Tragedy in the Desert: Educating Arizonans and visitors about migrant deaths in the desert

By 2 p.m. the map is covered in red dots placed by participants in the exhbit

On March 2, the annual Sonoran Desert Shindig showcased the arts, culture and cuisine of the Sonoran Desert. The event also included information from conservation groups, land managers and humanitarian aid groups. Volunteers with No More Deaths partnered with the Ajo Samaritans to educate residents and visitors to the Ajo area about the tragic deaths of more than 3,200 migrants in the Southern Arizona Desert through an interactive exhibit.

The exhibit asked participants to find the locations of migrant deaths and place a red dot on a map of the Ajo corridor. Many people were deeply moved by the experience. One little boy picked the red dot for Santos Ramirez Martinez, age 39, recovered 06/30/2018. I asked him, “Where did Santos die?” He told me, “In Arizona, on Cabeza Prieta (Wildlife Refuge).” As he placed Santos’ red dot on the Cabeza Prieta section of the map, the boy said, “He is in a better place now.” 

The red dot in honor of Santos Ramirex Martinez in the Cabeza Preita section of the map

No More Deaths/ No Mas Muertes mobilizes hundreds of volunteers to provide humanitarian aid to those whose lives are at risk.   To support our work, please make an online donation at or send a check to:  UUCT/ No More Deaths, P.O. Box 40782, Tucson, AZ  85717.