The rampant abuse by US Border Patrol agents is documented in a new report, “A Culture of Cruelty: Abuse and Impunity in Short-Term US Border Patrol Custody,” by the Tucson-based humanitarian organization No More Deaths.
The report reveals that US Border Patrol agents are out of control and acting with impunity. The documented abuse describes Border Patrol agents beating children and adults and repeatedly denying medical treatment. Further, migrants suffering in the desert were denied water in the Sonoran Desert, where temperatures can reach over 112 degrees. The 72-page report also documents the stories of one hundred victims of border agent abuse.
"Many of them plainly meet the definition of torture under international law," the report says of the abuse.
Unsafe detention practices and the physical, emotional and psychological abuse of detainees are described in the report. No More Deaths and partner organizations interviewed nearly 13,000 former detainees to compile the report over the past two years. Many of those walking are Indigenous Peoples, walking to survive as their homelands are seized by corporations or drug cartels.
Following a press conference in late September to release the report in Tucson, an oversight committee of professionals -- including a social worker, nurse, doctor, clergy and humanitarian aid representatives -- went to the US Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson and delivered the report. When entrance gates to the Border Patrol were closed and locked, protesters stood with banners and chanted, "End the abuse now!" at the locked gates.
The protest at the US Border Patrol Headquarters was at the entrance to Davis Monthan Airforce Base, where Tucson police soon arrived. Later, a representative of the Border Patrol came out to the street and accepted the report from the oversight committee of professionals.
"It was a good day," exclaimed Isabelle García of Derechos Humanos, among the humanitarian groups based in Tucson, joining No More Deaths to deliver the report.
No More Deaths, founded in 2003, provides humanitarian aid in the desert, including food and water to those dying in the Sonoran Desert. The organization has provided training for thousands of volunteers to provide aid to migrants at desert camps and border aid stations. Volunteers search the desert for those in distress, in an effort to save lives in the desert.
Danielle Alvarado, No More Deaths volunteer, said of the new report, "What we've found is clearly not the result of a few
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