• L’Arizona relance son programme de peine de mort avec le « Zyklon B » des nazis
    Confronté à une pénurie de produits pour les injections létales, l’État a rénové sa chambre à gaz et acheté des produits chimiques pour fabriquer le gaz qu’utilisaient les nazis


    La prison d’État de Florence, en Arizona, qui abrite la chambre à gaz de l’État, le 23 juillet 2014. (Crédit : AP)

    Afin de relancer son programme d’exécutions gelé depuis longtemps, l’État de l’Arizona, dans le sud-ouest des États-Unis, a rénové sa chambre à gaz et acheté les ingrédients nécessaires à la fabrication de cyanure d’hydrogène, plus connu sous le nom de « Zyklon B », le produit chimique utilisé par les nazis dans les camps de la mort d’Auschwitz-Birkenau et de Majdanek, entre autres.

    Ces détails ont été rapportés ce week-end par le site d’information britannique The Guardian , sur la base de documents obtenus par le biais de demandes d’archives publiques.

    Ils montrent que les autorités de l’Arizona ont dépensé près de 2 000 dollars pour acheter une brique solide de cyanure de potassium en décembre, ainsi que des pastilles d’hydroxyde de sodium et de l’acide sulfurique, qui servent à produire le gaz mortel.

    Les documents révèlent également qu’ils ont « remis à neuf » la chambre à gaz de l’État, construite en 1949 et mise en sommeil en 1999 après l’exécution ratée d’un détenu, Walter LaGrand.


    L’intérieur de la chambre à gaz de la prison de San Quentin en Californie, le 14 janvier 1972. (Crédit : AP)

    Selon le récit d’un témoin oculaire publié dans le Tucson Citizen , Walter LaGrand est mort « étouffé et asphyxié » pendant 18 minutes, entre le moment où le gaz est entré dans la chambre et celui où il est mort, « enveloppé de gaz toxique ».

    Selon The Guardian , les autorités ont utilisé des moyens « primitifs » pour tester le caisson de la prison d’État de Florence, notamment en utilisant une bougie allumée pour vérifier si les joints d’étanchéité étaient intacts. Elles ont également effectué un test en faisant couler de l’eau dans le système et en lançant une grenade fumigène à l’intérieur.

    Le rapport indique également que le personnel pénitentiaire s’est livré à des jeux de rôle pendant les tests. Les gardiens jouaient le rôle de détenus qui simulaient une résistance à leur mise à mort en criant : « C’est un meurtre », « Je suis innocent », « Vous m’abattez comme un animal » et « C’est contre tout ce que l’Amérique représente ».

    L’État a cherché des moyens de relancer ses exécutions, qui ont été mises en suspens après une exécution ratée en 2014.

    Ces dernières années, les états américains ont eu du mal à procéder à des exécutions par injection létale, les laboratoires pharmaceutiques refusant de leur vendre les médicaments nécessaires pour endormir les détenus, détendre leurs muscles et arrêter leur cœur.

    L’Arizona avait expérimenté un mélange indéterminé de deux médicaments, mais cette expérience a également été suspendue après l’exécution ratée, en 2014, de Joseph Rudolph Wood, qui avait reçu 15 doses d’un mélange de deux médicaments sur une période de deux heures avant de mourir.

    D’autres états ont réintroduit l’exécution par peloton d’exécution et la chaise électrique.

    L’Arizona a annoncé en 2019 qu’il allait reprendre les exécutions, sans préciser comment. Il compte actuellement 115 détenus dans le couloir de la mort.

    « Justice doit être rendue aux victimes de ces crimes odieux et à leurs familles. Ceux qui commettent le crime ultime méritent le châtiment ultime », avait alors déclaré le procureur général Mark Brnovich.


    Photo d’archive non datée fournie par le département correctionnel de l’Arizona – Joseph Rudolph Wood, son exécution 2014, a été, selon son avocat, » horriblement bâclé « . (Crédit : Département correctionnel de l’Arizona via AP)
    Les nazis ont utilisé le Zyklon B pour tuer des millions de personnes dans les chambres à gaz des camps de la mort, qui étaient aménagées pour ressembler à des douches pour les détenus qui arrivaient.


    Le crématorium près de la première chambre à gaz de l’ancien camp de la mort nazi d’Auschwitz I à Oswiecim, en Pologne, le 8 décembre 2019. (Markus Schreiber/AP)
    . . . . . . .
    La suite : https://fr.timesofisrael.com/larizona-relance-son-programme-de-peine-de-mort-avec-le-zyklon-b-d

    #Zyklon #fachosphere #justice #USA #nazisme #arizona #chambre_à_gaz #jeux_de_rôle Un bon point pour les #laboratoires_pharmaceutiques

  • In the Sonoran Desert, #GIS Helps to Map Migrant Deaths

    GIS technology lends insight into why some undocumented migrants perish while crossing international borders.

    Last year geographer #Sam_Chambers published an unusual map of the Sonoran Desert. He wasn’t interested in marking roads, mountains, and cities. Instead, the University of Arizona researcher wanted to show the distance a young male can walk in various regions of the desert before the high temperature and physical exertion put him at risk of dying from heat exposure or hyperthermia.

    On the resulting map, red and purple correspond with cooler, mountainous terrain. Yellow and white, which dominate the image, indicate a remote, hot valley. It’s here where migrants seeking to cross between Mexico and the United States are at greatest risk of dying from the desert’s relentless sun.

    Chambers’ map relies on geographical information system (GIS) modeling, a digital technology that allows geographers to perform spatial, data-driven analysis of landscapes. Chambers’ chosen topic represents a burgeoning effort to use GIS to understand the risk undocumented migrants face while crossing international borders, according to Jonathan Cinnamon, a geographer at Ryerson University in Toronto. According to Chambers’ analysis, migrants began crossing through hotter, more rugged parts of the desert after the U.S. government increased the number of Border Patrol agents and installed new surveillance technologies, including underground motion sensors and radar-equipped watchtowers.

    The Sonoran covers roughly 100,000 square miles in Arizona, California, and Mexico, and includes major cities such as Phoenix and Tucson, as well as vast swathes of empty public and private lands. The effort to funnel migrants into this desert began in 1994 under the Clinton administration. That’s when the wave of increased migration that had started in the 1980s prompted the U.S. government to embrace the policy of “prevention through deterrence.” The idea was that would-be migrants from Mexico and Central America would be deterred from illegally crossing the U.S. border if their routes were too treacherous. With this goal in mind, Border Patrol erected new infrastructure and stepped up enforcement in border cities like Tijuana and El Paso, leaving the harsh unpopulated borderlands as the only option.

    In an email to Undark, John Mennell, a public affairs specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — the agency that oversees Border Patrol — in Arizona, said that people crossing the border illegally are at risk from the predations of smugglers and criminal organizations, who, he says, encourage migrants to ride on train tops or to shelter in packed houses with limited food and water. Mennell says the agency has installed rescue beacons in the desert, which migrants can use to call for help. According to CBP, Border Patrol rescued roughly 5,000 migrants on the Southwest border from October 2019 through September 2020.

    Yet according to data compiled by the nonprofit group Humane Borders, the prevention through deterrence approach has failed to stop migrants from attempting the border crossing. “There continues to be a shift in migration into more remote and difficult areas,” said Geoff Boyce, a geographer at Earlham College in Indiana, and one of Chambers’ collaborators. Migrants have a much higher chance of dying in the desert today than they did 15 years ago, he said, and the numbers continue to rise, from 220 deaths per 100,000 apprehensions in 2016 to 318 deaths per 100,000 apprehensions in 2020. Last year, 227 migrants died in the Pima County Medical Examiner’s jurisdiction, in southern Arizona, although activists say that the number is likely much higher because of the way bodies disappear in the desert.

    Chambers and Boyce source mortality data from the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. They have gotten information on migrant activity from No More Deaths, one of many humanitarian groups in the Tucson area that maintains desert water and supply stations for migrants. No More Deaths, which supports the decriminalization of undocumented migration, has set up supplies in the mountains and other hard-to-reach areas. Humane Borders also maintains stations in areas accessible by car. These organizations maintain meticulous records — the raw data that launched Chambers’ and Boyce’s first desert mapping collaboration.

    On a cool November morning, Rebecca Fowler, administrative manager with Humane Borders, climbed into a truck armed with a list of 53 water stations. She was joined by two volunteers who chatted on the street next to a truck bed bearing yards of hoses and 55-gallon blue barrels that the organization purchases at a discount from soda companies.

    Fowler was leading the Friday morning water run to seven stations off State Route 286, which runs south from Tucson to an isolated border town called Sasabe. Each week, Fowler and her volunteers check to be sure that the water is potable and plentiful. They change out dirty barrels and make notes of any vandalism. (In the past, some of the group’s barrels have been found with bullet holes or with the spigots ripped off.)

    Among other data points, Fowler and her team gather data on water usage, footprints, and clothes found near their sites. Using the county’s medical examiner data, they have also created an interactive map of migrant deaths. A search of their website reveals a spread of red dots on the Southwestern United States, so many between Phoenix and Tucson that the map turns black. The organization has charted more than 3,000 deaths in the past two decades.

    In her years in the desert, Fowler has noticed the same kind of changes pointed to in Boyce’s and Chambers’ research. “Migrants have been increasingly funneled into more desolate, unforgiving areas,” she said.

    GIS modeling, which is broadly defined as any technique that allows cartographers to spatially analyze data and landscapes, has evolved alongside computers. The U.S. military was an early developer and adopter of this technology, using it to understand terrain and plan operations. In those early days, few activists or academics possessed the skills or the access needed to use GIS, said Cinnamon. But in the last decade, more universities have embraced GIS as part of their curricula and the technology has become more readily available.

    Now, the kind of GIS modeling employed by Chambers, who uses ArcGIS and QGIS software, is commonplace in archaeology and landscape design. It allows modelers to understand how factors like terrain, weather, and manmade features influence the way people move through a given physical environment.

    An architect might employ GIS technology to decide where to put sidewalks on a college campus, for example. Chambers used these techniques to study elk migration during his doctoral studies at the University of Arizona. But after Boyce connected him to No More Deaths, he started using his skills to study human migration.

    No More Deaths tracks data at their water stations, too — including acts of vandalism, which they asked Boyce and Chambers to assist in analyzing via GIS. That report, released in 2018, spatially examines the time of year and location of the vandalism and uses its results to postulate that Border Patrol agents are primarily responsible, while acknowledging that rogue actors, such as hunters and members of militia groups, may contribute as well. (CBP did not respond to Undark’s questions on water station vandalism.)

    When Boyce and Chambers finished analyzing the information, they asked themselves: What else could this data reveal? Previous attempts to understand the desert’s hostility had relied on the prevalence of human remains or statistics on capture by Border Patrol agents, but both of those are imperfect measures.

    “It’s very hard to get any type of reliable, robust information about undocumented migration, particularly in remote desert areas,” said Boyce. “The people who are involved, their behavior is not being methodically recorded by any state actor.”

    Most of the water stations on Fowler’s route were set back from the highway, off bumpy roads where mesquite scraped the truck. By 11 a.m., heavy-bellied clouds had rolled in and the temperature was in the 80s and rising. The fingers of saguaro cacti pointed at the sky and at the Quinlan Mountains jutting over the horizon; on the other side lay the Tohono O’odham Nation. Fowler says Border Patrol’s policies increasingly shunt migrants into treacherous lands within the reservation.

    Humane Borders’ water barrels are marked by long poles capped by tattered blue flags, fluttering above the brush. Each barrel features a combination lock, preventing vandals from opening the barrel and pouring anything inside. Each is also marked by a Virgin of Guadalupe sticker, a symbol for migrants passing through the desert.

    At each stop, Fowler and that day’s volunteers, Lauren Kilpatrick and Isaiah Ortiz, pulled off the lock and checked the water for particulates and pH levels. They picked up nearby trash and kept an eye out for footprints. At the third station, the water harbored visible black dots — an early sign of algae — so the group dumped all 55 gallons and set up a new barrel. At a later station, Fowler found a spigot that had been wrenched off and flung among the mesquite. Later still, the group came upon a barrel full of decaying, abandoned backpacks.

    This was the third water run for Kilpatrick and Ortiz, a couple from Nevada now living in Arizona. Kilpatrick had read books and listened to podcasts about the borderlands, and Ortiz had wanted to get involved because the crisis felt personal to him — some of his family are immigrants, some of his friends and their relatives undocumented.

    “I just think about their journey — some of them are from Central America and Mexico,” he said. “Their lives were in real danger coming through areas like this.”

    GIS modeling simplifies this complex landscape into a grid. To analyze the grid, Chambers uses a standard modeling software; so far, he has published five papers with Boyce about the desert. For the first they worked on together, the team took No More Deaths’ data on visits to water sites from 2012 to 2015 and looked at changes in water usage at each site. Once they’d determined which routes had fallen out of favor and which had risen in popularity, they looked at whether those newer routes were more treacherous, using a ruggedness index that Chambers developed with his colleagues by looking at the slope and jaggedness of terrain, along with vegetation cover and temperature. They concluded that official United States policy is increasingly shunting migrants into more rugged areas.

    From CBP’s perspective, “Walking through remote inhospitable terrain is only one of many dangers illegal immigrants face during their dangerous journey into the United States,” said Mennell. And installing new technology and increased patrol on popular migration routes is actually a good thing, he says, because it contributes to the goal of securing the border against smugglers shepherding in so-called “illegal immigrants.”

    In another paper, Chambers studied whether migrants took new routes to avoid increased surveillance, and whether those new routes put them at higher risk of heat exposure and hyperthermia. To map out which areas were toughest to cross — as measured by caloric expenditure — Chambers factored in such variables as slope, terrain, and average human weight and walking speed, borrowing both military and archaeological formulas to measure the energy expenditures of different routes. He used viewshed analysis, which tells a mapmaker which areas are visible from a certain point — say, from a surveillance tower — and, using his slope calculations and the formulae, compared the energy costs of walking within sight of the towers versus staying out of sight.

    Chambers tested his findings against the maps of recovered human remains in the area before and after increased surveillance. To map risk of heat exposure, Chambers used formulae from sports medicine professionals, military physicians, and physiologists, and charted them onto the desert. And he found, just as with the ruggedness index, that people are taking longer, more intense routes to avoid the towers. Now they need more calories to survive the desert, and they’re at higher risk of dying from heat.

    Caloric expenditure studies had been done before in other contexts, said Chambers. But until this map, no one had ever created a detailed spatial representation of locations where the landscape and high temperatures are deadliest for the human body.

    GIS mapping is also being used to track migration into Europe. Lorenzo Pezzani, a lecturer in forensic architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, works with artists, scientists, NGOs, and politicians to map what they see as human rights violations in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Compared with the group conducting research in Arizona, Pezzani and his team are at a distinct disadvantage. If a body drops into the sea, it’s unlikely to be recovered. There’s just not as much data to study, says Pezzani. So he and his team study discrete disasters, and then they extrapolate from there.

    Pezzani disseminates his group’s work through a project called Forensic Oceanography, a collaborative research effort consisting of maps, visualizations, and reports, which has appeared in art museums. In 2018, information gathered through their visualizations was submitted to the European Court of Human Rights as evidence showing the Italian government’s role in migrant drowning deaths.

    The goal is to make migrant deaths in the Mediterranean more visible and to challenge the governmental narrative that, like the deaths in the Sonoran, these deaths are unavoidable and faultless. Deaths from shipwrecks, for example, are generally blamed on the criminal networks of human traffickers, said Pezzani. He wants to show that the conditions that draw migrants into dangerous waters are the result of “specific political decisions that have been taken by southern European states and by the European Union.”

    Pezzani, Chambers, and Boyce all intend for their work to foster discussion about government policy on immigration and borderlands. Boyce, for one, wants the U.S. government to rethink its policy of “prevention through deterrence” and to demilitarize the border. He believes the current policy is doomed to fail and is inhumane because it does not tackle the underlying issues that cause people to try to migrate in the first place. Ryan Burns, a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley, said he wants to see more research like this. “We need more scientists who are saying, ‘We can produce knowledge that is sound, that is actionable, that has a very well-established rigor to it, but is also politically motivated,’” Burns said.

    Cinnamon said that GIS, by its nature, tends to involve approaching a project with a viewpoint already in mind. “If the U.S. government decided to do the same study, they might approach it from a very different perspective,” he said. As long as the authors are overt about their viewpoints, Cinnamon sees no issue.

    Burns, however, did sound one cautionary note. By drawing attention to illegal crossings, he said, researchers “could be endangering people who are taking these paths.” In other words, making a crisis more visible can be politically powerful, but it can also have unintended consequences.

    Before their last water station visit, the group from Humane Borders drove into Sasabe. A helicopter chopped overhead, probably surveilling for migrants, Fowler said. Border Patrol vehicles roamed the streets, as they do throughout this part of the country.

    Once, Fowler said, a 12-foot wall spread for miles across the mountains here. In recent months, it’s been replaced by the U.S. government’s latest effort to stop migrants from venturing into the desert: a 30-footer, made of steel slats, undulating through the town and across the mountains in either direction. It’s yet another factor to consider when mapping the Sonoran and envisioning how its natural and manmade obstacles will shape its migration routes.

    “There’s so much speculation” about what will happen to migrants because of this wall, said Fowler. She suspects they will cross through the Tohono O’odham Nation, where there’s no wall. But they won’t have access to water dropped by Humane Borders. “What I worry about, obviously, is more people dying,” said Fowler. She’s certain the migrants “will continue to come.”

