A new report has accused the U.S. Border Patrol agency of using the desert of the borderlands as a “weapon” that has led to the death or disappearances of tens of thousands of people since the 1990s. The report, issued by the groups No More Deaths and the Coalition of Human Rights, accuses Border Patrol of intentionally promoting deadly apprehension policies, such as chasing people into remote areas of the desert, that lead to migrants’ deaths or disappearances. This is Alicia Dinsmore of No More Deaths recounting one such story.
Alicia Dinsmore: “On the night of March 6, 2015, José Cesario Aguilar Esparza and his two nephews were crossing through the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the desert southeast of Ajo, Arizona, when U.S. Border Patrol agents detected their group and began chasing them. During the chase, the three men became separated. Border Patrol agents arrested two of them, but José Cesario was unaccounted for. Later, it was discovered that he had fallen off a cliff, nearly 200 feet down, and died.”
The report says, “The known disappearance of thousands of people in the remote wilderness of the US–Mexico border zone marks one of the great historical crimes of our day.”