On this Day of the Dead, we honor all migrants who have perished along the US-Mexico border and en route to the United States.
Over the past two decades, more than 8,050 people have died along the US-Mexico border. Many more deaths go unrecorded. According to organizations such as Coalicion de Derechos Humanos and the South Texas Human rights Center, official figures do not include the thousands of migrants who are still missing and have been unable to establish contact with their families — migrants become lost and stranded in the desert and mountains, others perish as a result of drownings, heat, and exhaustion, and many are traveling with minors.
Anti-immigrant policies, compounded with militarized technologies, push migrants to take dangerous and inhospitable routes leading to disappearances. When people go missing, their families face devastating psychological damage. They are also confronted with a web of bureaucratic and legal barriers, including morgues, medical examiners, forensic pathologists, embassies, and consular offices trying to find their missing loved ones. There are no border-wide protocols to find missing migrants or reunify their remains with their families.
Militarized migration management is creating a human rights catastrophe with tragic consequences for migrants and those living in our border communities. Southern Border Communities Coalition found that since 2010, more than 245 people have died at the hands of Border Patrol agents. Among those is the death of 42-year-old Anastasio Hernández, who was tortured and killed by Border Patrol agents in May 2010.
Anastasio’s family and community organizations have brought their case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The court hearing will take place on November 4, 2022, is open to the public, and will determine whether the murder, cover-up, and denial of justice for Anastasio’s family are considered gross human rights violations. Please help us honor the life of Anastasio and the many other victims by attending this event.
For those in Tucson, please join local organizations by attending the 22nd annual procession and community vigil at El Tiradito in Tucson, AZ. This event will bring local communities to honor those who have perished in transit, at detention centers, or along migration routes. We will continue to demand justice.