    Chambers and Boyce plan to keep making maps. They recently published a paper showing the stress that internal border checkpoints place on migrants crossing the desert, the latest step in their quest to create empirical evidence for the increasing treacherousness of the border.

    “It’s an important thing for people to know,” said Boyce.

    https://undark.org/2021/03/31/mapping-migrant-deaths-sonoran-desert
    #SIG #désert_du_Sonora #asile #migrations #frontières #morts_aux_frontières #décès #morts #USA #Mexique #Etats-Unis #cartographie #visualisation #contre-cartographie

    ping @reka

    • Developing a geospatial measure of change in core temperature for migrating persons in the Mexico-U.S. border region

      Although heat exposure is the leading cause of mortality for undocumented immigrants attempting to traverse the Mexico-U.S. border, there has been little work in quantifying risk. Therefore, our study aims to develop a methodology projecting increase in core temperature over time and space for migrants in Southern #Arizona using spatial analysis and remote sensing in combination with the heat balance equation—adapting physiological formulae to a multi-step geospatial model using local climate conditions, terrain, and body specifics. We sought to quantitatively compare the results by demographic categories of age and sex and qualitatively compare them to known terrestrial conditions and prior studies of those conditions. We demonstrated a more detailed measure of risk for migrants than those used most recently: energy expenditure and terrain ruggedness. Our study not only gives a better understanding of the ‘#funnel_effect’ mechanisms, but also provides an opportunity for relief and rescue operations.

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1877584520300411
      #risques #risque #analyse_spatiale

  • ’This is literally an industry’: drone images give rare look at for-profit #Ice detention centers

    Art project combines interviews with ex-detainees on their trauma during Covid-19, and imagery of the growth of private-run detention in the US

    “Imagine how it feels there, locked up, the whole day without catching the air, without … seeing the light, because that is a cave there, in there you go crazy; without being able to see my family, just being able to listen to them on a phone and be able to say, ‘OK, bye,’ because the calls are expensive.”

    That’s how Alejandro, an asylum seeker from Cuba, described his time in an #Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement (Ice) detention center.

    His account is one of dozens captured in a collection of audio recordings as part of a project aiming to show how the US immigration detention system, the world’s largest, has commodified people as part of a for-profit industry.

    “We’ve commodified human displacement,” said artist David Taylor, who has used drones to take aerial photography and video of 28 privately run Ice detention centers near the US southern border, in California, #Arizona and #Texas.

    While accounts of abuse and exploitation from inside facilities appear in the news media, the detention centers are usually in isolated, underpopulated areas with access to photographers or film crews tightly controlled.

    This new image collection, taken from near the perimeters of the facilities, gives a rare look at just how many of these centers occupy the landscape. “What I want to show through the accumulation of imagery is that this is literally an industry,” Taylor said, “that it’s expansive, that it occupies a significant amount of territory in our national landscape – and I’m only showing a fraction of it.

    “That, to me, is an important realization. The scale is shocking; how it is changing the United States,” said Taylor, a professor of art at the University of Arizona.

    The imagery will ultimately be shown in an exhibition incorporating the stories of some of the people captured inside this system. These audio recordings come from a collaboration with Taylor and a group which provides free legal service to detained migrants in Arizona, the Florence Project, and writer Francisco Cantú.

    When the project is eventually presented in a gallery, it will also include data on the costs, profits and revenue of corporations involved. Late in the the Obama era, the Department of Justice (DoJ) discontinued all use of private prison corporations to house detainees, but the DoJ during the Trump administration reversed this policy.

    Between 2015 and 2018, as the administration began to ramp up its crackdown on immigrants, the targeted average daily population of detained immigrants grew 50%. Corporations won contracts from Ice worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Taylor said the project was fraught because he was taking artistic photos and video of sites where traumas have occurred, but hopes the final work will help people understand how those inside are being used to support an industry. The detainees’ vulnerability during the Covid-19 pandemic added to an urgency to spotlight the facilities, he said.

    Excerpts from some of the interviews follow. Each of the interviewees was given a pseudonym because their asylum cases are pending. Alejandro and Alonzo’s interviews were translated from Spanish.

    All three were held at facilities operated by CoreCivic, which disputes allegations about conditions and said it was committed to health and safety.
    ‘They are not interested in our lives’

    Alonzo – La Palma correctional center in Eloy, Arizona

    When Covid first struck the detention center, Alonzo said he helped organize strikes to protest the conditions inside which were exposing everyone, including the guards, to the illness.

    The 34-year-old said he was refused access to a Covid test even though he was feeling unwell. A month later, he said he was taken to the hospital because he was having such trouble breathing and his skin was turning black. “The truth is that you need to be dying there so that they can take care of you, what they do with you there is lousy, lousy, lousy. They are not interested in our lives in the least.”

    In a hospital emergency room, a doctor told Alonzo he had blood clots and probably had cancer because they found tumors in his lungs and kidneys.

    “When they give me this news, they tell me that they have to return me to La Palma correctional center and put me in a cell. I spent a day and a half locked up without being able to get out at all. On that day they gave me half an hour to bathe, let my family know what was happening to me, and locked me up again.

    “During this time that I was there, there were many people. We stood up to be treated, there were colleagues who collapsed inside the tank, people who convulsed. We prayed because the nurses who treated us, the nurses came and told us, ‘You have nothing, it’s a simple flu,’ and nothing happens.”

    Alonzo described witnessing many suicide attempts. He said he found strength in his wish to see his daughters again and his belief in God. “I always had something in my mind and in my heart, that God did not save me from Mexico to come to die in a forgotten cell. I knew within myself that I was not going to die there.”

    He said the strikes came about as conditions worsened. “One day we all got organized and got together to talk. ‘You know what, brother? There is no Cuban here, there is no Mexican here, there is no Indian here, there is no Venezuelan here, there is no Nicaraguan here, there is nothing. Here we are all here. Because we are all infected, because we are all dying. This is fighting for our existence, it is no longer fighting for a residence, it is no longer fighting for a parole, it is no longer fighting for bail, it is all fighting to get out of here alive.’”
    ‘They told me I had Covid-19. They never gave me treatment’

    Alejandro – Central Arizona Florence correctional center

    Alejandro approached a border checkpoint to seek asylum after three months of waiting in Mexico, seeking refuge from political persecution in his native Cuba. At the border, his pregnant wife was allowed to stay with a relative in the US, while Alejandro, 19, was detained.

    During his three months in detention, he was told he tested positive for Covid-19, which he was skeptical of because he didn’t have symptoms and was asthmatic. He said he was put in solitary confinement because of the test result, then transferred to a civil jail, where he said conditions were worse.

    The most painful part of all, however, was missing the birth of his son after his wife underwent a difficult pregnancy.
    Joe Biden reverses anti-immigrant Trump policies hours after swearing-in
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    “Imagine, it broke my heart, I could hardly speak. Every time I spoke to my wife, or listened to the child, a lump would form in my throat that I could not swallow. It was a thing that does not let you swallow, that makes your chest constrict from so much suffering, from so much pain … If you are a parent, you know what I am telling you … The words did not come out from so much suffering … I spoke a few words and cried. She could hardly speak. Sometimes it was better not to call, because if I called I would feel worse than not calling.”

    Alejandro said he cried every day in detention and was treated by a psychologist in a five-minute “speed date” appointment. “She asked me, ‘Hi, I understand you have a boy, how are you feeling?’ I told her I felt bad, how else was I going to feel? She said, ‘you need to read, to relax,’ just that. Nonsense, something quick. They told me I had Covid-19 and they never gave me any treatment, just water. They told me, ‘Drink water, lots of water.’”
    Responses from #CoreCivic and Ice

    A CoreCivic company spokesman, Ryan Gustin, denied the allegations Alejandro and Alonzo made about conditions in their facilities. “We have responded to this unprecedented situation appropriately, thoroughly and with care for the safety and wellbeing of those entrusted to us and our communities,” Gustin said. “We don’t cut corners on care, staff or training, which meets, and in many cases exceeds, our government partners’ standards.”

    CoreCivic said all detainees were supplied with face masks and denied any allegations that detainees were refused Covid tests. “Initially, detainees were asked to sign an acknowledgment form related to the use of the masks.” The spokesman said detainees were not placed in solitary confinement because of a positive test; he said there were “cohorting procedures … which are intended to prevent the spread of infection” which involve no loss of privileges or activities. CoreCivic denied claims of multiple suicide attempts saying “any such incident would be reported to our government partner”.

    Ice, which oversees the facilities, said the agency was “firmly dedicated to the health and safety of all individuals in our custody”.

    “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Ice has taken extensive steps to safeguard all detainees, staff and contractors, including: reducing the number of detainees in custody by placing individuals on alternatives to detention programs, suspending social visitation, incorporating social distancing practices with staggered meals and recreation times, and through the use of testing, cohorting and medical isolation.”
    ‘Let me go back home and face my death’

    Mary – in Central Arizona Florence correctional complex one night, then Eloy detention center

    Mary was first detained in Mexico, where she arrived after traveling from her home in Uganda. She was eventually released, sought asylum in the US at a border checkpoint and was detained for five and a half months.

    Detention conditions were similar in the two countries, she said, except Mexican guards occasionally held days where people could socialize with family or friends who were also detained.

    The isolation Mary experienced in the US was intense. She didn’t speak to her young children in Africa the whole time because she couldn’t afford the costs of the calls and relied on a volunteer to relay messages between the mother and her children.

    Also, because she doesn’t speak Spanish, it was more difficult for her to make relationships with immigrants inside from mostly Spanish-speaking countries, and the schedules in the prison made it difficult to develop relationships with others.

    “The Cameroonians were there, but again, everybody used to feel sad, everybody used not to talk. It was like that, since you were sad all the time, you could not communicate, you could not joke.”

    She, like many others, described how many people just wanted to be deported instead of waiting out their time in detention.

    “One day I thought that if the judge denies me, I’ll just tell her or him, ‘Let me go back home and face my death, because I never wanted to stay in detention more. I was thinking about that, but I could not again decide since I was afraid of getting back home.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/29/ice-immigration-detention-centers-drone-photography-rare-look-arizona
    #privatisation #complexe-militaro-industriel #business #asile #migrations #réfugiés #centres #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #industrie #photographie #USA #Etats-Unis #enfermement #Californie

    ping @isskein

  • America’s Salad Bowl Becomes Fertile Ground for Covid-19 - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/us/coronavirus-arizona-yuma-covid.html

    Because Yuma County produces the lettuce, broccoli and other leafy greens that Americans consume during the cold months, it is known as “America’s salad bowl.” Now it has become a winter hothouse for Covid-19.
    Over the course of the pandemic, the Yuma area has identified coronavirus cases at a higher rate than any other U.S. region. One out of every six residents has come down with the virus.Each winter, the county’s population swells by 100,000 people, to more than 300,000, as field workers descend on the farms and snowbirds from the Midwest pull into R.V. parks. This seasonal ritual brings jobs, local spending and high tax revenue. But this year, the influx has turned deadly.Father Chapa’s parish is weathering the full spectrum of the pandemic’s surge. In Spanish and English, he ministers to Mexican-American families who have been rooted here for generations as well as the seasonal residents, all of them afflicted. The church is handling three times the number of funerals it usually does.
    While coronavirus cases are starting to flatten across the country, the virus is still raging in many border communities. Three of the six metro areas with the highest rates of known cases since the outbreak began are small cities straddling Mexico: Yuma; Eagle Pass, Texas; and El Centro, Calif.
    Seasonal migration, the daily flow of people back and forth and lax measures to contain the virus’s spread have created a combustible constellation. Arizona has seen among the highest increases in newly reported deaths of any state over the past two weeks — and it is not clear when this troubling trend will abate.Halfway between San Diego and Phoenix, but geographically isolated from both, Yuma has only one hospital. Understaffed and overwhelmed with cases, it has been airlifting critically ill patients to other cities. And the fallout from Christmas and New Year festivities is not over.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#mexique#frontiere#circulation#sante#famille#migrationsaisonniere#communauté#texas#arizona#californie

  • Biosphere 2: Das Menschenexperiment unter Glas
    https://diasp.eu/p/11642797

    Biosphere 2: Das Menschenexperiment unter Glas

    https://1e9.community/t/biosphere-2-das-menschenexperiment-unter-glas/5186

    Vor fast 30 Jahren startete in der Wüste von #Arizona ein unvergleichliches Experiment. Acht Menschen ließen sich in einer überdachten Nachbildung verschiedener Biotope einsperren. Der Versuch sollte beweisen, dass es möglich ist, auf anderen Planeten eine neue Erde zu schaffen. Doch schon bald wurde die Luft knapp und das #Experiment zum Skandal. Denn hinter der Biosphere 2 standen nicht #Wissenschaftler, sondern eine #Theatergruppe. Und dann kam auch noch Trump-Berater #Steve_Bannon.

    Von Michael Förtsch

    Es sind Szenen wie aus einem #Science-Fiction-Film. Acht Menschen in futuristischen Overalls stehen aufgereiht vor einem riesigen Gebäude, das an ein (...)

    • ... einem riesigen Gebäude, das an ein überdimensioniertes Gewächshaus erinnert. Hinter den Glasscheiben lassen sich Schlingpflanzen, Palmen und andere exotische Gewächse erspähen. Während Medienvertreter mit Filmkameras und Fotoapparaten um die Leute in den Overalls herumschwirren, gehen diese durch eine enge Stahlluke ins Innere des Gebäudes. Sie winken noch einmal, um sich zu verabschieden, als ob sie eine lange Reise antreten würden. Dann schwingt hinter ihnen eine dicke Stahltür zu, die mit einem Ruck an einem Hebel verschlossen wird. Sie durchquere eine Luftschleuse. „Es ist ein unglaublicher Moment“, sagt ein Mann aus der Gruppe. „Die Zukunft beginnt hier.“

      Obwohl diese Bilder, die nur noch in VHS-Qualität zu finden sind, sehr an eine Hollywood-Filmproduktion erinnern, sind sie echt. Tatsächlich ließen sich Anfang der 1990er-Jahre acht Menschen auf ein wahnwitziges Experiment ein. In der Wüste von Arizona ließen sie sich in die Biosphere 2 einschließen, eine unter Glas und Stahl eingeschlossene Kunstwelt, die eine zweite Erde simulieren sollte – in Vorbereitung und der Hoffnung, irgendwann auf Raumschiffen und anderen Planeten Mini-Versionen unsere Heimatwelt aufbauen zu können. Jedoch verlief das Experiment alles andere als problemlos – und brachte die Probanden, ihre körperliche und ihre geistige Gesundheit an den Rand des Zusammenbruchs.

      Es ist ein unglaublicher Moment. Die Zukunft beginnt hier.

      Heute scheint das kuriose und einst weltweit mit Interesse verfolgte Projekt vergessen – oder höchstens als spektakulärer Fehlschlag in der kollektiven Erinnerung. „Ich hatte jedenfalls nichts davon gewusst – bis ich mit meiner Recherche anfing“, sagt Matt Wolf gegenüber 1E9, der mit Spaceship Earth eine umfangreiche Dokumentation über die Geschichte von Biosphere 2 gedreht hat. Tatsächlich wird erst in Rückschau klar, wie gewagt, sonderbar und zugleich auch wegweisend der Versuch war. Entsprungen ist die Idee nämlich keiner wissenschaftlichen Fachgruppe oder einer Universität, sondern etwas, das manche durchaus als Theatertruppe oder Sekte bezeichnen könnte.

      Es begann mit John

      Zwei Jahre reiste der Ingenieur, Metallurg und Harvard-Absolvent John Polk Allen Anfang der 1960er-Jahre durch die Welt. Er hatte eine durchaus erfolgreiche Karriere bei Forschungs- und Industrieunternehmen wie dem Battelle Institute, der Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation und der Development and Resources Corporation begonnen. Aber er gab sie auf, um stattdessen die Ursprünge und Lehren von Stammeskulturen in Nepal, Thailand, Singapur, Vietnam, den Philippinen und anderen Ecken der Welt zu studieren. Als er wieder in die USA zurückkehrte, wollte er nicht in sein altes Leben zurück, sondern sich Kunst, Kultur, dem Leben und der Erde verschreiben.

      Daher kaufte Allen 25 Kilometer südlich von Santa Fe in New Mexico ein billiges Stück Land, wo er fortan mit Gleichgesinnten alternative Kultur-, Gesellschafts- und Lebensformen erforschen wollte. Tatsächlich entstand auf dem trockenen Boden binnen weniger Jahre die sogenannte Synergia Ranch , ein wilder Mix aus Ökodorf und Gegenkultur -Kommune, der insbesondere durch die von Allen gegründete Gruppe namens Theatre of All Possibilities einiges Aufsehen erregte. Das Theatre of All Possibilities war, wie der Dokumentarfilmer Matt Wolf beschreibt, „zu Anfang wirklich eine Theater- und #Aktionskunst -Gruppe“.

