tv Democracy Now LINKTV August 19, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT
the law out here? >> three months after the government put scott warren on trial for providing aid to migrants in need, we follow him and other volunteers on a water drop in the desert where they regularly leave food and water for the people making the perilous journey north. his trial ended witith a hung jy bubut thgovevernnt will retry him i in nomberer. ananwhil people e continng toieie here in the borderlands. fm 1990 to 1999, there were an average 12 remns of border crossersrorought to this office eaeach yr. the prese, that
averages64. what changed is u.s. border policing strategy. >> we e will speak with robin , a nonprofit that identifies the remains of thousands of migrants identified here in the desert. to democracynow. fn afghanistan, a series o inbings rocked afghanistan an eastern city. afghanistan is marking the 100th anniversary of its independence today. the attacks followed the bloody suicide bombing at a wedding in kabul. the attack was the d deadliest this year.
this is the groom from the wedding. hope.ave lost i lost my brother, my friends who came to join my wedding party. the celebration of independence day does not matter to me anymore. it's the independence that gives only to the rich people who celebrate it. all of those killed were laborers and poor people. rich people do not come to participate in poor people's ceremonies. >> the attack came as the u.s. and taliban were participating -- the afghan government has not been part of the negotiations. in hong kong, organizers say that as many as one one 7 million pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in the largest demonstration in weeks.
rainsters marched in the as the uprising showed no sign of slowing down. major incident was reported after weeks of confrontations by police. in the disputed reason of cashmere, two dozen were injured and one man killed as protests took place amid an ongoing lockdown. usedn forces reportedly and pellets. this is a protesters speaking out against the conditions in kashmir.-- in easedhours after they restrictions, i'm worried about my children and my family.
activist said the region is under complete siege and even young children are being arrested. pakistan has asked the un security council to intervene. tanker wasfuel released sunday. breach ofe ship is in u.s. sanctions because it operated by iran's revolutionary guard. iran warned the u.s. israeli soldiers killed at least three palestinians in the gaza strip according to local officials. menazeera believes the believed to be militants but acted independently. saturday israel launched air raids on parts of the gaza strip. prime minister that need cash prime minister netanyahu says he
was calling a widescale operation in gaza. omar andoman bill han -- ilhan omar and rashida to pressur said to hold a conference. israel parted them from entering the israeli occupied palestine after president trump took the unprecedented step of publicly urging israel to deny entry to the first two female muslim members of congress. representative nancy pelosi blasted trump and benjamin netanyahu. she posted a quote from the anti-apartheid leader desmond who said i am not
interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table from someone who considers themselves my master. laib's grandmother has spoken out since the news was announced. >> may god ruin him. i was happy she was coming. i was excited she was coming for her grandmother r to see her. the #mypalestiniangrandma trended on twitter. hundreds of protesters took to the streets of oregon for what domesticbed the end terrorism rally.
police escorted members of other right-wiwing groups across one f portland's. main bridges. police a arrested 13 peoplee throughout the day and seized weapons. they largely avoided the worst case scenario that portland's mayor said they were prepared for. one of the organizers told reporters the event was a success pointing to recognititin by trump saying look at president trump's twitter. he talked about portland and said he is watching antifa. all we wanted was national attention and we got it. earlier, trump tweeted that major consideration is being given to naming antifa an organization of terror. portland is being watched closely. hopefully y thmayor willll be ae to proroperly do his jobob. this is a spokesperson speaking at the protest.
>> anti-fascist's are not domestic terrorists. f for people who stand up ouour community against those eo want tdodo our community great harm. amy: a number of politicians have called on antifa to be recognized as a terror .rganization the fbi found that the majority ofof domestic terror in the unid states is caused by white supremacists. three possible mass shootings were thwarted. ohio police arrested a white supremacists saturday after he posted a video appearing to threaten a jewish community center. james patrick reardon posted an instagram video last month showing a man shooting a semi automatic firearm as sirens
blared and people scream. the accompanying caption reads, police identified the youngstown jewish community shooter as local white nationalists john o'riordan. house onaided his friday seizing semiautomatic weapons, dozens of rounds of ammunition, a gas mask and bullet proof armor. florida authorities arrested tristan scott wicks after he to anext messages ex-girlfriend saying he wanted to commit a mass shooting. one of the messages said a school is a weak target. i would be more likely to open fire on a crowd of people from over three miles away. worldd want to break the record for longest confirmed kill ever. 22-year-oldut, brandon washell was found -- was
arrested and found in possession after annd weapons investigation found he was planning a mass murder. flagis after so-called red legislationn where family membes are allowed to ask someoeone toe prevented d from owning a fiream if they pose a risk of growing violence. for ans a growing call automatic weapons ban. a congressional member who last week drove his truck into a line of peaceful protesters calling for the release of asylum-seekers has resigned. rammedn thomas woodworth into a group of activists sending two to the hospital. another three were hospitalized after being pepper spray did by -- pepper sprayed.
