A Migrant’s Story of Abuse

This story was recorded by No More Deaths abuse documentation volunteers. To learn more about No More Deaths, visit their website, or download their 2011 report, A Culture of Cruelty.

Documented 7/30/11 – An anonymous male from Mexico, in a group of six, was crossing through the mountains in the desert on July 23rd. They had left Nogales at 3 in the afternoon, and after dark they were quickly surrounded by a group of Border Patrol agents. There were 7 agents, 3 of whom were riding horses. A BP Agent kicked the man in the leg, at which point he crouched down and covered his head. While he was curled up, arms over his head, the agent kicked him again in the side of the stomach. When the group approached he didn’t know who they were, if they were Border Patrol or bandits trying to rob them. After being kicked, he heard one of them yell, “We are the migra! Don’t move!” The agents yelled at them that they were, “Pendejos” and “Idiotas.” They were held in the Tucson detention center for one day, and were continuously cursed and ridiculed.

Unfortunately, this kind of physical and verbal abuse is a common element of stories migrants tell of being detained.  We should expect and demand professional behavior from all law enforcement officials.

Philip Kennedy

About Philip Kennedy

Phil works for Frontera de Cristo at the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. He is also the webmaster for Border Realities. You can email him at mrc [at] fronteradecristo [dot] org.