage in the widespread vandalism of gallons of water left for border crossers and routinely interfere with other humanitarian-aid efforts in rugged and remote areas of the borderlands. Continue reading Demand Border Patrol stop destroying humanitarian aid
Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore presented the findings of Deadly Apprehension Methods: The Consequences of Chase and Scatter in the Wilderness at five schools in the Midwest in February. Continue reading Publicizing our findings: Midwest speaking tour