US Border Patrol uses desert as ‘weapon’ to kill thousands of migrants, report says

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Arizona advocacy group says agents chase border crossers from Mexico into hostile terrain in a strategy that leaves many injured, dead or lost

The US Border Patrol agency has engineered the death and disappearance of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants by using the desert wilderness as a “weapon”, according to an advocacy group.

Agents chase and scatter border crossers across hostile terrain in a strategy that leaves many people injured, dead or lost, turning the US’s south-western frontier into a “vast graveyard of the missing”, the Arizona-based group No More Deathssaid on Wednesday.

“The known disappearance of thousands of people in the remote wilderness of the US–Mexico border zone marks one of the great historical crimes of our day,” the group said in a blistering report, the first of three reports documenting alleged abuses by Border Patrol.

In addition to deadly apprehension methods it accused the federal agency, which deploys about 18,000 agents on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico, of sabotaging humanitarian aid efforts and discriminating against undocumented people in emergency responses.

No More Deaths, a ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, worked with volunteers from another group, La Coalición de Derechos Humanos, on the 34-page report. It drew on a survey of 58 border crossers and 544 cases from the Missing Migrant Crisis Line. Tens of thousands have gone missing since the 1990s, including 1,200 last year, it said.

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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/07/report-us-border-patrol-desert-weapon-immigrants-mexico?CMP=share_btn_tw