      Die Truppe wurde von John Allen selbst geleitet, und zwar, je nachdem, wer über die Jahre befragt wurde, entweder mit sanfter Hand oder unbarmherziger Härte . Allen schrieb Stücke und erdachte Performances, die die Mitglieder aufführten und organisierte Vorträge von Wissenschaftlern, Philosophen und Denkern, denen alle beiwohnten. Aber nach und nach habe sich die Gruppe „in immer praktischere Unternehmungen verstrickt“, wie Wolf erzählt. Oder, wie Mark Nelson, einer von Allens Weggefährten in der Dokumentation sagt: „#Kunst? #Geschäft? #Ökologie? #Technologie? Wir wollten das alles tun!“

      In der Zeit zwischen den Vorstellungen machte die Truppe daher das öde Land der Synergia Ranch fruchtbar, konstruierte eine Halle nach Vorbild der Buckminster-Fuller-Kuppeln und ging dann nach Oakland, Kalifornien um ein Schiff zu konstruieren: die rund 25 Meter lange RV Heraclitus . Die wurde unter Leitung der zu dieser Zeit gerade einmal 19-jährigen Margret Augustine aus einem Holzrahmen, Ferrozement, Metallschrott und einem alten Dieselmotor gebaut. Keiner der Beteiligten hatte Erfahrung. Dennoch stach das Schiff 1975 in See. Mit ihr segelte das Theatre of All Possibilities, das zwischenzeitlich für seine Forschungsprojekte die seriöser klingende Stiftung Institute for Ecotechnics gegründet hatte, um die Welt – und startete allerorten allerlei Projekte.

      Die Mitglieder riefen eine Kunstgalerie in London ins Leben, errichteten ein Hotel in Kathmandu, betrieben eine Viehfarm in Australien, arbeiteten mit der Universität von Mumbai, pflanzten Bäumen und beackerten erfolgreich eine Farm in Puerto Rico. Sie beobachteten Wale in der Antarktis, sammelten Forschungsdaten über die Tiere im Amazonas und dokumentierten Korallenriffe in den Tropen. „Wir tourten um die Welt“, sagt Allen in der Dokumententation Spaceship Earth. „Wir waren überall.“

      […]

      #arts #théâtre #expérience #futurisme #hollywood #médias
      #confinement #isolement #science
      #biosphère #oxygène
      #autarcie #autosuffisance #utopie #dystopie

      #auf_deutsch

  • 4 #Arizona Women Convicted for Leaving Water for Migrants

    Four aid workers were convicted Friday on charges connected to their efforts to leave food and water for migrants in an Arizona wildlife refuge along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The volunteers, who are members of the faith-based humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, were caught on Aug. 13, 2017, by a Federal Wildlife officer as they left water jugs, beans and other supplies for migrants in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a 50-mile border with Mexico. No More Deaths claims that 155 migrants have died in the refuge since 2001, and that the organization aims to save lives by providing basic supplies.

    The judge, United States Magistrate Bernardo P. Velasco, ruled that three of the volunteers – Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick – were convicted of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandoning personal property or possessions. A fourth volunteer, Natalie Hoffman, was convicted on an additional charge of operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area. Each of the volunteers faces up to six months in prison.

    The decision is the first conviction against humanitarian aid volunteers in a decade, the Associated Press reported.

    Velasco wrote in his verdict that the women had failed to get permits for expanded access to the wildlife refuge, had gone off the roads where they are allowed to travel and left behind their belongings. The verdict said that their actions “[erode] the national decision to maintain the refuge in its pristine nature.”

    No More Deaths responded to Velasco’s verdict by claiming that the decision is part of a larger crisis of conscience in the U.S. Catherine Gaffney, a volunteer for the organization, said that the four volunteers were driven by moral principles.

    “This verdict challenges not only No More Deaths volunteers, but people of conscience throughout the country. If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?” Gaffney said.

    Five other humanitarian aid volunteers are also facing trial later this winter on similar charges, the nonprofit said.

    The judge rejected several defenses the volunteers used to explain their actions, including a defense that they had been acting on their “moral, ethical and spiritual belief to help other people in need.”

    He also rejected the claim that an Assistant United States Attorney had deliberately misled the organization by telling them that the Department of Justice did not plan to prosecute aid workers.

    Velasco went on to chastise the organization for misleading the volunteers about the legal risks they faced.

    “Each one acted on the mistaken belief that the worst that could happen was that they could be banned, debarred… or fined,” he wrote in his verdict. “No one in charge of No More Deaths ever informed them that their conduct could be prosecuted as a criminal offense nor did any of the Defendants make any independent inquiry into the legality or consequences of their activities.”

    In response to the verdict, No More Deaths announced that it would hold a vigil outside of Eloy Detention Center in Arizona on Saturday night.


    https://time.com/5508196/no-more-deaths-migrants-border
    #USA #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité #Etats-Unis #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #condamnation

    –-------

    4 femmes, après le cas #Scott_Warren :
    https://seenthis.net/tag/scott_warren

  • Border Patrol, Israel’s Elbit Put Reservation Under Surveillance
    https://theintercept.com/2019/08/25/border-patrol-israel-elbit-surveillance

    Fueled by the growing demonization of migrants, as well as ongoing fears of foreign terrorism, the U.S. borderlands have become laboratories for new systems of enforcement and control. Firsthand reporting, interviews, and a review of documents for this story provide a window into the high-tech surveillance apparatus CBP is building in the name of deterring illicit migration — and highlight how these same systems often end up targeting other marginalized populations as well as political dissidents.

    #surveillance #frontières #laboratoire #États-Unis #Israël #peuples_premiers

  • The U.S. Border Patrol and an Israeli Military Contractor Are Putting a Native American Reservation Under “Persistent Surveillance”
    https://theintercept.com/2019/08/25/border-patrol-israel-elbit-surveillance

    On the southwestern end of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation, roughly 1 mile from a barbed-wire barricade marking Arizona’s border with the Mexican state of Sonora, Ofelia Rivas leads me to the base of a hill overlooking her home. A U.S. Border Patrol truck is parked roughly 200 yards upslope. A small black mast mounted with cameras and sensors is positioned on a trailer hitched to the truck. For Rivas, the Border Patrol’s monitoring of the reservation has been a grim aspect of everyday (...)

    #Elbit #CBP #CCTV #vidéo-surveillance #exportation #sécuritaire #surveillance #frontières

  • The Disappeared report

    The #Disappeared_report series is collaborative project between two Tucson-based organizations, La Coalicion de Derechos Humanos and No More Deaths. Between Derechos Humanos’ 20 years of community work, including the 24-hour Missing Migrant Crisis Line, and No More Deaths’ 12 years of humanitarian aid in the Arizona backcountry, we have witnessed and listened to thousands of stories of border crossings throughout Southern Arizona. Our research goals are transformative: to expose and combat those US government policing tactics that cause the crisis of death and mass disappearance in the borderlands.


    http://www.thedisappearedreport.org
    #rapport #vidéo #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #désert #Mexique #USA #mort #Arizona #chasse_à_l'homme #dispersion #mourir_aux_frontières #prevention_through_deterrence #desparecidos #violence #hélicoptères #crise_humanitaire

    #vidéos:

    Partie 1: the chase
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Ux__uVfNA

    partie 2: interference with humanitarian aid
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnmOOnRALfI

    ping @isskein

  • Message de @isskein :
    procès de Scott Warren - délit de solidarité aux USA

    29 mai premier jour du procès de #Scott_Warren, membre du groupe #No_More_Deaths qui aide les migrants perdus dans le désert d’Arizona, arrêté le 17 janvier 2018
    il est accusé de « complot criminel de transport et d’hébergement de migrants illégaux » pour avoir hébergé deux migrants dans une grange. Il risque 20 ans de prison.

    à l’été 2017 9 volontaires de No More Deaths, la plupart ne venant pas d’#Arizona, laissent des bidons d’#eau dans le désert ; ils sont accusés d’utilisation frauduleuse de véhicule et d’abandon de possessions - bref de jeter des ordures - dans une réserve fédérale, délits susceptibles d’un maximum de 6 mois
    Scott Warren a été arrêté peu après la publication d’un rapport documentant des abus de la U.S. Border Patrol.
    https://theintercept.com/2018/01/23/no-more-deaths-arizona-border-littering-charges-immigration (article de 2018 ne mentionnant alors que des peines de 5 ans)

    #désert #mourir_dans_le_désert #mourir_aux_frontières #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #USA #Etats-Unis #Mexique #procès #délit_de_solidarité #solidarité

    Plus sur le groupe No More Deaths sur seenthis :
    https://seenthis.net/tag/no_more_deaths

    Et #Scott_Warren est... géographe, « college geography instructor »

    • Extending ’Zero Tolerance’ To People Who Help Migrants Along The Border

      Arrests of people for harboring, sheltering, leaving food and water or otherwise protecting migrants have been on the rise since 2017, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to prioritize cases covered under the harboring statute.

      Scott Warren, a 36-year-old college geography instructor from Ajo, Ariz., works with a group called called No More Deaths or No Mas Muertes. The group’s volunteers leave water and food for migrants traversing the Arizona desert.

      Warren was arrested in 2017 and faces three felony counts including conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants. In its complaint, the government claims Warren was seen talking to two migrants who sheltered in Ajo. He denies being part of any sheltering plan.

      “It is scary to be intimidated like this and to be targeted but there really is no choice,” said Warren. He believes the government is violating his right to religious freedom by criminalizing his spiritual belief that mandates he help people in distress.

      “For the government, it’s kind of been an expansion of the interpretation of what it means to harbor,” he suggested.

      The stretch of desert near Ajo can be deadly. The Pima County Medical Examiner has documented 250 migrant deaths in the area since 2001. In the same time frame, thousands have died of dehydration and exposure in the Arizona borderlands.

      “It is life or death here. And a decision not to give somebody food or or water could lead to that person dying,” Warren said.

      ’Can I be compassionate?’

      Nine and half hours away by car from Ajo, in the west Texas town of Marfa, another case is unfolding that pits the government against a four-time elected city and county attorney, Teresa Todd.

      She is under investigation for human smuggling after stopping to help three migrants alongside the road at night in February, 2019.

      “I see a young man in a white shirt. He runs out toward the road where I am,” Todd recounted. She says the man was pleading for assistance. “I can’t just leave this guy on the side of the road. I have to go see if I can help.”

      The young man told Todd that his sister, 18-year-old Esmeralda, was in trouble.

      “I mean, she can hardly walk, she’s very dazed,” recalled Todd.

      The migrants took shelter in Todd’s car while she called and texted a friend who is the legal counsel for the local U.S. Border Patrol, asking for advice. Before that friend could reply, a sheriff’s deputy showed up. The deputy called in the U.S. Border Patrol.

      An agent was soon reading Todd her Miranda rights. Eight days later, a Department of Homeland Security investigator accompanied by a Texas Ranger arrived at Todd’s office with a search warrant for her cellphone. Todd says she was told she’d have the phone back in a matter of hours.

      “It makes people have to question, ’Can I be compassionate’?”

      Todd’s phone was returned 53 days later.

      The sheriff of Presidio County, Danny Dominguez, whose deputy called the Border Patrol, defended the action against Todd. He said anyone with undocumented migrants in their car risks arrest.

      A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the western district of Texas declined comment on Todd’s case.

      Todd is unrepentant: “I feel like I did the right thing. I don’t feel I did anything wrong.”

      Speaking by phone from the migrant detention center in Sierra Blanca, Texas, Esmeralda said of Todd, “I’m really grateful to her.” She said doctors told her she was on the brink of death by the time she got to the hospital.

      Figures confirmed to NPR by TRAC, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, show that in fiscal year 2018 there were more than 4,500 people federally charged for bringing in and harboring migrants. That is a more than 30% increase since 2015, with the greatest rise coming after Sessions’ order to prioritize harboring cases.

      “With these prosecutions, the government is saying, ’we’re extending our zero tolerance policy to Good Samaritans,’” said Ranjana Natarajan, director of the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. “People shouldn’t be helping migrants even if they might be at threat of death.”

      Accused of human smuggling

      Ana Adlerstein, a U.S. citizen and volunteer at a Mexican migrant shelter, has her own story to tell. Earlier this month, Adlerstein accompanied a migrant seeking asylum from Sonora, Mexico to the U.S. border crossing at Lukeville, Ariz. Adlerstein was present to observe the process. Instead, she says she was detained by Customs and Border Protection officers for several hours.

      “I was accused of human smuggling,” she stated.

      Border officials had been forewarned that a migrant seeking asylum was coming that day, accompanied by a U.S. citizen. Under current law, once a migrant steps onto U.S. soil, he or she can request asylum.

      “If that’s not how you’re supposed to seek asylum at a port of entry, how are you supposed to seek asylum in this country?” Adlerstein asked.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined comment on Adlerstein’s specific claims. In an email, a CBP spokesperson added:

      “All persons entering the country, including U.S. citizens, are subject to examination and search. CBP uses diverse factors to refer individuals for selected examinations and there are instances when this process may take longer than normal. CBP is committed to ensuring the agency is able to execute its missions while protecting the human rights, civil rights, and dignity of those with whom we come in contact.”

      Adlerstein has not been charged but has received subsequent calls from a DHS investigator.

      In Texas, Teresa Todd is waiting to find out if she will be indicted for human smuggling.

      As for Scott Warren, he faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all three felony counts, a prospect he can’t even contemplate.

      https://www.npr.org/2019/05/28/725716169/extending-zero-tolerance-to-people-who-help-migrants-along-the-border?t=1559201
      #statistiques #chiffres

    • Scott Warren Provided Food & Water to Migrants in Arizona; He Now Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison

      An Arizona humanitarian aid volunteer goes to trial today for providing water, food, clean clothes and beds to two undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. If convicted, Scott Warren could spend up to 20 years in prison. Warren, an activist with the Tucson-based No More Deaths, is charged with three felony counts of allegedly “harboring” undocumented immigrants. For years, No More Deaths and other humanitarian aid groups in southern Arizona have left water and food in the harsh Sonoran Desert, where the temperature often reaches three digits during summer, to help refugees and migrants survive the deadly journey across the U.S. border. Warren was arrested on January 17, 2018, just hours after No More Deaths released a report detailing how U.S. Border Patrol agents had intentionally destroyed more than 3,000 gallons of water left out for migrants crossing the border. The group also published a video showing border agents dumping out jugs of water in the desert. Hours after the report was published, authorities raided the Barn, a No More Deaths aid camp in Ajo, where they found two migrants who had sought temporary refuge. We speak with Scott Warren and his fellow No More Deaths volunteer and activist Catherine Gaffney in Tucson.

      https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/29/scott_warren_provided_food_water_to

    • Daily Trial Updates

      Day 3 – June 3, 2019

      We began the day with a powerful press conference featuring immigrant justice advocates from across the country. Patty Miller (Arivaca, AZ,) spoke on behalf of People Helping People in the Border Zone and the Rural Border Communities Coalition, followed by James Cordero and Jacqueline Arellano from Border Angeles (San Diego), Ravi Ragbir of the New Sanctuary Coalition (NYC) and Kaji Douša, Senior Pastor at The Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan.
      The prosecution continued to build their “case” against Scott, spending most of the day playing video recordings of the testimony given by the two undocumented Central American men–José and Kristian–who were arrested with Scott. (Note we will be using only the first names of deposed witnesses to respect privacy).
      Prosecutors attempted to erase the hardships experienced by undocumented people crossing the borderlands. One of the two witnesses, Kristian, testified that he had been traveling since October 4th, 2017 from his home in El Salvador. By the time of the arrest, he had been traveling for over three months and walking in the desert for two days. This is very different from the government narrative which claims the men were traveling for mere hours before they encountered help.
      During their journey, José and Kristian experienced the routine and deadly Border Patrol apprehension method known as chase and scatter–a practice in which Border Patrol agents pursue migrants in vehicles, on foot, or in helicopters, forcing them to scatter into the desert. In the chaos, the two men lost their belongings, including “food and two gallons of water.” The No More Deaths Abuse Documentation Working Group has provided extensive documentation of the lethal impacts of this deadly apprehension method in our report series, The Disappeared.
      José and Kristian testified that after arriving at the Barn, Scott gave them food, water, blankets and a place to rest. There was no evidence that Scott made any plans to transport them, hide them from law enforcement, or instruct them on how to evade any Border Patrol checkpoints.
      Border Patrol Forensic Phone Analyst Rogelio Velasco gave a rundown of the contents of Scott Warren’s phone–he summarized 14,000 pages of emails and texts into a one page report. One part of his analysis showed the day José and Kristian arrived at the barn, Scott called a nurse and a doctor on the No More Deaths medical team. When asked why Velasco didn’t review the myriad other emails and texts discussing Scott’s humanitarian work, he replied, “I was looking for elements of criminality. If it wasn’t relevant then I skipped it.”

      Day 2 – May 30, 2019

      We began the day with Pastor Allison Harrington of Southside Presbyterian Church sharing the poem “Imagine the Angels of Bread” by Martin Espada along with a morning prayer.
      Court opened with Border Patrol Agent John Marquez being cross-examined by the defense. He made it abundantly clear that he relied on racial profiling to determine the two men at the barn were migrants, claiming “they matched the description” of two migrants BP was looking for. However, when pressed by the defense, Agent Marquez admitted that he did not know whether they were “short, tall, fat, skinny, bearded, young, old, or even male.” He stated “In my experience, they appeared to be “Other Than Mexican.”
      Agent Marquez also stated that January 17, 2018 was the first time Border Patrol agents in Ajo set up surveillance at the Barn. This happened just hours after No More Deaths released a report called The Disappeared Part 2: Interference on Humanitarian and video of agents destroying humanitarian aid supplies.
      Second to take the stand was Border Patrol Agent Brendan Burns, who was the one who first referred to the migrants as “toncs”.
      According to Agent Burns, when he approached the Barn that day, defendant Scott Warren told him that it was private property and a humanitarian aid space. He also asked the Agents to leave the property. Burns ignored him because, according to his surveillance, “the aliens didn’t appear to be in need of humanitarian aid.” When asked by the defense whether he has any medical credentials, the agent admitted to having none.
      Five days after the arrests, a search warrant was issued for the Barn. Evidence seized included a receipt for a cherry coke, banana nut muffin and chips, a fridge note saying “bagels from flagstaff!” and a list of supplies for a camping trip.

