TUCSON: Migrant Trail Walk Concludes Sunday at Kennedy Park
Our Vision The precarious reality of our borderlands calls us to walk. We are a spiritually diverse, multi-cultural group who walk together on a journey of peace to remember people, friends and family who have died, others who have crossed, and people who continue to come. We bear witness to the tragedy of death and of the inhumanity in our midst. Lastly, we make this sacred journey as a community, in defiance of the borders that attempt to divide us, committed to working together for the human dignity of all peoples.
La realidad precaria de nuestra frontera nos hace un llamado a caminar. Somos un grupo diverso en cultura y espíritu quienes caminamos juntos en una jornada de paz para recordar a nuestros compañeros, amigos y familiares: los que han muerto, los que han cruzado, y quienes continúan cruzando. Testificamos acerca de la tragedia de muerte e inhumanidad en nuestro medio. Finalmente, en comunidad, emprendemos un sendero sagrado en contra de estas fronteras que intentan dividirnos, comprometidos a luchar juntos por la dignidad de todos.
Record Number of Participants Complete Final Day of 75-mile Journey Through the Desert
Press Conference: Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 11:30 AM Kennedy Park, Ramada #3 Tucson, Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz- On Sunday, June 5, the thirteenth annual Migrant Trail, a 75- mile walk from Sásabe, Sonora will arrive in Tucson, Arizona. The event will culminate in a press conference, followed by a community gathering at Kennedy Park. More than 100 participants from across the United States, Mexico, and Central America have made the seven-day trek.
Since the 1990s, more than 6,000 men, women and children have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The ongoing human rights crisis of deaths along the border is only one piece of the larger strategy to funnel vulnerable migrants into Arizona's deadly desert. Participants of the Migrant Trail walk not only bear witness to the tragedy of death, but the intentional dehumanization and militarization of border communities.
"Many years ago when we gathered to walk the first time in memory of those who have died in our sacred desert we never imagined that we would still be walking thirteen years later," said Margo Cowan, a Tucson-based attorney who has walked every single summer since the Migrant Trail Walk began.
"We walk in memory of thousands of our brothers and sisters who have died horrific deaths as a direct result of our government's policies. We walk for each and every one of them and their families in witness to our government's profound crime against humanity committed daily, in our name, and in our desert made sacred by the blood and tears of the people who cross it," said Cowan.
Chyenne Valenzuela, a freshman in Cienega high school in Vail, Arizona, comes to the walk because of her own family history, linked to some of the troubling policies that predated the current ones, such as the infamous Bracero Program. "I am walking this year because it is the same journey that my great grandparents made from Sásabe to the United States 55 years ago when my grandfather came as a bracero worker. If it weren't for them making this journey, I would not be here with the opportunities that I have today," Valenzuela explained.
Ruby DeWilde, a seventh grader from Portland, Oregon, will be walking the Migrant Trail with her mother for the second time this year. "I'm walking because I want to bring attention to what is happening here and I want to let everyone know that it is not right. There are families and children just like me who make this treacherous journey trying to escape violence, arriving to the United States only to face criticism, racism, and often more violence," said DeWilde.
A coalition of community group sponsors support the walk. This year's sponsors include:
The Migrant Trail Walk will begin the final 6.7 miles of their journey at 7:15 am at the BLM campsite on Ajo Way and San Joaquin Road. Participants will be welcomed home at Ramada #3 at Kennedy Park at 11:30am with speakers, music, food, and testimonies from participants and supporters. This event non-violent, family-friendly, and is free and open to the public. Participants and organizers of the Migrant Trail call on all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers.