New Report Shows Increase in Migrant Border Deaths in the El Paso Sector

LatinaLista — Before the first hole is dug for the new 700-mile fence along our border with Mexico, maybe someone should read the latest report from The Border Network for Human Rights.

It’s titled 2006 Report on Migrant Deaths at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Basically, it says while migrant deaths resulting from crossing the deserts of Arizona have decreased from “only” 205 deaths in Fiscal Year 2005-2006 compared to 2004-2005 and overall there has been a slight decrease in total migrant deaths along the border, there has actually been an increase in deaths in the El Paso sector of the border — a 100 percent increase.


President George W. Bush’s motorcade tours the El Paso Sector of the US-Mexico border region Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005.
(Source: White House: photo by Eric Draper)

The reports says that for the fiscal year 2006, 432 deaths were reported in the entire border region. In addition to Arizona’s 205 deaths, California reported 52; New Mexico and Texas combined report totaled 175.

Thirty-four deaths were reported in the El Paso sector. It may not sound a lot numberwise, but it’s a big jump from the 18 deaths reported last year.

Authorities credit this shift to the El Paso sector because of the increased security at other sites along the border, notably Arizona.

The El Paso Mexican Consulate says that of those who have died since January 2006, 24 were Mexican Nationals, 7 remain unidentified, 10 were women ranging in age from 16 to 50-years-old and 10 were men from 15-years to 54-years-old.

The majority of the El Paso sector deaths are attributed to either drowning, accidents from train hopping, dehydration and heat stroke.

This report illustrates one undeniable fact that no fence or militarization of the border will succeed in diverting — desperate people with nothing to lose will continue to risk their lives for a better life, even if it means dying trying.

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