      Day 1 – May 29, 2019

      After a moving press conference in the morning, a jury was selected of 15 people — 12 jurors and 3 alternates.
      In his opening argument this afternoon, US Attorney Nathaniel Walters claimed that “this case is not about humanitarian aid,” urging jurors to ignore the realities of death and disappearance happening in the desert surrounding Ajo, Arizona.
      The prosecution’s entire case for the charge of “conspiracy to harbor and transport” undocumented migrants appeared to hinge on the fact that two undocumented men arrived at the Barn, “and then Scott showed up” a few hours later.
      The prosecution also harped on the fact that the men had “eaten food” prior to arriving at the Barn, apparently arguing that because the two men split one burrito after walking for two days through the desert, they were not in need of food or water
      Lawyers for the defense firmly asserted in their opening arguments that this case IS about humanitarian aid, and that Scott’s actions must be understood as a part of his deep knowledge of suffering throughout the desert and commitment to working to end it. “Scott intended one thing: to provide basic human kindness in the form of humanitarian aid.”
      The government also argued that Scott was pointing out known landmarks to the two migrants. “Defendant appeared to be pointing out different features, lots of hand motions. I could not hear them but there were hand gestures, up and down, in wave motions, rolling hills, pointing to known points of interest.” However, as the defense firmly stated “orientation is just as much of a human right as is food, water, and shelter.” In the context of death and disappearance in the desert, knowing where you are can save your life.
      The government called their first witness, Border Patrol Agent John Marquez. Marquez testified to setting up surveillance on the Barn on January 17, 2018 and seeing Scott speaking with two men, who he presumed were undocumented based on “ill-fitting clothing” and the fact that they were “scanning the horizon.” No evidence was presented that Scott intended to hide or conceal anyone. Judge Collins called an end to the day before the defense’s cross-examination of Marquez.


      http://forms.nomoredeaths.org/dailytrialupdates
      #procès

      –---------

      Trial continued this afternoon with video testimony from José, the other material witness arrested with Scott, who confirmed that he and Kristian were both hungry, cold, and very tired when they arrived at the barn.

      José also described their experience of being scattered by the #BorderPatrol, and how most of the men in his group had to stop walking because they were so beat up from spending just one day in the desert.

      Chase and scatter is just one of the deadly apprehension tactics used by BP which result in increased numbers of deaths and disappearances. “Prevention through Deterrence” is the name of the overall strategy of pushing migrants deep into the desert.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Ux__uVfNA

      https://twitter.com/NoMoreDeaths/status/1135690665399017473

    • In Scott Warren’s No More Deaths Trial, Prosecutors Attempt to Paint a Web of Conspiracy

      For nearly a year and a half, U.S. government prosecutors in Arizona have sought to make an example out of Scott Warren. The 36-year-old geographer and border-based humanitarian aid volunteer was arrested with two undocumented migrants on January 17, 2018, and accused of providing the men with food, water, and a place to sleep over three days. A month later, a grand jury indicted him on two counts of harboring and one count of conspiracy, bringing the total amount time he could spend in prison — if convicted on all counts and sentenced to consecutive terms — to 20 years.

      Warren’s trial began in Tucson on Wednesday, marking the start of the most consequential prosecution of an American humanitarian aid provider in at least a decade. On Monday, assistant U.S. attorneys Anna Wright and Nathaniel J. Walters, who together have spearheaded an aggressive and controversial prosecutorial campaign against immigrant rights defenders in the Sonoran Desert, called their final witness to the stand.

      Over three and a half days of testimony, the prosecutors presented the jury with two Border Patrol agents who arrested Warren, a third who examined his phone, and some three hours of video-taped testimony from the young migrants he was arrested with, recorded before their deportations. The arresting agents provided little information beyond the bare facts of their operation as it unfolded, while the agent who testified about phone evidence seemed to paint a more incriminating picture of a man who was not charged in the case than he did of Warren. The migrants who were held as the government’s material witnesses described Warren as a figure who was hardly present during their short time in the U.S., beyond giving them permission to eat, sleep, and drink at a property he did not own, after they showed up with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

      The conspiracy charge in particular has cast an ominous pall over Warren’s case. As a prosecutorial tool, conspiracy charges can afford government attorneys sweeping powers in criminal cases. While the U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona was secretive about the nature of its theory of conspiracy with respect to Warren following his grand jury indictment, The Intercept revealed last month that the government considered Irineo Mujica, a prominent immigrants right advocate, a co-conspirator in the case. A dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, Mujica is the head of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an immigrant rights organization known for its role in organizing the migrant caravans that have drawn President Trump’s outrage. He also operates a migrant shelter south of Ajo, the unincorporated community where Warren lives and works.

      In opening arguments last week, Walters confirmed that the government considered Mujica a key figure in Warren’s alleged offenses. “They were in contact with Irineo Mujica,” the prosecutor told the jury, referring to 23-year-old Kristian Perez-Villanueva and 20-year-old Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday, the Central American migrants, from El Salvador and Honduras, respectively, whom Warren was arrested with. Not only that, Walters said, Mujica had driven the pair to “the Barn,” a property used by humanitarian volunteers operating in the area. Warren’s relationship to Mujica was that of a “shared acquaintance,” Walters said, and cellphone evidence would show that the two were in contact before the migrants arrived at the Barn.

      Mujica declined to comment for this story and has not been charged with a crime.

      On Monday afternoon, Rogelio Velasco, a Border Patrol agent in the Tucson sector’s intelligence unit, testified about the government’s telephonic evidence, describing how his work excavating cellphones is used to support the agency’s high-priority cases, often executed by its plainclothes “Disrupt” units. “We try to look for bigger cases where more people are involved,” he testified. Warren was arrested by a Disrupt unit.

      Wright and Walters’ interest in Warren and the humanitarian groups he volunteers with, particularly the faith-based organization No More Deaths, began in 2017, when the assistant U.S. attorneys brought federal misdemeanor charges against several members of the group — Warren included — for leaving water and other humanitarian aid supplies on public lands where migrants routinely die. Velasco explained how, after Warren’s arrest, the prosecutors directed him to focus on particular date ranges and communications included in Warren’s phone and a phone carried by Perez-Villanueva.

      As the Border Patrol agent carried out the prosecutors’ request, he said he found a series of communications between Perez-Villanueva and Mujica, beginning in December 2017 and extending through January 2018, when he and Sacaria-Goday, along with Warren, were arrested in Ajo. According to Velasco’s testimony, the messages showed that when the young migrants entered the U.S. on January 14, Perez-Villanueva texted Mujica, “We’re here.” To which Mujica replied, “I’m on my way.”

      The government’s efforts to tie alleged illegal activity between Mujica and Warren appeared to begin after Warren was taken into custody. Four months after Warren was indicted, Jarrett L. Lenker, a supervisory Border Patrol agent in the Tucson sector intelligence unit, submitted a search warrant affidavit for Warren’s iPhone, first uncovered by the Arizona Daily Star and obtained by The Intercept.

      Mujica was a central figure in Lenker’s affidavit. The Border Patrol agent described “a total of 16 phone calls or WhatsApp messages” exchanged between Perez-Villanueva and Mujica in the month before his arrest. Lenker’s affidavit also revealed that, through subpoenas, law enforcement identified two phone numbers “associated with Warren’s Verizon account” following his arrest: one belonging to Warren and the other belonging to his partner.

      In his testimony Monday, Velasco said that Mujica was a contact in Warren’s phone, and that the two had communications up through January 11, six days before his arrest. Warren also sent Mujica’s contact information to another person in his phone in the summer of 2017, Velasco testified.

      Following Velasco’s testimony, the prosecution called Border Patrol agent Brendan Burns, one of the Disrupt unit members principally involved in Warren’s arrest, to the witness stand. Burns described an incident a week after Warren’s arrest, in which Mujica was pulled over at a Border Patrol checkpoint outside Ajo. He drove to the scene and observed that Mujica’s van was the same vehicle featured in a selfie Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday took after they made it to the U.S. Inside the van were a number of items associated with illegal border crossings, Burns testified, including water jugs and foreign identification cards. The same incident was also described in Lenker’s affidavit, which noted that the ID cards belonged to individuals who had been removed from the U.S. Lenker also recounted an incident the following month, in which Mujica was again stopped at the same Border Patrol checkpoint and his passenger was arrested for being in the country illegally.

      Burns acknowledged having seen the photos of Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday in Mujica’s vehicle prior to his encounter with Mujica, and his knowledge that the vehicle belonged to Mujica. He testified that he did not, however, ask Mujica about the two young migrants, nor their alleged conspiracy with Scott Warren, nor did he place him under arrest.

      In opening statements last week, defense attorney Greg Kuykendall acknowledged that Warren had been in contact with Mujica days before his arrest, and that was because Mujica had information about a dead body outside Ajo. The remains of roughly 3,000 people have been recovered in the Arizona desert since 2000, the grim consequence of a government policy that deliberately funnels migrants into the most lethal areas of the U.S.-Mexico border. Since 2014, Warren has brought together a network of humanitarian groups working to confront the loss of life in the state’s deadliest region, the so-called west desert. Those efforts have yielded a historic increase in the number of bodies and human remains accounted for in the area.

      On cross examination Monday, Kuykendall zeroed in on the evidence Velasco’s examination of Warren’s phone had uncovered. The defense attorney first established, with Velasco’s admission, that there were no communications recorded between Perez-Villanueva and Warren (Sacaria-Goday tossed his phone while the pair were in the desert). He then focused on Warren’s communications with Mujica.

      “Are you aware that Scott and Irineo are involved in humanitarian aid efforts?” Kuykendall asked.

      “I think I might’ve heard something,” Velasco replied. “But I’m not exactly sure.”

      (Warren’s humanitarian aid work was noted in both internal Border Patrol reports and news accounts before and after his arrest — he and Mujica were featured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper series in 2017 detailing their efforts to find dead and lost migrants in the desert.)

      Velasco admitted that he had no idea what Warren and Mujica discussed the week before Warren’s arrest, nor had he taken note of what Warren had Googled as soon as the pair got off the phone. Kuykendall informed the jury that those searches included information on backcountry areas south of Ajo, a news report on a humanitarian group conducting search and rescue operations in the region, and the English translation of a Spanish word for scratches. Following the Google searches, Kuykendall told the jury, Warren called Dr. Norma Price, a physician who has long provided medical advice to No More Deaths volunteers.

      Kuykendall questioned Velasco about his testimony regarding Warren’s communications with a woman named “Susannah.” Velasco admitted that he did not know who Susannah was and that he “saw nothing that directly suggested” she and Warren were communicating about criminal activity. Instead, he testified, they were messaging one another about “providing water in different areas.” Moving along, Kuykendall asked if Velasco was aware that Perez-Villanueva worked for Mujica while staying at his shelter in Mexico — a potential explanation for their repeated communications in the winter of 2017. Velasco appeared uncertain, and acknowledged that from January 10 to the afternoon of January 14, when the migrants arrived in Ajo, there were no communications between Perez-Villanueva and Mujica.

      “When he was crossing I didn’t come up with any messages,” Velasco testified.

      In opening arguments last week, Kuykendall explained how, in the days leading up to his arrest, Warren spent his time training new humanitarian volunteers, assisting sheriff’s deputies in the search for a body, and performing his duties as a new instructor at Tohono O’odham Community College, a school for residents of the Native American reservation outside Ajo. In early January 2018, five new No More Deaths volunteers had arrived in Ajo. As the local expert, it was up to Warren to show them the ropes and familiarize them with the organization’s protocols — protocols, Kuykendall said, that are intended to ensure the group’s work is “effective, responsible, and legal.”

      On Thursday, January 11, Warren was at home when Mujica called to inform him about the human remains he had heard about, Kuykendall said, noting that Warren had the experience and know-how to organize a grid search in the area. Efforts to coordinate a search were the extent of communications between Warren and Mujica, the defense attorney said. The following day, Warren took the new volunteers to a migrant shelter in Mexico, where they distributed “harm reduction” kits, consisting of chlorine to purify water, ointment for blisters, combs for removing cholla cactus spines, and lists of emergency numbers, including 911.

      “No More Deaths’ role is to reduce the harm,” Kuykendall told the jury, not to encourage people to cross a desert that has claimed thousands of lives.

      Warren spent much of the following weekend at home with the flu, Kuykendall said, coordinating rescue operations by phone and working to link up Pima County sheriff’s deputies with No More Deaths volunteers in the field. Warren’s responsibilities involved preparing new volunteers, operationally and emotionally, for the possibility of finding a dead body in the desert. On the night of Sunday, January 14, they also included making dinner for the new recruits at the Barn. Warren returned to the building with groceries that afternoon to find two young men — Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday — already inside.

      “Scott’s spooked,” Kuykendall said of Warren’s reaction.

      In the depositions played for the jury Monday, Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday described a harrowing journey through the desert that involved being chased by law enforcement and losing many of their supplies. Perez-Villanueva described fleeing problems in El Salvador and said that he had no intention to enter the U.S. until those problems cropped up in Mexico. The pair had crossed in a group of five but were quickly on their own, their companions slowed down by thorns in their feet. “Between the two of us, we made a good team,” Perez-Villanueva said. “We supported each other mutually.” The young men testified to crossing the desert and tossing their food and backpacks when they were chased by immigration agents. They eventually made it to a gas station outside Ajo, where “a gringo” drove them to second gas station in town.

      Neither of the migrants identified the man who then drove to the Barn, though Perez-Villanueva testified that the man told them not to describe his role in delivering them there, and that he honored that request. The pair let themselves in through an unlocked door. Warren arrived approximately 40 minutes later. “They tell him that they’re hungry,” Kuykendall told the jury. “They tell him that they’re thirsty. They tell him that they’re tired.”

      Warren grabbed a form No More Deaths uses to catalog medical evaluations of migrants encountered in the field, the defense attorney said. Warren, a certified wilderness first responder, found that Perez-Villanueva had blisters on his feet, a persistent cough, and signs of dehydration. Sacaria-Goday’s conditions were much the same, though he was also suffering from chest pain. In keeping with No More Deaths’ protocol, Warren called a nurse before starting dinner for the volunteers that were set to arrive — as well as their two new guests.

      “He gives food to hungry men,” Kuykendall told the jury. “They share a meal with the volunteers.”

      By phone, Dr. Price advised the two young migrants to stay off their feet for a couple days, to stay hydrated, and asked the volunteers to keep them under observation, Kuykendall told the jury. Warren came and went in the days that followed, as did other No More Deaths volunteers. “He hardly spent time there,” Sacaria-Goday testified. “I hardly spoke with him,” Perez-Villanueva said.

      On Tuesday, January 16, Warren had his first day teaching at the community college. The following day, he worked from home. A group of high school students were scheduled to visit the Barn that night. Warren pulled up to the Barn in the afternoon, Kuykendall said, as Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday were preparing to leave. The three spoke outside. Across a desert wash, two plainclothes Border Patrol agents were conducting “covert surveillance,” in the words of Walters, the government prosecutor.

      “Toncs at the barn,” agent Burns wrote in a group text, using a slang word for migrants known to reflect the sound a flashlight makes when it connects with a human skull.

      The lead agent on the arrest operation was John Marquez. In his testimony last week, Marquez’s narrative began the afternoon of Warren’s arrest, though he acknowledged doing a bit of “background research,” in Kuykendall’s words, on Warren before taking him into custody. In fact, texts messages The Intercept has previously reported upon show Marquez repeatedly communicating with local Fish and Wildlife agents about Warren’s whereabouts and No More Deaths’ humanitarian activity in the run-up to his arrest. In a report he filed after Warren was taken into custody, Marquez described him as a “recruiter” for the organization, who regularly comments publicly on immigration issues.

      Under questioning from the prosecution, Marquez highlighted hand gestures Warren allegedly made while standing outside with Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday as evidence that he was providing them directions north. Upon cross examination, however, he acknowledged that this apparently important detail was not included in his arrest report. Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday, meanwhile, both testified that Warren did not provide them directions for their journey. He never advised them to hide in the Barn, they said, and they were free to come and go as they pleased.

      Marquez and Burns descended on the Barn with backup provided by a law enforcement caravan that had mustered at a hotel down the road. Warren, Perez-Villanueva, and Sacaria-Goday were all placed under arrest. The migrants were held in government custody for several weeks before providing their testimony and being deported to their home countries.

      “There is one question in this case,” Kuykendall told the jury considering Warren’s actions in the days leading up to his arrest. “Did he intend to violate the law?” The government did not have the evidence to prove that he did, the defense attorney argued.

      “Scott intended one thing,” he said. “To provide basic human kindness in the form of humanitarian aid.”

      https://theintercept.com/2019/06/04/scott-warren-no-more-deaths-trial-conspiracy-phone

    • UN experts urge US authorities to drop charges against aid worker Scott Warren

      GENEVA (5 June 2019) – UN human rights experts* have expressed grave concerns about criminal charges brought against Scott Warren, a U.S. citizen who works for an aid organisation providing water and medical aid to migrants in the Arizona desert.

      Warren’s trial began on 29 May 2019, and if found guilty he faces up to 20 years in jail.

