El Pasoans Mark Day of the Dead By Honoring Migrant Deaths

October 31, 2009

200 El Pasoans to March to Border Fence for Vigil and Protest

El Paso, TX ­ Nov. 1, 2009   ­ As border enforcement has gotten tighter in
recent years, apprehensions of undocumented immigrants have decreased
noticeably. However, the number of men, women and children who die each year
while crossing the border in search of a better life is increasing,
according to official statistics. There were 398 such deaths in 2007; 390 in
2008 (San Diego Union Tribune); and 378 in the first 11 months of fiscal
year 2009, heading toward a total that is expected to top last year¹s
(Associated Press).

In El Paso, 9 migrants drowned at various spots in the American Canal and
two were found in the desert, since January 2009, as per the records of the
Mexican Consulate. (The Mexican Consulate in El Paso gets notified of such
deaths by the Border Patrol or the Medical Examiner¹s office.) The migrants
who drowned in our sector were an unidentified man in his 20s (March 14), an
unidentified man (March 23); a 46-year old man from Orizaba, Veracruz (April
23); a 37-year-old man from Mexico City (May 9); a 20-year-old man from Los
Reyes La Paz, Mexico (May 19); an 18-year-old man from San Luis Potosi (May
25); a 30-year-old man from Guadalajara (June 1); a 16-year-old man from
Juárez (July 31); and an unidentified man (Sept. 5). The migrants who died
in the desert were a 43-year-old Juarense found 26 miles from Sierra Blanca
(June 11) and a 36-year-old man from Hidaldo del Parral, Chihuahua, found
2.5 miles from Columbus, N.M. (Sept. 3).

This ongoing humanitarian crisis is the product of global economic forces
that draw immigrants north and U.S. border enforcement policies, such as
operations Hold the Line in El Paso, Gatekeeper in San Diego, Safeguard in
Arizona and Rio Grande in the Texas Valley, that push them to take ever
greater risks to make the trip The Border Network for Human Rights appeals
to the government of the United States to reform the broken immigration
system and adopt more sensible border policies that focus on real criminal
threats. The Border Network also calls upon the government of Mexico to
create an environment where men and women are not tempted to risk their
lives and the lives of their children to leave their country.
Sunday (All Saints Day), about 200 El Pasoans will honor migrants who died
while trying to cross the border by placing white wooden crosses along the
border fence, by marching to the border and having a candle light vigil with
traditional pan de muertos. We invite the media to join us in the following
events.

**Press conference**When: 4 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2009Where: Armijo
Park, E. 7th Avenue and S. Campbell Street

MarchWhen: 4:30 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2009Where: Start at Armijo Park;
south on E. 7th Avenue; take S. Cotton Street; south on Delta Drive; end on
Delta and Cypress.

Candle lights vigilWhen: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2009Where:
Delta and Cypress

Please join us.
###
More information on the Border Network for Human Rights: This organization,
founded in 1998, is one of the leading immigration reform and human rights
advocacy organization in the United States. Based in El Paso, the BNHR
counts about 3,500 members in El Paso and Southern New
Mexico._____________________________________
Fernando Garcia, Executive Director
Border Network for Human Rights
1101 E. Yandell
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 577-0724www.bnhr.org

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