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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/2/19

Death and Resistance on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Democracy Now! Special

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AMY GOODMAN: The journalist John Carlos Frey alleges there are mass graves under the Goldwater bombing range.

GEENA JACKSON: Yeah, I would agree with that. I mean, just in this area, when we first started exploring along the west side of this range, I mean, days would go by where we'll find three, four human remains just in one day, after spending many, many days out there hiking. The loss of human life is immense. And the number of people in the U.S. and in other places who have disappeared family members and don't have any closure of knowing what happened to them is also massive. But for where we are right now in the Growler Valley, this is still south of the bombing range. So, if there's that number of human remains here in this valley, we can only imagine how many more people are dying 40 miles further north.

AMY GOODMAN: Geena Jackson, as we stood in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. When we come back, she, Paige Corich-Kleim and Scott Warren go on a water drop. It's Scott's first time in more than a year. He faces a November retrial for helping migrants last year. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: "They Built a Wall" by Anarchitex. This is Democracy Now! I'm Amy Goodman, broadcasting from Tucson, as we continue our journey into the Sonoran Desert with humanitarian activist Scott Warren and No More Deaths. Deep into the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, Scott and two other volunteers, Geena Jackson and Paige Corich-Kleim, hiked into the desert over the weekend to leave food and water for migrants.

AMY GOODMAN: Scott, how does it feel to be coming out here to be part of a water drop for the first time since your trial, in over a year?

SCOTT WARREN: It's good to be back out in the desert, and it's good to just be having a presence out here again and to be part of that, part of the work that people are doing.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your plans right now? Where are we? And what are you going to do?

PAIGE CORICH-KLEIM: We're in Organ Pipe, and we're heading in to check on some water drop locations that are just up in these hills here. So, we're hiking in to check on those areas.

AMY GOODMAN: And how do you know about the presence of migrants in this area?

SCOTT WARREN: We've spent several years now in these areas doing search and rescue, search and recovery, and doing water drops. And so, we just know that people are moving through these areas. And they've been moving through in large numbers for a while. Also, in these mountainous areas, oftentimes there's trails that people will hike. And so, it's easy to find those trails and sort of find evidence of where people have gone before. And then, that's where we try to get humanitarian supplies to people.

AMY GOODMAN: Have you found bodies or bones in these hills?

SCOTT WARREN: Yep. Yeah, we have, unfortunately. Where we're going, in fact, there's been several recoveries that we've been in involved in, and searches, and people who have died in this area, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you describe this area we're walking through?

SCOTT WARREN: Sure, an area that's from here, we're probably maybe 15 miles north of the border, as the crow flies. And we're hiking into these mountains on the west side of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is Hia-Ced O'odham land and territory. And its Sonoran Desert can be really difficult to walk through, because even these areas that might look like they're flat, there's actually quite a bit of terrain and topography, because there's these washes. So, oftentimes what seems like it could be even just a flat, easy walk is like really strenuous, because you're dropping down into these deep washes and then climbing back out and then going again and going down into a wash and climbing back out again. So, it can be really difficult to hike through here.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you say what a wash is? A little gully?

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Democracy Now!  is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on (more...)
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