      “Providing humanitarian aid is not a crime. We urge the US authorities to immediately drop all charges against Scott Warren,” the experts said.

      Warren, 36, lives in the desert town of Ajo, Arizona, where he helped to establish the organisation No More Deaths, which provides humanitarian assistance along migration routes. For the past 10 years, he has helped migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross the Arizona - Mexican border through the Sonora desert.

      Border Control agents arrested the human rights defender on 17 January 2018 at “the Barn”, a humanitarian shelter in the Sonora Desert, while he was providing assistance to two undocumented migrants. His arrest came hours after the release of a report from No More Deaths which documented the implication of Border Control agents in the systematic destruction of humanitarian supplies, including water stores, and denounced a pattern of harassment, intimidation and surveillance against humanitarian aid workers.

      Warren faces charges on two counts of “harboring” migrants and one count of “conspiring to transport and harbor” migrants.

      Arizona has some of the deadliest migrant corridors along the US border, accounting for more than a third of more than 7,000 border deaths recorded by US authorities over the last two decades. The actual numbers are likely to be higher, given the remains of many of those who die are not recovered.

      “The vital and legitimate humanitarian work of Scott Warren and No More Deaths upholds the right to life and prevents the deaths of migrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexican border,” said the UN experts.

      “The prosecution of Scott Warren represents an unacceptable escalation of existing patterns criminalising migrant rights defenders along the migrant caravan routes.”

      The experts are in contact with the U.S. authorities on the issues.

      https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24675&LangID=E

    • Judge declares mistrial in Tucson trial of aid volunteer accused of harboring migrants

      Jurors in the high-profile felony trial against Scott Warren — a humanitarian-aid volunteer charged with harboring two undocumented immigrants in southwestern Arizona — were unable to reach a verdict, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial in the case.

      U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins brought the 12-person jury into the Tucson federal courtroom on the afternoon of June 11, after they indicated for a second time that they were deadlocked on all three charges Warren faced.

      The judge dismissed the jury after each member told him that additional time deliberating would not result in a verdict.

      Collins scheduled a status conference on the trial for July 2, when prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona will decide whether to try Warren again before another jury.

      Prosecutors declined to comment after the judge dismissed the jury, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona has not responded to a request for comment.

      Warren, 36, a volunteer with the group No More Deaths, faced up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.

      He’s accused of conspiring to transport two undocumented immigrants, Kristian Perez-Villanueva and Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday, and of harboring them for several days in January 2018 in Ajo, Arizona.

      Speaking to reporters outside the federal courthouse, Warren acknowledged that he’d be back in court in a month’s time to learn if the legal case against him would continue.

      But he thanked his supporters who filled the courthouse to capacity on each of the seven days of testimony.

      “But the other men arrested with me that day, Jose Sacaria-Goday and Kristian Perez-Villanueva, have not received the outpouring of support that I have,” Warren said. “I do not know how they are doing now. But I desperately hope that they are safe.”

      Warren said that the need to provide humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border still is “as necessary” as ever.

      He pointed out that since his arrest on Jan. 17, 2018, the remains of 88 migrants were recovered from the Ajo corridor, a remote and notoriously rugged desert wilderness in southwestern Arizona.

      Greg Kuykendall, the lead attorney in his defense team, praised volunteers, such as Warren, for using their time and resources to help migrants in need.

      He declined to answer questions about the possibility of a retrial.

      “The government put on its best case, with the full force and countless resources, and 12 jurors could not agree with that case,” Kuykendall said. “We remain devoted today in our commitment to defend Scott’s lifelong devotion to providing humanitarian aid.”
      Volunteers say border humanitarian work will continue

      The hung jury in Warren’s felony trial follows the convictions of several other No More Deaths volunteers for carrying out humanitarian aid duties along protected wilderness areas along the Arizona border.

      In January, a federal judge in Tucson convicted four volunteers of misdemeanors for entering a wildlife refuge without a permit and dropping off food and water for migrants. He sentenced them to 15 months probation, ordered them to pay a fine of $150, and banned them from the refuge.

      The following month, four other No More Deaths volunteers pleaded guilty to a civil infraction of entering a wildlife refuge without a permit, and agreed to pay $280 in fines.

      Warren is also awaiting the outcome of a separate misdemeanor case brought against him for entering protected wilderness areas without a permit.

      Page Corich-Kleim, a longtime volunteer with No More Deaths, said despite these results, their work in providing humanitarian aid will continue along southwestern Arizona.

      “This evening, we have a group of volunteers driving out to Ajo to put water out,” she said. “So throughout this whole trial, we haven’t stopped doing our work and we’re not going to stop doing our work.”

      The jury began deliberations midday on Friday, after attorneys presented their closing arguments in Tucson federal court. But after nearly 15 hours of deliberations, they were unable to reach consensus on the three felony counts against Warren.

      The jurors first notified Collins late Monday afternoon that they were unable to reach a verdict in the case. But the judge asked them to try once again on Tuesday morning.

      But after deadlocking once again on Tuesday morning, Collins thanked them and dismissed them from jury duty.

      The jurors left the courthouse without speaking to the media.
      Prosecutors said Warren conspired to harbor migrants

      During the trial, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona argued that the two migrants were in good health and did not need medical care when they showed up to a building known as “the Barn” on Jan. 14, 2018.

      The prosecutors argued that Warren had conspired with Irineo Mujica, a migrants-rights activist who runs a shelter in nearby Sonoyta, Mexico, to take in the two migrants and shield them from Border Patrol. They also alleged that the humanitarian aid was used as a “cover” to help them further their journey illegally into the United States.

      Agents arrested Warren, as well as Perez-Villanueva and Sacaria-Goday, during a Jan. 17, 2018, raid of the Barn, after they had set up surveillance of the area.

      Defense attorneys for Warren said he had no idea that the two men would be at the Barn when he arrived, and that he had followed the protocols No More Deaths had established to provide a medical assessment, as well as food, water, shelter and orientation to the two migrants.

      Warren’s intent was not to break the law, but rather to provide lifesaving aid, his attorneys said.

      https://eu.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/border-issues/2019/06/11/scott-warren-verdict-aiding-undocumented-immigrants-on-us-mexico-border-no-more-deaths/1387036001

    • Jurors refuse to convict activist facing 20 years for helping migrants

      Jury could not reach a verdict against Scott Daniel Warren who was arrested in 2018 for giving migrants water, food and lodging.

      A US jury could not reach a verdict on Tuesday against a border activist who, defense attorneys say, was simply being kind by providing two migrants with water, food and lodging when he was arrested in early 2018.

      Scott Daniel Warren, a 36-year-old college geography instructor, was charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants in a trial that humanitarian aid groups said would have wide implications for their work. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

      Prosecutors maintained the men were not in distress and Warren conspired to transport and harbor them at a property used for providing aid to migrants in an Arizona town near the US-Mexico border.

      The case played out as humanitarian groups say they are coming under increasing scrutiny under Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies.

      Outside the courthouse, Warren thanked his supporters and criticized the government’s efforts to crack down on the number of immigrants coming to the US.

      “Today it remains as necessary as ever for local residents and humanitarian aid volunteers to stand in solidarity with migrants and refugees, and we must also stand for our families, friends and neighbors in the very land itself most threatened by the militarization of our borderland communities,” Warren said.

      Glenn McCormick, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Arizona, declined to comment on whether Warren would face another trial. The judge set a 2 July status hearing for the defense and prosecution.

      Warren is one of nine members of the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths who have been charged with crimes related to their work. But he is the only one to face felony charges.

      In west Texas, a county attorney was detained earlier this year after stopping her car on a dark highway to pick up three young migrants who flagged her down. Teresa Todd was held briefly, and federal agents searched her cellphone.

      Border activists say they worry about what they see as the gradual criminalization of humanitarian action.

      Warren has said his case could set a dangerous precedent by expanding the definition of the crimes of transporting and harboring migrants to include people merely trying to help border-crossers in desperate need of water or other necessities.

      Warren and other volunteers with the No More Deaths group also were targeted this year in separate federal misdemeanor cases after leaving water, canned food and other provisions for migrants hiking through the Cabeza Prieta national wildlife refuge in southern Arizona.

      In Warren’s felony case, the defense team headed by Greg Kuykendall argued that Warren could not, in good conscience, turn away two migrants who had recently crossed the desert to enter the US.

      Jurors said on Monday that they could not reach a consensus on the charges against Warren, but a federal judge told them to keep deliberating. They were still deadlocked on Tuesday and ultimately dismissed.

      Thousands of migrants have died crossing the border since the mid-1990s, when heightened enforcement pushed migrant traffic into Arizona’s scorching deserts.

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/11/arizona-activist-migrant-water-scott-daniel-warren-verdict

    • The gripping case of Scott Warren

      Is offering assistance to illegal immigrants a protected religious practice?

      ONE TROUBLE with liberty is that you never know what people will do with it. In recent years, American conservatives have been passionate defenders of individual religious freedoms, such as the right to have nothing to do with same-sex weddings. But Scott Warren (pictured), an idealistic geographer who is facing felony charges for succouring migrants in the Arizona desert, has now become a standard-bearer for a very different sort of conscientious objection.

      On June 11th his trial, which has been closely watched at the liberal end of America’s religious spectrum, reached deadlock after jurors failed to agree despite three days of deliberation. That was a better result than Mr Warren and his many supporters feared. Prosecutors may seek a retrial.

      https://www.economist.com/united-states/2019/06/15/the-gripping-case-of-scott-warren

    • USA: Decision to retry Dr. Scott Warren is part of wider campaign against human rights defenders

      In response to US federal prosecutors deciding today to retry the human rights defender Dr. Scott Warren after a previous attempt to prosecute him ended in a mistrial, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director Amnesty International, said:

      “By deciding to mount an entirely new trial against Dr. Scott Warren, the Trump administration is doubling down on its attacks against human rights defenders who are doing necessary and life-saving work at the US-Mexico border.”

      “Amnesty International has documented that the criminalization of Dr. Warren is not an isolated incident, but part of a larger politically-motivated campaign of harassment and intimidation by the US government that is in clear violation of US and international law. The US government must immediately halt these campaigns, and Congress should hold authorities accountable for their abuse of power.”


      https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/usa-decision-retry-scott-warren-part-of-wider-campaign-against-human-rights

  • Mosaïques foncières en #Arizona : paradoxe et complexités de la domination des #terres publiques au pays de la #propriété_privée

    La structure foncière des États de l’Ouest américain, en particulier les plus récents, est fortement marquée par les processus pionniers qui ont pris place après l’annexion du Nord du Mexique par les États-Unis en 1848. Elle se caractérise notamment par une très forte proportion de #terres_publiques (fédérales ou d’État) et par une configuration dans laquelle les héritages du #homesteading et des #cessions_de_terres au profit des compagnies de #chemin_de_fer sont encore très visibles. Mais un autre aspect des #héritages de cette #histoire est la complexité des #droits_de_propriété et d’usage, l’empilement des agences responsables du #patrimoine public et la multiplicité des échelles impliquées dans la gestion. L’État d’Arizona est un bon exemple de ces dynamiques. L’article s’attache donc à décrire l’émergence et l’emprise du foncier privé, l’histoire et les catégories de #foncier public avant de pointer les difficultés posées par la configuration actuelle et les impasses qu’elle représente pour l’action au niveau local.


    https://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/31934
    #USA #Etats-Unis
    #cartographie #visualisation

  • #ACME - numéro spécial sur « Border Imperialism »

    Situating Border Imperialism
    Levi Gahman, Elise Hjalmarson, Amy Cohen, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Enrica Rigo, Sarah Launius, Geoffrey Boyce, Adam Aguirre, Elsa Noterman, Eli Meyerhoff, Amílcar Sanatan

    Border Imperialism, Racial Capitalism, and Geographies of Deracination
    Levi Gahman, Elise Hjalmarson

    “Slavery hasn’t ended, it has just become modernized”: Border Imperialism and the Lived Realities of Migrant Farmworkers in #British_Columbia, #Canada
    Amy Cohen

    Borders re/make Bodies and Bodies are Made to Make Borders: Storying Migrant Trajectories
    Sutapa Chattopadhyay

    Re-gendering the Border: Chronicles of Women’s Resistance and Unexpected Alliances from the Mediterranean Border
    Enrica Rigo

    Drawing the Line: Spatial Strategies of Community and Resistance in Post-SB1070 #Arizona
    Geoffrey A Boyce, Sarah Launius, Adam O Aguirre

    Revolutionary Scholarship by Any Speed Necessary: Slow or Fast but for the End of This World
    Eli Meyerhoff, Elsa Noterman

    Borders and Marxist Politics in the Caribbean: An Interview with #Earl_Bousquet on the Workers Revolutionary Movement in St. Lucia
    Earl Bousquet, Interviewed by: Amílcar Sanatan

    #revue #frontières #impérialisme #déracinement #esclavagisme #capitalisme_racial #déracinement #Caraïbes #femmes #genre #résistance_féminine #USA #Etats-Unis #corps #agriculture #exploitation

  • Une juge fédérale d’Arizona décide que les Etats (des USA) ne peuvent pas punir une entreprise pour le boycott d’Israël
    Isaac Stanley-Becker, Washington Post, le 1er octobre 2018
    http://www.france-palestine.org/Une-juge-federale-d-Arizona-decide-que-les-etats-des-USA-ne-peuven

    Dans sa vie professionnelle, cependant, il était tenu par une loi promulguée par l’Etat d’Arizona en 2016 exigeant de toute entreprise sous contrat avec l’État qu’elle certifie qu’elle ne boycottait pas Israël. Il a contesté la directive devant les tribunaux, affirmant qu’elle violait ses droits au titre du premier amendement.

    Un juge fédéral en Arizona a jugé sa plainte fondée. La juge américaine Diane Humetewa a émis une injonction la semaine dernière, bloquant l’application de cette mesure qui oblige toute entreprise passant un contrat avec l’état à fournir une garantie écrit qu’elle ne participe pas à des activités de boycott visant Israël.

    Cette conclusion est la deuxième cette année à revenir sur une vague de lois au niveau des Etats, qui utilisent les fonds publics pour décourager les activités anti-israéliennes. Elle est dans la lignée d’un jugement similaire prononcé en janvier, lorsqu’un juge fédéral du Kansas a statué pour la première fois que l’application d’une disposition de l’Etat obligeant les contractants à signer un certificat de non-boycott violait le droit d’expression garanti par le Premier amendement. Selon l’American Civil Liberties Union, des dispositions similaires sont en vigueur dans plus d’une douzaine d’États, dont le Maryland, le Minnesota et la Caroline du Sud.

    A propos du #Maryland :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/236008

    A propos du #Kansas :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/637433
    https://seenthis.net/messages/669929
    http://www.aurdip.fr/un-tribunal-du-kansas-bloque.html
    https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/koontz-v-watson-opinion

    A propos de la #Caroline_du_sud :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/690067

    #Palestine #USA #Arizona #BDS #boycott #criminalisation_des_militants

  • “Kick Ass, Ask Questions Later” : A Border Patrol Whistleblower Speaks Out About Culture of Abuse Against Migrants
    https://theintercept.com/2018/09/20/border-patrol-agent-immigrant-abuse

    The 4-year-old boy and his parents had been lost for days in the desert and were desperately thirsty. Mario, a new Border Patrol officer, had received a call that there were migrants in the area and went out looking for them near the village of Menagers Dam, or Ali Ak Chin, on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona. It was nearly dawn when Mario first spotted the mother in a wash. The family readily gave themselves up, and the woman told Mario that they needed water. “They were pretty (...)

    #migration #frontières #surveillance

  • Before the Trump Era, the “Wall” Made In Arizona as Political Performance

    “Trump’s Wall” illustrates the US obsession with ever-greater militarization of the Mexican border, independently of the actual numbers of unauthorized crossings. Yet these debates began revolving around the slogan “Build The Wall” long before the rise of Trump. Between 2010 and 2013, the activities of a coalition of activists, politicians and Arizona security experts had already legitimized recourse to a “wall”. Border-security debates thus concern more than mere control of border crossings. More crucially, they structure local and national political life in accordance with the interests and agendas of the political players whom they bring together.

    The Governors of California and Arizona reacted unevenly to President Trump’s announcement on April 4th, 2018, that National Guard soldiers were to be sent to the Mexican border1 to reinforce the Border Patrol and local police. Doug Ducey, Republican Governor of Arizona, displayed his enthusiasm: “I’m grateful today to have a federal administration that is finally taking action to secure the border for the safety of all Americans” 2. Jerry Brown, Democrat Governor of California, was more circumspect. He insisted upon the limits of such a measure: “”This will not be a mission to build a new wall […] It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. […] Here are the facts: There is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California3”. These contrasting reactions illustrate the US rift over migration and border-security issues. To the anti-migrant camp, the border is insufficiently secured, and is subject to an “invasion4”. For opponents of the border’s militarization, this deployment is futile.

    On the anti-migrant side, between 2010 and 2013, Republican state congressmen in Arizona set up a unified Committee to gather all the political players who demanded of President Obama that he increases militarization of the border5. This included Sheriffs and Arizona State ministers—but also a breeders’ organization, the border Chambers of Commerce, militiamen who patrol the desert, and Tea Party groups. In May 2011, this Committee launched a fundraising drive dubbed “Build the Border Fence”. They portrayed cross-border migration as a threat to the public, consecrated the “Fence” as a legitimate security tool, and, seeking to force the hand of the Federal Government, accused it of failing in its duty to protect. Examining this mobilization prior to Trump’s election enables illustrating how militarization and the debates around it came to acquire legitimacy—and therefore to shed light on its current crystallization around the rhetoric of the “Wall”. This article will, first, briefly describe stages in the performative militarization of the border within which this political mobilization is embedded. It then presents three stages in the legitimization of the “Wall”, drawing on pro-“Border Wall” activism in Arizona.

