Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Culture of Cruelty

Right before we began our bicycle tour, Eric and I volunteered for No More Deaths.  We volunteered for the month of August in Nogales, but when our time was done, we lingered a few weeks longer in Tucson.  Part of the reason that Eric and I stayed a bit longer than anticipated is that we wanted to be there for No More Deaths' release of a report titled A Culture of Cruelty

After over three years, thirteen thousand deportees were interviewed in Nogales, Naco, and Agua Prieta, and reported over 30,000 incidences of human rights abuses suffered in short term custody of the Tucson sector Border Patrol.  A Culture of Cruelty documents these abuses and offers suggestions for more oversight within a system which seems to systematically perpetrate abuse.

I just want to point out that this is only short-term custody by BP, not long term immigration detention by ICE or any of the private facilities.  And it is only in the Tucson Sector which is one of nine Sectors on the Southern border.

Eric and I did some documentation work in our time in Nogales so we wanted to be a part of the release on September 21, 2011.  This included nationwide events, and in Tucson there was a press conference and a demonstration outside of the Tucson Sector Border Patrol facility.  It was a peaceful presence and a team of people of all different professions--doctor, lawyer, social worker, pastor--were selected to attempt to enter the building to present the Chief with the report.  Not surprisingly, they were not permitted to enter, but were told they will set up a time in the near future to sit down and discuss the report.  I sincerely hope that happens, but as of yet, I have not heard anything.

Download the full report and read about other reports and events regarding Border Patrol abuse at this website:

The signature style of No More Deaths-- leaving water bottles behind.

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