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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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SCOTT WARREN: Yeah, it's a gully, yeah. It'll have water in it when it rains. But most of the time it's dry. This is one way where we know where to drop water, which is, we're on these trails that are pretty distinct and are used by migrants.

AMY GOODMAN: And what were they created by?

SCOTT WARREN: By people, by migrants just walking through here over time and establishing this path.

AMY GOODMAN: So, as you drop make this water drop, I mean, we are standing here. It's over 100-degree weather. Just walking for what? half an hour, it is so beyond depleting.

SCOTT WARREN: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: For migrants, some of them walk for days, and it can even be hotter than this.

SCOTT WARREN: Yes. Yep, that's correct. Yeah, days in this weather. You can't carry enough water. You know, even if you're able to carry like four gallons of water, you'll go through that. And so, people are dependent on finding the few water sources that do exist in this desert, which sometimes you get to a watering hole, and the water can be quite dirty, or it can be dry. So, it's a really it's really risky.

PAIGE CORICH-KLEIM: So, whenever we leave water gallons, we write messages on them, just simple things for people to find, partially so that folks know that it's not Border Patrol like putting out water that's a trap, and also just to kind of show a level of care and solidarity with people who are making a really dangerous trip. So, we just like write little notes on them and then leave those for people to find.

AMY GOODMAN: What are you going to write?

PAIGE CORICH-KLEIM: I usually write kind of religious notes, so like "Vayan con la fuerza de Dios" or "Que Dios bendiga su camino," which means "Go with the strength of God" or "May God bless your journey."

AMY GOODMAN: Geena, can you describe what you're writing on that bottle?

GEENA JACKSON: For this one, I wrote "¡Ánimo!" and "¡Mantenga la fuerza!" and "¡Sí, se puede!" and words of I don't know words of strength. I don't know. We've asked some of our patients before what would feel good to read on the gallon, or what would be like a nice message, or what I don't know what makes the water seem more trustworthy. And a lot of people have said, like, more religious stuff. And a lot of people have said "¡Animo!" So, "¡Animo!" it is.

AMY GOODMAN: Geena, you're now laying out canned beans. Why beans?

GEENA JACKSON: So, we lay out the cans that have pop tops, so that people can open them pretty easily. And we want to put out things that have calories in them and also salt. Drinking water is not enough. A lot of dehydration comes from electrolyte imbalance. So, you need like sodium in addition to water. So we want to put out salty food, or beans have calories and is, like, starchy and has sugars, as well. Yeah, just for some caloric intake in addition to the water.

AMY GOODMAN: And you're putting this in the shade.

GEENA JACKSON: Yeah. Well, so, we want to protect the pop tops, because you can't get in the beans or any can very easily if you can't get into it. So, a lot of times I put them upside down, so that birds won't peck at the shiny part and break the pop top. And also, if it rains, we don't want water to collect in there, because it will rust the pop top. So, I put those underneath, here. And then, we just want the gallons to be in a shadier area, just to protect the plastic so it doesn't disintegrate and for the quality of the water. But we'll come back and check on these drops within like one week, two weeks, three weeks, and then can swap out if anything has gotten old, or if things are used, we'll pack up the empty gallons and leave fresh ones.

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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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