    #Militarization by One-Upmanship

    Parsing differences over migration debates in the United States requires situating them within the framework of the long-term political performance of militarization of the border. The process whereby the border with Mexico has become militarized has gone hand in hand with the criminalization of unauthorized immigration since the 1980s-6. In the border area, militarization is displayed through the deployment of technology and surveillance routines of transborder mobility, both by security professionals and by citizen vigilantes7. The construction of “fences”8 made the borderline visible and contributed to this policy of militarization. The Trump administration is banking on these high-profile moments of wall-construction. In doing so, it follows in the footsteps of the G.W.Bush administration through the 2006 Secure Fence Act, and California Republicans in the 1990s. This is even while the numbers of unauthorized crossings are at historically low levels9, and federal agencies’ efforts are more directed towards chasing down migrants within the US. At various stages in the development of this policy, different players, ranging from federal elected officials through members of civil society to the security sector, local elected officials and residents, have staged themselves against the backdrop of the territory that had been fenced against the “invaders”. They thereby invest the political space concerned with closing this territory,against political opponents who are considered to be in favor of its remaining open, and of welcoming migrants. The latter range from players in transborder trade to religious humanitarian and migrant rights NGOs. Border security is therefore at the core of the political and media project of portraying immigration in problematic and warlike terms. Beyond controlling migrants, the issue above all orbits around reassuring the citizenry and various political players positioning themselves within society-structuring debates.
    Why Demand “Fences”?

    First and foremost, Arizona’s pro-fence players package transborder mobility as a variety of forms of violence, deriving from interpretation, speculation and—to reprise their terms—fantasies of “invasion”. In their rhetoric, the violence in Mexico has crossed the border. This spillover thesis is based on the experience of ranchers of the Cochise County on the border, who have faced property degradations since the end of the 1990s as a result of migrants and smugglers crossing their lands. In January 2013, the representative of the Arizona Cattlemen Association struck an alarmist tone: “Our people are on the frontline and the rural areas of our border are unsecured10”. The murder of an Association member in March 2010 was cited as evidence, swiftly attributed to what was dubbed an “illegal alien11”.

    “Border security also reflects domestic political stakes.”

    Based on their personal experiences of border migration, the pro-fence camp has taken up a common discursive register concerning the national stakes tied to such mobility. As Republican State Senator Gail Griffin explains, they express a desire to restore public order over the national territory, against the “chaos” provoked by these violent intrusions:

    “People in larger communities away from the border don’t see it as we do on the border but the drugs that are coming in though my backyard are ending up in everybody’s community in the State of Arizona and in this country. So it’s just not a local issue, or a county issue or a state issue, it’s a national issue 12.”

    In their view, the threat is as much to public order as it is to national identity. These fears denote a preoccupation with the Hispanization of society and cultural shifts affecting a nation that they define as being “Anglo-Saxon”. When the Build the Border Fence fundraising drive was launched on July 27, 2011, for example, Representative Steve Smith pronounced himself “horrified” by a development that he called “Press 2 for Spanish” in telephone calls. He also condemned the lack of integration on the part of Mexican migrants:

    “If you don’t like this country with you, you wanna bring your language with you, your gangfare with you, stay where you were! Or face the consequences. But don’t make me change because you don’t want to13.”

    Finally, border security also reflects domestic political stakes. It is a variable in the political balance of power with the federal government to influence decisions on immigration policy. Arizona elected representatives condemn the federal government’s inefficiency and lay claim to migration decision-making powers at the state-level. The “fence” is also portrayed a being a common sense “popular” project against reticent decision-making elites.
    “Fences”—or Virtual Surveillance?

    Control of the border is already disconnected from the border territory itself, and virtual and tactical technologies are prioritized in order to manage entry to the US. “Fences” appear archaic compared to new surveillance technologies that enable remote control. In the 2000s, the “virtualization” of border control was favored by the Bush and Obama administrations. Since 2001-2002, it has been embedded in the strategic concept of “Smart Borders” within the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This aims to filter authorized migration through programs that grant expedited- and preregistered-entry to US ports of entry, and through the generalization of biometric technologies. This strategy also rests upon integrating leading-edge technologies, such as the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) program that was in place from 2006 to 2011. At the time, the border area (including South-West Arizona) acquired watchtowers equipped with cameras and radar. Fences are, moreover, costly—and the financial and human costs of the construction, guarding and upkeep of these fences raise doubts over the benefits of such infrastructure. These doubts are expressed at security-technology fairs, where security professionals and industrialists gather14. There, the “fence” is ultimately understood as being a marginal control technology.

    Regardless, pro-fence activism in Arizona grants a key role to those military and police who help legitimate the recourse to “fences”. In particular, they draw on such models of securitization as the California border, that has been gradually been sealed since 1991, as well as, since 2006-07, the triple-barrier of Yuma, in South-West Arizona. Sheriff Paul Babeu, an ex-military National Guardsman who erected the “fences” in Yuma, assesses that they provide a tactical bonus for Border Patrol agents in smuggling centers, urban areas and flatlands15. Mainly, Arizona security professionals articulate their defense of the “fence” within the pursuit of personal political agendas, such as Republican sheriffs who are both security and political professionals.

    Attacking the Federal Government for Failure to Protect

    The spread of the pro-fence narrative largely rests upon widely-covered events designed to symbolize the process of militarization and to call for federal intervention. The materiality of “fences” elicits easy media coverage. The pro-fence camp are well aware of this, and regularly stage this materiality. During such public events as the 4thof July national holiday, they erect fake wooden fences on which they encourage participants to write “Secure the Border”. These pro-fence political players also seek out media coverage for their public statements.

    “Republicans consecrate Arizona as their laboratory for immigration and border security policy.”

    Such media as Fox News follow their activities to the extent of turning pro-fence events into a regular series. On August 25, 2011, on the Fox News program On The Record, presenter Greta Van Susteren invited Republican Representative Steve Smith and publicized the fundraising drive using visuals drawn from the initiative’s website 16. The presenter framed the interview by gauging that Arizona parliamentarians had “got a grip on things to get the White House’s attention”. At no point was Steve Smith really challenged on the true cost of the fence, nor on opposition to the project. This co-production between the channel’s conservative editorial line and the pro-fence narrative enables the border area to be presented as a warzone, and amplifies the critique of the federal government.

    This staging of the debate complements lobbying to set up direct contact with federal decision-makers, as well as legal actions to pressure them. Pro-barrier activists in Arizona thus set out plans to secure the border, which they try to spread among Arizona authorities and federal elected officials-17. Sheriff Paul Babeu, for instance, took part in consultations on border security conducted by Senator John McCain and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. By passing repressive immigration laws and mobilizing Arizona legal advisors to defend these laws when they are challenged in court, Republicans consecrate Arizona as their laboratory for immigration and border security policy.
    Twists and Turns of “Build The Wall”

    Portraying transborder mobility as a “problem” on the local and, especially, the national levels; Legitimizing a security-based response by promoting the “fence” as only solution; And accusing the federal government of failing to protect its citizens. These are the three pillars of “The Fence”, the performance by pro-fence activists in the early 2010s. These moves have enabled making militarization of the border and the “Build The Wall” trope banal. Its elements are present in the current state of the discourse, when Donald Trump resorts to aggressive rhetoric towards migrants, touts his “Wall” as the solution, and stages photo-ops alongside prototypes of the wall—and when he accuses both Congress and California of refusing to secure the border. The issue here has little to do with the undocumented, or with the variables governing Central American migration. It has far more to do with point-scoring against political opponents, and with political positioning within debates that cleave US society.


    https://www.noria-research.com/before-the-trump-era-the-wall-made-in-arizona-as-political-performan
    #performance #performance_politique #spectacle #murs #barrières #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #Arizona #surveillance #surveillance_virtuelle #sécurité

    signalé par @reka

  • Black Leaders in Ariz. Push for Removal of State’s Confederate Monuments

    African-American leaders in Arizona are the next to call for the swift removal of the state’s Confederate monuments, joining an overall cry across the nation by those who know that the monuments celebrate slavery and racism and, generally, just the wrong side of history.

    http://www.theroot.com/black-leaders-in-arizona-push-for-removal-of-states-con-1795811014

    #monuments #mémoire #USA #Etats-Unis #Arizona #guerre_de_sécession #Etats_confédérés #esclavagisme

  • En #Arizona, Jim le rancher rêve d’un mur à la frontière mexicaine

    Pour beaucoup, la promesse de Donald Trump de construire un mur à la frontière avec le Mexique est irréaliste, mais pour Jim Chilton c’est une question de sécurité nationale... et le seul moyen qu’il retrouve le sommeil.

    http://www.courrierinternational.com/sites/ci_master/files/styles/image_original_765/public/afp/736a0d32d2214d45ed1b7864ca1179f0430ff6dc.jpg?itok=wj8YTeYw
    http://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/en-arizona-jim-le-rancher-reve-dun-mur-la-frontiere-mexicaine

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #rêves #asile #migrations #frontières #réfugiés #Mexique #USA #Etats-Unis

    • Trump’s Border Wall Could Impact an Astonishing 10,000 Species

      The list, put together by a team led by Dr. Gerardo J. Ceballos González of National Autonomous University of Mexico, includes 42 species of amphibians, 160 reptiles, 452 bird species and 187 mammals. Well-known species in the region include the jaguar, Sonoran pronghorn, North American river otter and black bear.


      http://therevelator.org/trump-border-wall-10000-species

    • Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?

      The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has seen many countries rush to construct border security fencing to divert or control the flow of people. This follows a trend of border fence construction across Eurasia during the post-9/11 era. This development has gone largely unnoticed by conservation biologists during an era in which, ironically, transboundary cooperation has emerged as a conservation paradigm. These fences represent a major threat to wildlife because they can cause mortality, obstruct access to seasonally important resources, and reduce effective population size. We summarise the extent of the issue and propose concrete mitigation measures.

      http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002483
      #faune #Europe #Europe_centrale #Europe_de_l'Est #cartographie #visualisation

    • Rewriting biological history: Trump border wall puts wildlife at risk

      Mexican conservationists are alarmed over Trump’s wall, with the loss of connectivity threatening already stressed bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, bears and other animals.
      About one-third of the border, roughly 700 miles, already has fencing; President Trump has been pushing a controversial plan to fence the remainder.
      A wall running the entire nearly 2,000-mile frontier from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, conservationists warn, would be catastrophic for borderland ecosystems and many wildlife species, undoing years of environmental cooperation between the two countries to protect animals that must move freely or die.
      The wall is currently a key bargaining chip, and a sticking point, in ongoing immigration legislation negotiations taking place this week in Congress. Also expected this week: a federal court ruling on whether the administration can legally waive environmental laws to expedite border wall construction.


      https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/rewriting-biological-history-trump-border-wall-puts-wildlife-at-risk
      #bisons

    • A Land Divided

      The national debate about border security doesn’t often dwell on the natural environment, but hundreds of miles of public lands, including six national parks, sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. What will happen to these lands — and the wildlife and plants they protect — if a wall or additional fences and barriers are built along the frontier?


      https://www.npca.org/articles/1770-a-land-divided
      #parcs_nationaux

    • R ULES C OMMITTEE P RINT 115–66 T EXT OF THE H OUSE A MENDMENT TO THE S ENATE A MENDMENT TO H.R. 1625

      US spending bill requires “an analysis, following consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, of the environmental impacts, including on wildlife, of the construction and placement of physical barriers” (p 677)

      http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/BILLS-115SAHR1625-RCP115-66.pdf
      Extrait partagé par Reece Jones sur twitter
      https://twitter.com/reecejhawaii/status/977304504700780544

    • Activists Vow Fight as Congress Funds Portions of Border Wall

      Last week Congress voted to appropriate some monies to build new fortifications along the United States–Mexico border, but border activists in the Rio Grande Valley say the fight against President Donald Trump’s border wall is far from over.

      The nearly $1.6 billion in border wall funding included in the omnibus spending bill that Trump signed Friday provides for the construction of some 33 miles of new walls, all in Texas’s ecologically important Rio Grande Valley. Those walls will tear through communities, farms and ranchland, historic sites, and thousands of acres of protected wildlife habitat, while creating flooding risks on both sides of the border. But far from admitting defeat, border activists have already begun mapping out next steps to pressure Congress to slow down or even halt the wall’s construction.

      https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/activists-vow-fight-congress-funds-portions-border-wall

    • State attorney general, environmental group to appeal decision on Trump’s border wall

      A ruling by a San Diego federal judge allowing construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall to go ahead will be appealed by two entities that opposed it, including the state Attorney General.

      Both the Center for Biological Diversity and Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed formal notices of appeal on Monday seeking to reverse a decision in February from U.S District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. The judge ruled that the Trump administration did not abuse its discretion in waiving environmental laws in its rush to begin border wall projects along the southwest border.

      The center had said after the ruling it would appeal, and Becerra also hinted the state would seek appellate court review at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

      The notices declare an intent to appeal. They do not outline arguments to be made on appeal or why each group believe that Curiel got it wrong.

      In a prepared statement Becerra said, “When we said that a medieval wall along the U.S.-Mexico border does not belong in the 21st century, we meant it. There are environmental and public health laws in place, and we continue to believe that the Trump Administration is violating those laws. We will not stand idly by. We are committed to protecting our people, our values and our economy from federal overreach.”

      The lawsuits challenged a law that allowed the federal government not to comply with environmental and other laws and regulations when building border security projects. They argued the law was outdated and Congress never intended for it to be an open-ended waiver for all border projects, and contended it violated constitutional provisions of separation of powers and states’ rights.

      In his decision Curiel said both that the law was constitutional and it gave the Department of Homeland Security wide latitude over border security.

      Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said in response to the Curiel ruling that the administration was pleased DHS “can continue this important work vital to our nation’s interest.”

      “Border security is paramount to stemming the flow of illegal immigration that contributes to rising violent crime and to the drug crisis, and undermines national security,” O’Malley said.

      http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-border-appeal-20180409-story.html

    • Les murs n’arrêtent pas que les humains

      Des États-Unis à la Malaisie, en passant par Israël ou la Hongrie, les hommes construisent de multiples murs pour contraindre les déplacements de nos semblables. N’oublions pas, explique l’auteur de cette tribune, que nous ne sommes pas les seuls à habiter la Terre et donc à pâtir de ces barrières.

      La #forêt_de_Bialowieza a quelque chose de mythique et de sacré. Âgée de plus de 8.000 ans, elle est la dernière forêt primaire d’Europe. S’étalant sur 150.000 hectares entre la Pologne et la Biélorussie, inaccessible aux visiteurs sans guide assermenté, elle constitue un sanctuaire d’espèces témoignant de la richesse des mondes anciens. Le bison d’Europe y vit encore de manière naturelle, côtoyant élans, cerfs, loups, lynx, etc.

      En 1981, à l’époque du rideau de fer, l’URSS a décidé de clôturer la frontière entre la Pologne et la Biélorussie, coupant à travers cette forêt et séparant en deux la dernière population de bisons d’Europe (environ 500 individus de part et d’autre). Cette clôture est symboliquement forte, car elle témoigne de la coupure existentielle (« ontologique », diraient les philosophes) que les humains se sont imposée vis-à-vis des autres êtres vivants. Ces derniers semblent ne pas exister à nos yeux.

      Mais cette séparation est plus que symbolique, elle est concrète. Les murs dressés par l’espèce humaine représentent une menace importante et sous-estimée pour de nombreux êtres vivants non humains.
      Murs de béton, de pierre, de boue, de sable ou de brique, de barbelés, de grilles en acier ou de clôtures électrifiées

      On en trouve surtout aux frontières : entre les États-Unis et le Mexique, la Corée du Nord et du Sud, Israël et la Cisjordanie, la Malaisie et la Thaïlande, l’Inde et le Pakistan, l’Iran et l’Irak, la Chine et la Mongolie, le Botswana et le Zimbabwe, etc. Ils prennent la forme de murs de béton, de pierre, de boue, de sable ou de brique, de barbelés, de grilles en acier ou de clôtures électrifiées, et viennent accompagnés de routes, de casernes, de lumières et de bruits. Leur nombre a considérablement augmenté depuis les attentats du 11 septembre 2001. Par exemple en Eurasie (sans le Moyen-Orient), il existe aujourd’hui plus de 30.000 km de murs, grillages et barbelés aux frontières.

      Ces murs affectent évidemment les populations humaines en brisant les trajectoires personnelles de millions de personnes. Ils affectent aussi les autres espèces [1]. À Białowieża, par exemple, la séparation a empêché les flux génétiques (et a donc fragilisé) des populations de bisons, d’ours, de loups et de lynx. Pire, 25 ans après la destruction du rideau de fer entre l’Allemagne et la République tchèque, les jeunes cerfs (qui n’avaient jamais vu de clôtures) ne traversaient toujours pas la frontière [2].

