Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Abuses by US Border Patrol in Arizona

Recent abuse interviews from Nogales, Ariz.
By No More Deaths

No More Deaths volunteers working in Nogales continue to document and denounce abuses experienced in custody by deported migrants and immigrants. The following interviews were conducted in the last week. Please share these stories with your friends, family, congregation, and community.

Interview conducted 27 February 2010 with three men from Mexico who wished to remain anonymous. The men had lived in the United States for five years, four years, and one year, respectively, and all still have family there. The men had crossed through Sonoita and were apprehended by the US Border Patrol in the desert. They entered custody on 24 February and were held first in Phoenix and then in Tucson before being deported at 10pm to Nogales, Sonora on 26 February 2010. They reported collectively on the conditions in the detention center in Tucson, stating that guards used racist words and bad language and shouted at them, that they were not allowed to access the bathroom for long periods of time, that they were given only juice and crackers to eat, that they were not given access to medical attention, and they were not given access to a lawyer. They requested to make a call to the Mexican consulate and were not allowed to do so. The men reported witnessing and experiencing physical abuse by the detention center guards, including kicking and pushing of detainees and slamming doors as detainees were walking through them. They reported being held in a cell with 152 other people without enough space to sit or lie down for three days. They slept standing up pressed against each other so closely that they could not lift their arms. They reported that guards threw the food and water they were carrying with them into the trash. They stated, "They treated us like animals." They reported that guards laughed at them when they requested food. They gave the names of several guards in Tucson who were particularly abusive: R------, E------, A------, M------, G------.

V------, 25 years old, from Huajuapan DeLeon, Oaxaca, interviewed 2/24/10, was apprehended by Border Patrol in the Arizona desert early Monday, 2/22/10. Having walked for 2 days, the group asked for water, and were denied water. They were put in a 'perrera' or dogcatcher-type vehicle when apprehended and the vehicle was driven around and around in circles for an hour, on purpose to make them feel dizzy. They were held in custody, in Tucson, until evening, 2/23/10 when they were deported through Nogales.

Interview conducted 27 February 2010 with a woman from Mexico who wished to remain anonymous. The woman has a seven-year-old son and this was her first attempt to cross in the United States to find work to support her child. She crossed through Sonora and walked for four nights in the desert when she was apprehended by the US Border Patrol. She stated that the agents shouted at her and her group, and called them criminals and dogs. The agents poured out their water and stepped on the fruit they were carrying. She stated that she was groped by female agent who was purportedly searching her. She stated that she will attempt to find work in Nogales because "I can't return empty-handed; I am a single mother."

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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