As a non-governmental human rights organization, we are deeply concerned about the deaths that have resulted from attempts to cross the border, 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 6,000 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 the U.S.-Mexico Border.
In an effort to honor every life that has been lost on the border, Coalición de Derechos Humanos records the number of bodies that are recovered. 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.
Each year on the Day of the Dead we host a pilgrimage to commemorate the migrant lives lost in the desert. We want to ensure we honor the unidentified, to say the names of those who have been named, and, to not forget. We will walk with crosses, each of which represents the number of remains found in the Arizona desert and recorded by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. Check back in September for more information on the upcoming event. Last year’s pilgrimage is detailed here.
(Information received from the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office)
|Fiscal Year October 1st–
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 2015 September 30, 2016
Last Year’s Recovered Human Remains (Oct. 2014 – Sept. 2015)
Past Years’ Recovered Human Remains