      En mai 2018 paraissait dans la revue Bioscience un article cosigné par dix-huit grands noms de l’étude et de la protection de la biodiversité (dont Edward O. Wilson) et signé par 2.500 scientifiques, qui alertait sur les « conséquences inattendues mais importantes » de ces murs frontaliers sur la biodiversité [3]. Ce cri d’alarme n’est pas le premier [4], mais il résume bien l’état des lieux de la recherche, et aussi l’état de préoccupation des chercheurs.
      Lorsque les habitats se fragmentent, les territoires des populations se réduisent

      Les murs nuisent à la biodiversité de plusieurs façons. Premièrement, ils peuvent blesser ou tuer des animaux directement, quand ils s’emmêlent dans les fils barbelés, sont électrocutés ou marchent sur des mines antipersonnelles.

      Deuxièmement, ils fragmentent et dégradent les habitats. Par exemple la frontière de 3.200 km entre le Mexique et les États-Unis traverse les aires de répartition géographique de 1.506 espèces natives (parmi lesquelles 1.077 espèces animales) dont 62 sont sur la liste des espèces en danger. Le mur menace cinq régions particulièrement riches en biodiversité (on les nomme « hotspots ») qui retiennent presque tous les efforts de conservation et de « réensauvagement » (rewilding). Lorsque les habitats se fragmentent, les territoires des populations se réduisent, et le nombre d’espèces présentes sur ces petites surfaces se réduit plus que proportionnellement, rendant ainsi les populations plus vulnérables, par exemple aux variations climatiques. Les clôtures frontalières contribuent aussi à accroître la mortalité de la faune sauvage en facilitant la tâche des braconniers, en perturbant les migrations et la reproduction, et en empêchant l’accès à la nourriture et à l’eau. Par exemple, le mouton bighorn (une espèce en danger) migrait naturellement entre la Californie et le Mexique mais ne peut aujourd’hui plus accéder aux points d’eau et aux sites de naissance qu’il avait l’habitude de fréquenter.

      Troisièmement, ces murs annulent les effets bénéfiques des millions de dollars investis dans la recherche et les mesures de conservation de la biodiversité. Les scientifiques témoignent aussi du fait qu’ils sont souvent l’objet d’intimidations, de harcèlements ou de ralentissements volontaires de la part des officiers responsables de la sécurité des frontières.

      Enfin, quatrièmement, les politiques de sécurité mises en place récemment font passer les lois environnementales au deuxième plan, quand elles ne sont pas simplement bafouées ou oubliées.
      Des centaines de kilomètres de clôtures de sécurité aux frontières extérieures et intérieures de l’UE

      Le double phénomène migrations/clôtures n’est pas prêt de s’arrêter. En 2015, un afflux exceptionnel d’êtres humains fuyant leurs pays en direction de l’Europe a conduit plusieurs États membres à réintroduire ou renforcer les contrôles aux frontières, notamment par la construction rapide de centaines de kilomètres de clôtures de sécurité aux frontières extérieures et intérieures de l’UE. Le réchauffement climatique et l’épuisement des ressources seront dans les années à venir des causes majeures de guerres, d’épidémies et de famines, forçant toujours plus d’humains à migrer. Les animaux seront aussi de la partie, comme en témoigne la progression vers le nord des moustiques tigres, qui charrient avec eux des maladies qui n’existaient plus dans nos régions, ou encore l’observation du loup en Belgique en mars 2018 pour la troisième fois depuis des siècles…

      Les accords entre pays membres de l’Union européenne au sujet des migrations humaines seront-ils mis en place à temps ? Résisteront-ils aux changements et aux catastrophes à venir ? Quel poids aura la « #Convention_des_espèces_migrantes » (censée réguler le flux des animaux) face aux migrations humaines ?

      En septembre 2017, un bison d’Europe a été aperçu en Allemagne. C’était la première fois depuis 250 ans qu’un représentant sauvage de cette espèce traversait spontanément la frontière allemande. Il a été abattu par la police.

      https://reporterre.net/Les-murs-n-arretent-pas-que-les-humains
      #Bialowieza

    • Les murs de séparation nuisent aussi à la #faune et la #flore

      3419 migrants sont décédés en Méditerranée en tentant de rejoindre Malte ou l’Italie. C’est ce que révèle un rapport du Haut commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés publié le 10 décembre. Il y a les barrières naturelles, et les murs artificiels. Pendant deux mois, le web-documentaire Connected Walls s’attaque aux murs de séparation entre quatre continents : le mur entre l’Amérique du Nord et l’Amérique latine incarné par les grillages entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique, celui entre l’Europe et l’Afrique incarné par les barbelés qui séparent les enclaves espagnoles du Maroc. Tous les 10 jours, Connected Walls publie un nouveau documentaire de cinq minutes sur une thématique choisie par les internautes. Cette semaine, ils ont sélectionné la thématique « animal ».

      Cette semaine, sur Connected-Walls,Valeria Fernandez (USA) et Fidel Enriquez (Mexico) ont suivi John Ladd dont la famille possède un ranch dans l’Arizona, à la frontière mexicaine, depuis cinq générations. Depuis la construction du mur frontalier en 2007, les choses ont changé pour lui et pour les animaux.

      De leur côté, Irene Gutierrez (Espagne) et Youssef Drissi (Maroc) ont rencontré Adam Camara, un jeune de Guinée Équatoriale qui a tenté de traverser plusieurs fois le détroit entre le Maroc et l’Espagne. Lors de sa dernière tentative, il a reçu l’aide d’un mystérieux ami.
      Pour chaque thématique, un partenaire associatif a carte blanche pour rédiger une tribune. Celle-ci a été rédigée par Dan Millis, de l’organisation écologiste Sierra Club :

      « Les animaux se moquent bien des frontières politiques. Le jaguar de Sonora n’a pas de passeport, et le canard morillon cancane avec le même accent, qu’il soit à Ceuta ou dans la forêt de Jbel Moussa. Les murs et les barrières ont cependant un impact considérable sur la faune et la flore. Par exemple, les rennes de l’ancienne Tchécoslovaquie ne franchissent jamais la ligne de l’ancien Rideau de Fer, alors même que cette barrière a disparu depuis 25 ans et qu’aucun des rennes vivant aujourd’hui ne l’a jamais connue. Les quelques 1000 kilomètres de barrières et de murs séparant les États-Unis et le Mexique détruisent et fragmentent l’habitat sauvage, en bloquant les couloirs de migration essentiels à la survie de nombreuses espèces. Une étude réalisée grâce à des caméras installées au niveau des refuges et des zones de vie naturellement fréquentés par la faune en Arizona a montré que des animaux comme le puma et le coati sont bloqués par les murs des frontières, alors que les humains ne le sont pas. »


      https://www.bastamag.net/Connected-Walls-le-webdocumentaire-4545
      #wildelife

    • Border Fences and their Impacts on Large Carnivores, Large Herbivores and Biodiversity: An International Wildlife Law Perspective

      Fences, walls and other barriers are proliferating along international borders on a global scale. These border fences not only affect people, but can also have unintended but important consequences for wildlife, inter alia by curtailing migrations and other movements, by fragmenting populations and by causing direct mortality, for instance through entanglement. Large carnivores and large herbivores are especially vulnerable to these impacts. This article analyses the various impacts of border fences on wildlife around the world from a law and policy perspective, focusing on international wildlife law in particular. Relevant provisions from a range of global and regional legal instruments are identified and analysed, with special attention for the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species and the European Union Habitats Directive.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/reel.12169

    • Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?

      The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has seen many countries rush to construct border security fencing to divert or control the flow of people. This follows a trend of border fence construction across Eurasia during the post-9/11 era. This development has gone largely unnoticed by conservation biologists during an era in which, ironically, transboundary cooperation has emerged as a conservation paradigm. These fences represent a major threat to wildlife because they can cause mortality, obstruct access to seasonally important resources, and reduce effective population size. We summarise the extent of the issue and propose concrete mitigation measures.


      https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002483

    • Butterfly Preserve On The Border Threatened By Trump’s Wall

      The National Butterfly Center, a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden in South Texas, provides a habitat for more than 100 species of butterflies.

      It also sits directly in the path of the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.

      The federal spending bill approved in September includes $1.6 billion in 2019 for construction of the wall. In October, the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver to 28 laws protecting public lands, wildlife and the environment to clear the way for construction to proceed.

      https://www.npr.org/2018/11/01/660671247/butterfly-preserve-on-the-border-threatened-by-trumps-wall
      #papillons

    • Wildlife advocates, local indigenous tribes protest preparations for new border wall construction

      The federal government this week began moving bulldozers and construction vehicles to the Texas border with Mexico to begin building a new six-mile section of border wall — the first new wall under President Donald Trump, administration officials confirmed Tuesday.

      The move immediately triggered angry protests by a local butterfly sanctuary — The National Butterfly Center — and local indigenous tribes who oppose the wall and say construction will damage natural habitats. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the wall will run through land owned by federal government. The dispute came amid an administration claim that a caravan of 2,000 migrants had arrived in northern Mexico along the Texas border.

      “We’re a recognized tribe and no one’s going to tell us who we are especially some idiots in Washington,” said Juan Mancias of the indigenous peoples’ tribe Carrizo-Comecrudo, who led protests on Monday. “We’re the original people of this land. We haven’t forgot our ancestors.”

      So far, the Trump administration has upgraded only existing fencing along the border. The president has called for some $5 billion for new wall construction, and Democrats have refused, resulting in a budget dispute that shut down the government for five weeks.

      This latest Texas project relies on previously appropriated money and won’t require further congressional approval. Construction plans for the Rio Grande Valley, just south of McAllen, Texas, call for six to 14 miles of new concrete wall topped with 18-foot vertical steel bars.

      Last year, Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen waived a variety environmental restrictions, including parts of the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts, to prepare for construction in the area. Construction on the Rio Grande Valley project is expected to start in the coming weeks.

      Marianna Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, remains a staunch advocate against the border wall. She met this week with authorities who she said wants to buy the center’s land for wall construction.

      She traveled to Washington last month to explain the environmental damage that would be caused by the construction in testimony on Capitol Hill.

      “The bulldozers will roll into the lower Rio Grande Valley wildlife conservation corridor, eliminating thousands of trees during spring nesting season for hundreds of species of migratory raptors and songbirds,” Wright told the House Natural Resources Committee.

      When asked by ABC News what message she has for people who aren’t there to see the impact of the new border wall, Wright paused, searching for words to express her frustration.

      “I would drive my truck over them, over their property, through their fence,” she said.

      DHS continues to cite national security concerns as the reason for building the border wall, with Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen saying in a statement Tuesday that migrants in the new caravan that had arrived at the Texas border would try to cross over illegally.

      “Such caravans are the result of Congress’s inexcusable failure to fully fund a needed physical barrier and unwillingness to fix outdated laws that act as an enormous magnet for illegal aliens,” Nielsen said in a statement.

      The last so-called caravan that caused alarm for the administration resulted in thousands of migrants taking shelter in the Mexican city of Tijuana. Just across the border from San Diego, many waited several weeks for the chance to enter the U.S.

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wildlife-advocates-local-indigenous-tribes-protest-preparations-border/story?id=60859814
      #résistance #peuples_autochtones #Carrizo-Comecrudo #McAllen #Texas

    • As Work Begins on Trump’s Border Wall, a Key Wildlife Refuge Is at Risk

      Construction is underway on a stretch of President Trump’s border wall cutting through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Biologists warn the steel wall will disrupt carefully preserved habitat critical for the survival of ocelot, jaguarundi, and other threatened species.

      As Tiffany Kersten descends from a levee into a verdant forest that stretches to the Rio Grande more than a mile away, she spots a bird skimming the treetops: a red-tailed hawk. Later, other birds — great blue herons, egrets — take flight from the edge of an oxbow lake. This subtropical woodland is one of the last remnants of tamaulipan brushland — a dense tangle of Texas ebony, mesquite, retama, and prickly pear whose U.S. range is now confined to scattered fragments in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. The ecosystem harbors an astonishing array of indigenous wildlife: ocelot, jaguarundi, Texas tortoise, and bobcat, as well as tropical and subtropical birds in a rainbow of colors, the blue bunting and green jay among them.

      But the stretch of tamaulipan scrub Kersten is exploring, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, won’t be around much longer. About 15 feet from the forest edge, Kersten — a board member of a local conservation group — spots red ribbons tied to tree branches on both sides of the trail. Soon, an excavator will uproot those trees to make way for a 140-foot-wide access road and an 18-foot-high wall atop the levee, all part of the Trump administration’s plan to barricade as much of the Texas/Mexico border as possible. On Valentine’s Day, two days before I visited the border, crews began clearing a path for the road, and soon the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will plant a cement foundation in the levee and top it with a steel bollard barrier.

      This construction is the first project under a plan to build 33 miles of new wall along the levee in South Texas, with $641 million in funding that Trump requested and Congress authorized last year. That 33-mile stretch, cutting through some of the most unique and endangered habitat in the United States, will be joined by an additional 55 miles of wall under a funding bill Trump signed February 15 that allocates another $1.375 billion for wall construction. The same day, Trump also issued a national emergency declaration authorizing another $6 billion for border walls. That declaration could give the administration the power to override a no-wall zone Congress created in three protected areas around the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

      Since the mid-20th century, ranches, oil fields, and housing tracts have consumed 97 percent of the tamaulipan brushland.

      Since the mid-20th century, ranches, farms, oil fields, subdivisions, and shopping centers have consumed 97 percent of the tamaulipan brushland habitat at ground zero of this new spate of border wall construction. That loss led Congress to create the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the 1970s and spurred a 30-year-effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation organizations, and private landowners to protect the remaining pockets of tamaulipan brushland and restore some of what has been lost. The Fish and Wildlife Service has purchased 10,000 acres of cropland and converted it back into tamaulipan woodlands; it hopes to replant another 30,000 acres. The refuge, now totaling 98,000 acres, has been likened to a string of pearls, with connected jewels of old-growth and restored habitat adorning the 300-mile lower Rio Grande Valley.

      Into this carefully rebuilt wildlife corridor now comes the disruption of a flurry of new border wall construction. Scientists and conservationists across Texas warn that it could unravel decades of work to protect the tamaulipan brushland and the wildlife it harbors. “This is the only place in the world you can find this habitat,” says Kersten, a board member of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, a non-profit group that works closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the corridor program. “And only 3 percent of this habitat is remaining.”

      For all its efforts to turn cropland into federally protected habitat, the Fish and Wildlife Service finds itself with little recourse to safeguard it, precisely because it is federal property. The easiest place for the federal government to begin its new wave of border wall construction is the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which includes the picturesque La Parida Banco tract, where I joined Kersten. Under a 2005 law, the Department of Homeland Security can waive the environmental reviews that federal agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Service typically conduct for projects that could alter federally protected lands.

      The tract Kersten and I visited is one of four adjacent “pearls” in the wildlife corridor — long , roughly rectangular parcels stretching from an entrance road to the river. From west to east they are the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s La Parida Banco tract, the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, the refuge’s El Morillo Banco tract, and the privately owned National Butterfly Center. A levee runs through all four properties, and the first sections of fence to be built atop it would cut off access to trails and habitat in the refuge tracts. Citizens and local and state officials have successfully fought to keep the fence from crossing the National Butterfly Center, the Bentsen-Rio Grande state park, and the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge farther downstream — at least for now. If Trump’s national emergency declaration survives court challenges, the border barriers could even be extended into these holdouts.

      When the wall and access road are completed at La Parida Banco, a crucial piece of intact native habitat will become isolated between the wall and the river. Species that either rely on the river for water or migrate across it will find pathways they’ve traversed for thousands of years blocked.

      While biologists are concerned about the impacts of the wall all along the U.S.-Mexico border, the uniqueness of South Texas’ ecosystems make it an especially troublesome place to erect an 18-foot fence, they say. The 300-mile wildlife corridor in South Texas, where the temperate and the tropical intermingle, is home to an astounding concentration of flora and fauna: 17 threatened or endangered species, including the jaguarundi and ocelot; more than 530 species of birds; 330 butterfly species, about 40 percent of all those in the U.S.; and 1,200 types of plants. It’s one of the most biodiverse places on the continent.

      `There will be no concern for plants, endangered species [and] no consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service,’ says a biologist.

      “This is a dry land, and when you have dry land, your diversity is near the water,” says Norma Fowler, a biologist with the University of Texas at Austin who studies the tamaulipan brushland ecosystem. She co-authored an article published last year in the scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment warning of the consequences of the new wall for the region’s singular ecosystems and wildlife. Since the wall can’t be built in the river, it’s going up a mile or more north of it in some areas, placing both the riparian habitat right along the river and the tamaulipan thornscrub on higher ground at risk.

      “Both of those habitats have been fragmented, and there’s not much left,” Fowler says. “Some of it is lovingly restored from fields to the appropriate wild vegetation. But because they’ve waived every environmental law there is, there will be no concern for plants, endangered species. There will be no consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service.”

      When the wall rises, the barrier and the new patrol road alongside it will cut an unusually wide 140-foot swath to improve visibility through the dense brush. In her article, Fowler estimated that construction of the border wall would destroy 4.8 to 7.3 acres of habitat per mile of barrier. The fence will also cut off access to the river and habitat on the Mexican side of the border for many animals. Including bobcats, ocelot, jaguarundi, and javelina. Some slower-moving species, like the Texas tortoise, could be caught in floods that would swell against the wall.

      If new walls must be built along the Rio Grande, Fowler says, the Department of Homeland Security should construct them in a way that causes the least harm to wildlife and plants. That would include limiting the footprint of the access roads and other infrastructure, designing barriers with gaps wide enough for animals to pass through, and using electronic sensors instead of physical barriers wherever possible.

