On January 17th near Ajo, Arizona, a humanitarian aid provider from the group No More Deaths and two individuals receiving humanitarian aid were arrested by US Border Patrol. The arrests came hours after the release of a report concluding that Border Patrol plays a significant role in the destruction of humanitarian aid supplies. Scott Warren, 35, was preliminarily charged with a felony involving alien smuggling and appeared in court on January 18th. He was represented by Bill Walker and released on his own recognizance. The two other individuals remain in custody. In 2007, a federal judge dismissed similar charges brought against No More Deaths volunteers.
The report co-authored by No More Deaths, Interference with Humanitarian Aid: Death and Disappearance on the US-México Border, was released last Wednesday and included video footage of US Border Patrol destroying water gallons. The report also documents years of surveillance, threats, and interference with humanitarian aid efforts. No More Deaths provides direct humanitarian aid in an effort to end death and suffering along the US-México border.
Warren has been instrumental in organizing humanitarian aid in the remote West Desert around Ajo, AZ. Almost half of the 128 recovered human remains of border crossers found in 2017 in Arizona were found in this area.
Home to the “Devil’s Highway,” this corridor is one of the longest stretches of wilderness along the border. It is characterized by 110+ heat during the summer and extreme temperature fluctuation during the winter. It is also home to the 8,500 square mile Barry M. Goldwater bombing range.
These arrests come during a nation-wide targeting of Sanctuary and Migrant Justice organizers by federal agencies. It also comes at a time when Congress is looking to fund the further militarization of the border.
No More Deaths continues to provide humanitarian aid and condemns the targeting of community organizers by US Border Patrol and ICE.
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