More border deaths in Arizona

Early on July 15, a man waved down agents from the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector patrolling near Arizona highway 289 and told them his brother was sick and convulsing. Agents found the man nearby, unresponsive; they called paramedics, but the man was pronounced dead before he could be airlifted to a medical center. He was identified as Omar Lopez Mendiola of Iztapalapa, Mexico. Early on July 16, Border Patrol agents working on the Tohono O’odham Reservation found a dead woman lying on the side of the road. Identification on the body indicated she was an 18-year-old from the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. The body was to be transported to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. (Arizona Daily Star, July 17)

On July 18, an agent with the Shadow Wolves, an elite group of Native American trackers who patrol Tohono O’odham Nation land for ICE, found a dead woman from the central Mexican state of Queretaro. She was found with four other border crossers who survived, including her 10-year old son and a man who had placed a 911 call seeking help, prompting a Border Patrol search for the group. (ADS, July 19) The woman was identified as Maria Resendiz Perez. (ADS, July 20) Late on July 17 and early on July 18, border agents found the decomposed bodies of two presumed migrants at two different sites in the Tucson sector. (ADS, July 19)

On July 19—the 37th straight day of 100-degree temperatures in the Tucson area—a 10-year-old Guatemalan boy found walking about a half mile north of the border told a Border Patrol agent that his mother had died. An agent of Borstar, the agency’s search, trauma and rescue unit, backtracked and found the body of the boy’s mother’s on the Tohono O’odham Reservation. (ADS, July 20)

On July 20, a Border Patrol agent patrolling Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument encountered the body of a Mexican man. The next morning, July 21, the owner of Atascosa Ranch, near Peck Canyon about 13 miles north of the border, found the body of Jose Armando Martinez Miranda of Sinaloa, Mexico. Later the same day, an agent found skeletal remains south of Milepost 13 on Arivaca Road. On July 22, the Border Patrol found two decomposing bodies south of Why on Arizona 85.

The Border Patrol has recovered at least 24 bodies in the Tucson Sector in July, bringing its fiscal-year total to at least 140. The number of border deaths is higher, according to records kept by the Pima and Cochise counties’ medical examiners. Combined, those agencies had handled 184 bodies of illegal border crossers from Oct. 1 through July 23. (ADS, July 24)

From Immigration News Briefs, July 29

See our last posts on the immigration crackdown and the struggle for the border.