      One of the most at-risk species is the ocelot, a small jaguar-like cat that historically roamed throughout Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Arizona, but that numbers only about 80 today. The sole breeding population left in the U.S. is in South Texas, and it is wholly dependent on the dense shrubland in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that the wall will bisect. Some species could be wiped out altogether: The few sites where Physaria thamnophila, a native wildflower, still grows are directly in the path of the wall, Fowler says.

      With 1,254 miles of border — all following the languid, meandering course of the Rio Grande — Texas has far more of the United States’ 1,933-mile southern boundary than any other state, yet it has the fewest miles of existing fence. That’s because much of the Texas border is private riverfront land. The first major push to barricade the Texas border, by the George W. Bush administration, encountered opposition from landowners who balked at what they saw as lowball purchase offers and the use of eminent domain to take their property. (Years later, some of those lawsuits are still pending.) Federal land managers also put up a fight.

      Natural areas already bisected by a Bush-era fence offer a preview of the potential fate of the Rio Grande wildlife refuge.

      When Ken Merritt — who oversaw the federal South Texas Refuge Complex, which includes the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana, and the Laguna Atascosa refuge near where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico — questioned the wisdom of a barrier through Santa Ana during the Bush administration, he was forced out of his job.

      “I was getting a lot of pressure,” says Merritt, who still lives in the valley and is retired. “But it just didn’t fit. We were trying to connect lands to create a whole corridor all along the valley, and we knew walls were very much against that.”

      Natural areas already bisected by the Bush-era fence offer a preview of the potential fate of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. A few miles downstream from the La Parida tract, the Hidalgo Pumphouse and Birding Center, which anchors the southern end of the tiny town of Hidalgo, now looks out at a stretch of steel bollard fence atop a concrete wall embedded in the levee.

      On a recent Monday morning, a few tourists milled about the gardens behind the pumphouse, listening to the birds — curve-billed thrashers, green monk parakeets, kiskadee flycatchers — and enjoying the view from the observation deck. Curious about the wall, all of them eventually walk up to it and peek through the four-inch gaps between the steel slats. On the other side lies another pearl: a 900-acre riverside piece of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge called the Hidalgo Bend tract. It was once a popular spot with birders drawn to its ferruginous Pygmy owls, elf owls, and other wildlife. But since the wall went up in 2009, few birders visit anymore.

      At The Nature Conservancy’s Sabal Palm Preserve, a 557-acre piece of the wildlife corridor near the Gulf of Mexico, a wall installed in 2009 cuts through one of the last stands of sabal palm forest in the Rio Grande Valley. Laura Huffman, regional director for The Nature Conservancy, worries that the more walls erected on the border, the less hope there is of completing the wildlife corridor.

      Kersten and others remain unconvinced that the danger on the border justifies a wall. She believes that sensors and more Border Patrol agents are more effective deterrents to drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. Earlier on the day we met, Kersten was part of a group of 100 or so protestors who marched from the parking lot at nearby Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park to the adjacent National Butterfly Center, holding signs that read “No Border Wall” and “Solidarity Across Borders.” One placard listed the more than two dozen environmental and cultural laws that the Trump administration waived to expedite the fence. Among them: the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires environmental analysis before federal projects can begin; the Endangered Species Act; the Clean Water Act; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act; the National Historic Preservation Act; and the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.

      Even as the wall goes up in the refuge, preparations for this year’s restoration projects are moving ahead. Betty Perez, whose family has lived in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for generations, is one of several landowners who grow seedlings for replanting on refuge lands each year. At her ranch, about a 45-minute drive northwest of the La Parida Banco tract, she’s beginning to collect seeds to grow this year’s native shrub crop: coyotillo, in the buckthorn family; yucca; Texas persimmon.

      Next to a shed in her backyard sit rows of seedlings-to-be in white tubes. To Perez, the delicate green shoots hold a promise: In a few years, these tiny plants will become new habitat for jaguarundi, for ocelot, for green jays, for blue herons. Despite the new walls, the wildlife corridor project will go on, she says, in the spaces in between.

      https://e360.yale.edu/features/as-work-begins-on-trumps-border-wall-a-key-wildlife-refuge-is-at-risk

    • Border Wall Rising In #Arizona, Raises Concerns Among Conservationists, Native Tribes

      Construction has begun on President Trump’s border wall between Arizona and Mexico, and conservationists are furious. The massive barrier will skirt one of the most beloved protected areas in the Southwest — Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, recognized by the United Nations as an international biosphere reserve.

      On a recent drive along the borderline, a crew was transplanting tall saguaro cactus out of the construction zone.

      “There may be misconceptions that we are on a construction site and just not caring for the environment,” intones a voice on a video released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project. “We are relocating saguaro, organ pipe, ocotillo...”

      But a half-mile away, a big yellow bulldozer was scraping the desert clean and mowing down cactus columns that were likely older than the young man operating the dozer.

      Customs and Border Protection later said 110 desert plants have been relocated, and unhealthy ones get bulldozed.

      This scene illustrates why environmentalists are deeply skeptical of the government’s plans. They fear that as CBP and the Defense Department race to meet the president’s deadline of 450 miles of wall by Election Day 2020, they will plow through one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions of the continental United States.

      The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has warned that the wall, with its bright lights, human activity and impermeable barrier, could negatively impact 23 endangered and at-risk species, including the Sonoran pronghorn antelope. And the National Park Service says construction could destroy 22 archaeological sites. Yet, for this stretch of western desert, the government has waived 41 federal environmental laws to expedite construction.

      “This is a wall to fulfill a campaign promise. It’s really clear. And that’s what makes so many of us so angry. It’s being done so fast outside the rule of law and we know it’ll have an incredible impact,” says Kevin Dahl, Arizona representative for the National Parks Conservation Association. He sits beside a serene, spring-fed pond fringed by cattails, and dive-bombed by dragonflies. It is called Quitobaquito Springs, and it’s located on the southern edge of the #Organ_Pipe_Cactus_National_Monument.

      A biologist peers into a rivulet that feeds this oasis in the middle of the Sonoran desert.

      “These guys are very tiny, maybe half the size of a sesame seed. Those are the Quitobaquito tryonia. And there are literally thousands in here,” says Jeff Sorensen, wildlife specialist supervisor with Arizona Game and Fish Department. He’s an expert on this tiny snail, which is one of three species — along with a mud turtle and a pupfish — whose entire universe is this wetland.

      The springs have been used for 16,000 years by Native Americans, followed by Spanish explorers, traders and farmers.

      But the pond is a stone’s throw from the international border, and the path of the wall. Conservationists fear workers will drill water wells to make concrete, and lower the water table which has been dropping for years.

      “We do have concerns,” Sorensen continues. “Our species that are at this site rely on water just like everything else here in the desert southwest. And to take that water away from them means less of a home.”

      The Trump administration is building 63 miles of wall in the Tucson Sector, to replace outdated pedestrian fences and vehicle barriers. CBP says this stretch of desert is a busy drug- and human-trafficking corridor. In 2019, the Tucson sector had 63,490 apprehensions and seized more than 61,900 pounds of illegal narcotics. The Defense Department is paying Southwest Valley Constructors, of Albuquerque, N.M., to erect 18- to 30-foot-tall, concrete-filled steel bollards, along with security lights and an all-weather patrol road. It will cost $10.3 million a mile.

      The rampart is going up in the Roosevelt Reservation, a 60-foot-wide strip of federal land that runs along the U.S. side of the border in New Mexico, Arizona and California. It was established in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

      Congress refused to authorize money for construction of the wall in Arizona. Under Trump’s national emergency declaration, the Defense Department has reprogrammed counterdrug funding to build the border wall.

      In responses to questions from NPR, CBP says contractors will not drill for water within five miles of Quitobaquito Springs. The agency says it is coordinating with the National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife and other stakeholders to identify sensitive areas “to develop avoidance or mitigation measures to eliminate or reduce impacts to the environment.” Additionally, CBP is preparing an Environmental Stewardship Plan for the construction project.

      Critics are not appeased.

      “There is a whole new level of recklessness we’re seeing under Trump. We thought Bush was bad, but this is a whole other order of magnitude,” says Laiken Jordahl, a former national park ranger and now borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity.

      There was an outcry, too, back in the late 2000s when President George W. Bush built the first generation of bollard wall. Those barriers topped out at 18 feet. The structures rising southwest of Tucson are as tall as a two-story building. They look like they could hold back a herd of T-rexes.

      The Trump administration is using the same Real ID Act of 2005 that empowered President George W. Bush to build his border wall without heeding environmental protections. But the pace of waivers is quickening under Trump’s aggressive construction timeline. Under Bush, the Department of Homeland Security issued five waiver proclamations. Under Trump, DHS has issued 15 waivers that exempt the contractors from a total of 51 different laws, ranging from the Clean Water Act to the Archeological Resources Protection Act to the Wild Horse and Burro Act.

      “The waivers allow them to bypass a lot of red tape and waive the public input process,” says Kenneth Madsen, a geography professor at Ohio State University at Newark who monitors border wall waivers. “It allows them to avoid getting bogged down in court cases that might slow down their ability to construct border barriers along the nation’s edges.”

      The most important law that CBP is able to sidestep is the National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA—known as the Magna Carta of federal environmental laws. It requires a detailed environmental assessment of any “federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” NEPA covers most large federal construction projects, such as dams, bridges, highways, and waterway projects.

      Considering the construction of 450 miles of steel barriers on the nation’s southern boundary, “There is no question that NEPA would require preparation of an environmental impact statement, with significant input from the public, from affected communities, tribal governments, land owners, and land managers throughout the process. And it is outrageous that a project of this magnitude is getting a complete exemption from NEPA and all the other laws,” says Dinah Bear. She served as general counsel for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality for 24 years under four presidents.

      To some border residents, barriers — regardless how controversial — are the best way to stop illegal activity.

      “I support Donald Trump 100%. If you’re going to build a wall, build it!” declares rancher John Ladd.

      His family has bred cattle in Arizona since it was a territory. Their ranch backs up to the Mexican border near the town of Naco. The surrounding mountains purple at dusk, as a bull and his harem of cows munch gramma grass.

      Time was when the Ladd ranch was overrun by people crossing the border illegally. They stole things and cut fences and left trash in the pastures. Then in 2016, at the end of the Obama years, CBP built a fence, continuing what Bush started.

      Ladd reserves judgment on the propriety of a wall through a federally protected wilderness. But for his ranch, walls worked.

      “When this 18-foot wall went in, it was obvious that immigrants quit coming through here,” he says. “It was an immediate improvement with the security of our border as well as our houses.”

      Other border neighbors feel differently.

      The vast Tohono O’odham Nation — nearly as big as Connecticut — shares 62 miles with Mexico. The tribe vehemently opposes the border wall. Several thousand tribal members live south of the border, and are permitted to pass back and forth using tribal IDs.

      Already, border barriers are encroaching on the reservation from the east and west. While there is currently no funding to wall off the Arizona Tohono O’odham lands from Mexico, tribal members fear CBP could change its mind at any time.

      “We have lived in this area forever,” says Tribal Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. “And so a full-blown 30-foot wall would make it that much difficult for our tribal citizens in Mexico and in the U.S. to be able to actively participate with family gatherings, with ceremonial gatherings.”

      Traditions are important to the Antone family. The father, son and daughter recently joined other tribal members walking westward along State Highway 86, which runs through the reservation. They were on a pilgrimage for St. Francis.

      Genae Antone, 18, stopped to talk about another rite of passage. Young Tohono O’odham men run a roundtrip of 300 miles from the reservation, across the border, to the salt flats at Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

      “The salt run, for the men, that’s really important for us as Tohono O’odham. For the men to run all the way to the water to get salt,” she said. “Some people go and get seashells. So I don’t really necessarily think it (the border wall) is a good idea.”

      The Antone family — carrying a feathered walking stick, a statue of the virgin, and an American flag — then continued on its pilgrimage.

      https://www.npr.org/2019/10/13/769444262/border-wall-rising-in-arizona-raises-concerns-among-conservationists-native-tri
      #cactus

  • Les modes d’habiter à l’épreuve de la #durabilité

    Annabelle Morel-Brochet et Nathalie Ortar
    Les modes d’habiter à l’épreuve de la durabilité [Texte intégral]
    Lifestyles facing Sustainability
    Nathalie Ortar
    Le quotidien peut-il être durable ? Routines dans la baie de #San_Francisco [Texte intégral]
    Can daily life be sustainable ? Thinking about routines from a fieldwork conducted in the San Francisco Bay area
    Agathe Euzen et Barbara Morehouse
    De l’abondance à la raison [Texte intégral]
    Manières d’habiter à travers l’usage de l’#eau dans une région semi-aride, l’exemple de #Tucson en #Arizona
    Ways of living through the use of water in a semi-arid region, the example of Tucson Arizona
    Xavier Michel
    Habiter l’espace touristique et porter attention à la ressource en #eau_potable. Analyse qualitative des positions des touristes dans le #Morbihan (#France) [Texte intégral]
    Inhabiting a tourist space and caring for drinking water resources. Qualitative analysis of tourist positions in Morbihan area (France)
    Nicolas D’Andrea et Pascal Tozzi
    #Jardins_collectifs et #écoquartiers bordelais : De l’espace cultivé à un habiter durable ? [Texte intégral]
    Collective gardens and ecodistricts of Bordeaux : From cultivated space to a sustainable way of living ?
    Laurent Cailly
    Les habitants du #périurbain tourangeau à l’épreuve d’un changement de modèle : vers une recomposition des modes d’habiter ? L’exemple des habitants de la ZAC des Terrasses de Bodets à Montlouis-sur-Loire [Texte intégral]
    Peri-urban inhabitants facing up to a new model : towards a reorganization of ways of living ? The example of inhabitants of “Les Terrasses de Bodets” a joint development zone in Montlouis-sur-Loire (France)
    Annabelle Morel-Brochet
    La #densification : un tabou dans l’univers pavillonnaire ? [Texte intégral]
    Is suburban densification a taboo ?
    Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin
    Les #altermobilités : une mise en pratique des valeurs écologiques ? [Texte intégral]
    Are altermobilities an application of ecological values ?
    Denis Martouzet
    Systèmes de valeurs vs pragmatisme dans les choix de pratiques spatiales : la place de la durabilité [Texte intégral]
    Systems of values vs pragmatism in the choice of spatial practices : the role of sustainability

    https://norois.revues.org/5060
    #habitat #revue #tourisme #USA #Etats-Unis #Bordeaux
    via @ville_en

  • #livre
    #Histoire croisée d’une #violence fondatrice

    Le matin du 30 avril 1871, plus de cent quarante #Apaches, surtout des femmes et de jeunes enfants, furent massacrés, au fond d’un canyon d’#Arizona, par une troupe civile et composite de Mexicains et d’Américains, appuyés par des Indiens #O’odham. L’événement, sobrement raconté dans les premières pages de l’ouvrage, donne son titre à ce livre, publié en anglais en 2008, et qui a reçu en octobre 2014 le prix des Rendez-vous de l’histoire de Blois : les « ombres à l’aube », ce sont celles des Américains, postés sur les falaises du canyon pour tirer sur les Apaches, pendant que, au sol, les Mexicains et les O’odham fermaient la nasse.

    http://www.nonfiction.fr/article-7512-histoire_croisee_dune_violence_fondatrice.htm
    #peuples_autochtones #massacre #mémoire
    cc @reka

  • Gaza in Arizona : How Israeli High-Tech Firms Will Up-Armor the US-Mexican Border

    It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”


    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28731-gaza-in-arizona-how-israeli-high-tech-firms-will-up-armor-the-us-me
    #frontière #Arizona #USA #Mexique #Etats-Unis #business #Israël #xenophobie_business (tiens... on pourrait utiliser plus souvent ce tag... du livre de Rodier)
    #Gaza #laboratoire #contrôle_frontalier
    cc @reka

  • Desert Hawks | Al Jazeera America

    http://projects.aljazeera.com/2014/arizona-border-militia/index.html

    NOGALES, Ariz. — A former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, dressed in camouflage, scans Mexican radio traffic as he sits beneath a mesquite tree in the moonlight in southern Arizona about a mile north of the border with Mexico.

    Using a field radio and military-style calls signs, he talks to two other reconnaissance teams of veterans with night-vision gear and semiautomatic weapons stationed at lookout posts on nearby hilltops, alerting them to possible drug-smuggling activity on the southern side.

    “Right now … It’s kind of a Mexican stand-off,” said “Spartan,” who said he served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and asked not to be identified by name. “They are basically waiting for the Border Patrol shift change, and when that happens, probably we will be able to stop that,” he said, referring to the suspected drug mules trying to cross the border.

    #migrations #asile #états-unis #arizona #mexico

  • The Meltdown of the Anti-Immigration #Minuteman Militia

    In early July, Chris Davis issued a call to arms. “You see an illegal, you point your gun right dead at them, right between the eyes, and say, ’Get back across the border, or you will be shot,’” the Texas-based militia commander said in a YouTube video heralding Operation Secure Our Border-Laredo Sector, a plan to block the wave of undocumented migrants coming into his state. “If you get any flak from sheriffs, city, or feds, Border Patrol, tell them, ’Look—this is our birthright. We have a right to secure our own land. This is our land.’”


    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/minuteman-movement-border-crisis-simcox

    #frontière #Mexique #USA #Etats-Unis #migration #minutemen #Texas #surveillance