By Brenda Norrell
French translation by Christine Prat at:
It is sad to hear that the volunteers who leave water for migrants are being arrested on the Arizona border.
A few years ago, my friend took me to these same places, showing me the trails. It was about 116 degrees, and her car had no air conditioning. We wrapped ourselves in wet towels to keep going.
We watched the Border Patrol agents sit in their air-conditioned vehicles and throw their Starbucks cups on the ground, and buy junk food at Three Points.
They lounged around and yakked on their cellphones, all in the same area where volunteers putting out life-saving water are now being arrested.
If the timing was different, I could have been one of those arrested.
The volunteers who do this year after year are the heroes.
Another day, with temperatures over 116, my friends asked me to help them search for the body of a migrant. The heat knocked me out immediately, in minutes. They hiked in that scorching sun and found someone's loved one.
Others for years have provided shelter, a drink of water, a sandwich, or a ride to the hospital and saved a life. Sometimes the life saved is an Indigenous person who walked across countries, from Guatemala or El Salvador, in hopes of finding a way to feed their families at home.
The tiny graves in the desert sometimes have a string of Mayan beads across them. These volunteers are heroes.
We know who the monsters are.
Brenda Norrell, journalist in Indian country for 36 years, is publisher of Censored News.
Images: A grave on the Arizona border.
Shoes left behind by migrants. Photo by Brenda Norrell.
Border Patrol agent destroying life saving water, captured on hidden video.
Notes: Nine volunteers with No More Deaths have been arrested and face federal charges charges for leaving water for migrants in the Sonoran Desert on the Arizona border.
This region has one of the highest death rates for migrants.
An ASU instructor and No More Deaths volunteer was arrested this week for rendering aid to migrants at Ajo, Arizona, after No More Deaths released a report exposing Border Patrol agents destroying life saving water in the desert.6
No More Deaths is one of several organizations rendering humanitarian aid. Many individuals, including Tohono O'odham, quietly ignore the tribal and federal laws prohibiting giving aid, and save the lives of migrants.
More at Censored News:
'No More Deaths' 2018 Report, and links to arrest articles:
Copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News