Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No More Deaths: Recent abuse interviews from Nogales

From a No More Deaths Newsletter:

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 18 February 2010. Interviewee, man from Sonora, Mexico, requested to remain anonymous. Interviewee reported that while attempting to cross for a second time, after walking for three days in the desert, he and his friend were apprehended by three US Border Patrol agents in green uniforms. The agents apprehended them on 15 February 2010 at approximately 10-10:30am. The agents spoke Spanish. The agents accused the interviewee of carrying drugs and beat him in the head with the butt of a pistol. He collapsed to the ground and was bleeding heavily from the gash in the left side of his head. The agents called an ambulance (presumably a BORSTAR ambulance) which came and brought the interviewee to a hospital. He reported that he received staples in his head at the hospital but when he was released from the hospital he did not receive any papers or documents about the injury he sustained or the treatment he received. He reported that the hospital was small and the doctor who treated him did not have any identification. After being released from the hospital he and his friend were taken to custody in Tucson where they were given deportation papers, in English, to sign. They were given only crackers and juice to eat. They were deported 18 February 2010 to Nogales, Sonora. The friend, who witnessed the assault and was present during the interview, confirmed the interviewee's testimony. At the time of the interview the interviewee appeared to be in a state of shock.
  • Interview conducted 19 February 2010. Interviewee Bernabel R------ A------, from Guanajuato, Mexico. Mr. R------ is blind. He reported that he was taken into immigration custody in November 2009 in Texas, where he was held for three months before being taken to court in El Rio and deported to Nogales, Sonora. He had lived in Seattle, Washington, for three years and still has brothers there. In custody in Texas all of his papers (for a bank account at Bank of America, his passport, and other documents) were taken. When he asked for them to be returned he was told that they had already been thrown away. He was deported to Sonora, Mexico, in February 2010. He stated that he wanted to report the loss of the documents so that other people would not have to endure similar abuses.
  • Interview conducted 19 February 2010 collectively with three women who were held in custody in Tucson from 17 February 2010 to 18 February 2010. One of the women, from Chiapas, has three children in Chiapas, aged 8, 10, and 12. She stated that she was attempting to cross for the first time in order to find work to support her children. She was taken into custody in Tucson and brought to streamlining at the Tucson courthouse. She stated that guards pushed the detainees who were chained and could not walk quickly. She stated that one guard held her nose in front of the detainees and said they smelled. Another interviewee stated that when she was apprehended with a group in the desert a Border Patrol agent accused them of carrying drugs and threatened to shoot them. The third interviewee reported that guards shouted at them and used racist language. She gave the name of one agent in particular in Tucson, Mr. J. V------, who was especially abusive. All three women reported that they had their clothes taken from them and were held in extremely cold temperatures while in custody.

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