As a non-governmental human rights organization, we are deeply concerned about the continued deaths that have occurred on our borders. We are particularly concerned about those deaths that have resulted from attempts to cross our desert, which are often due to exposure and/or are heat related. Since border policies were implemented in the 1990s, it is estimated that the remains of more than 5,000 men, women and children have been recovered on the U.S.-México border. These are tragedies, and we feel that such a human rights crisis needs a viable solution.
However, in order to alert our government and the public as to the true extent of these casualties, accurate numbers of deaths must be recorded. Currently, conflicting numbers are constantly being released, mostly because of the complicated nature of recovering and identifying individuals who often carry little or no identification with them, and the many agencies this information is passed to. We would like to attempt to keep a more accurate record of migrants who have died on our borders.
In an effort to honor every life that has been lost on our borders, Coalición de Derechos Humanos records the number of bodies that are recovered on our border. With the cooperation of Arizona county officials, as well as the Consular offices of México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Brazil, and the Binational Migration Institute, we are attempting to put names to our migrant sisters and brothers, and bear witness to the deaths of those unknown, of whom there are hundreds buried in our communities.
As we attempt to comfort their families who mourn, let us also promise to seek justice, peace, and an end to the walls that separate and divide our communities. May we honor the spirits of those who have died with the commitment to peace and dignity on our borders.
Recovered Human Remains
|Fiscal Year (October 1-September 30)||Total|
|2000 – 2001||136|
|2001 – 2002||163|
|2002 – 2003||205|
|2003 – 2004||234|
|2004 – 2005||282|
|2005 – 2006||205|
|2006 – 2007||237|
|2007 – 2008||183|
|2008 – 2009||206|
|2009 – 2010||253|
|2010 – 2011||183|
|2011 – 2012||179|
|2012 – 2013||183|
|2013 – 2014||122|
Coalición de Derechos Humanos counts the number of bodies recovered in Arizona for the fiscal year, which begins October 1st and ends September 30th of every year. This will be so that we can compare the numbers put out by the government officials with those that we gather, in collaboration with the Consular offices and county medical examiners.
The following are the human remains recovered from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. Information will be updated as soon as it is available.
Note: In addition, the Arizona Daily Star has also begun a database of migrant deaths. There are many overlapping details between their numbers and ours, but if you are looking for someone specific and do not see it on our list, you may also want to check the AZ Starnet database. Searches can be done by name, home, age, and date here.
Last Year’s Recovered Human Remains
Past Years’ Recovered Human Remains