the attack called and attempt to chill first amendment rights by hundreds of peaceful protesters. , if this isnoted what he is willing to do to a crowd of mostly white protesters in front of cameras, just imagine what's happening inside that prison where no one is watching. a new york police department judge who recently recommended that daniel pantaleo be fired from the police force, said he was untruthful and his account garner's death was implausible and self-serving. he killed eric garner in 2014 by using an illegal chokehold but was never convicted or removed from the police force. when questioned by investigators, the officer denied using the prohibited move despite a viral video clearly showing that he did.
maldonado issued her findings in a legal opinion reported by the new york times. to final decision will be up james o'o'neill and is expectedy the end of the month. this is democracynow. democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from tucson, arizona. three months ago, and unprecedented trial took place here. ongoing family separations, the government put scott warren on trial here in tucson. his crime? helping migrants who arrived to the doorstep of a humanitarian aelter seeking help after
perilous journey. the government charge scott volunteerlongtime with no more deaths, with conspiracy, for providing food immigrants.two two re arrested january 17, 2018. if convicted, lauren faced 20 years in prison. other same time, he and volunteers faced separate charges for leaving water jugs and food for migrants on a national wildlife refuge in a remote desert. tucson took eight days. volteersd other
pridided testimony on t conditions that send migrant deeper into thdesert eh year after hos,s, the jy cocoulnot turn a aerdict. thgovernme has s sd they will still charge h on two felony migrantnt hboringng ararges. if cvicted, faces uto 10 years in prison. he meai his tri, usn the dert to show firsthanthe work he does with no more deaths in the treacherous desert just norththf the mexican border.. over 3000 migrants who have died in southern arizona have been found. that is an average of 150 dead per year.
immigrant rights activists say the number may be closer to 10,000. warren and other no more deaths volunteers for his first trip in a year as they made a water drop in the desert. >> we are in the c center of ton at our newly opened humanitarian aid office. the office is here to support in the borderlands providing humanitarian aid, water and food, to people coming to our communities. amy: today we will go to the desert with you. this is the fifirst time you are doing this since the trial? scott: we will go to the desert today and see some of the areas people are walking through and fighting through and some of the areas that no more deaths and other humanitarian aid groups do
their work in. amy: let's go into the office. >> my name is paige and i am a media coordinator and i have been volunteering since 2013. amy: can you tell us where we will go today? >> right now we are in the ajo aid office. we'll drive south out of town and take a right on a road that starts as darby well road but turns into the devil's highway. it continues to yuma. there is a book written about it, about some migrants who died in that area. south. follow the road luisevil's highway by alberto reya. it is about a group of migrants who died.
we will be south of where that book took place. amy: tell us where we are going. scott: we are headed to organ pipe, cactus national monument. we will check on some water drop locations. amy: water drops are? scott: water drops are places where we leave food and water and other humanitarian supplies for people walking through the desert who would be without those things. amy: can you describe what's happening? a border -- we see patrol van up ahead. scott: thehere is border patrol activity in this area which is not unusual. it's definitely one of the areas of a lot of enforcement.
it's where wewe do humanitarian aid work in. we are entering into the growler valley. area.lso a very active paige, can you tell us what you are doing? are going to leave a couple of gallons here. if anybody sees the beacon and walks toward it they will find water. ?my: what is the rescue beacon beacons areescue made by border patrol and they have a button on them. if they push it, they will come into what they call a rescue but what is actually detaining them. the beacons don't have water so when we drive-by we leave it. if people see them, they will
have water. amy: you are leaving water and -- paige: and a couple cans of beans. rescue beacons are something that all of people in the trials have talked about as their efforts to save lives. they don't have any data to show how effective they are. the one time they release data it showed how many times the buttons were pushed and how many rescues they resesulted in. in the yuma sector they were pressed a couple thousand times and resulted in four rescues. there useded to be a red cross. told b border patrol they had to remove that because they are not a humanitarian aid group here. it used to have that international symbol of help and it was removed. in organ pipe
cactus national monument. we are right on the boundary line between that park and the refuge. it's what they call a boundary forward operating space. it is attached to the ajo station. they use it as a base in the wilderness here to conduct patrols in this growler valley area. amy: we have stopped here, why? scott: i can't set foot into the refuge right now. as you mentioned, that's because of the misdemeanor charges that related to the provision of humanitarian aid on the refuge. i also face felony charges for w hat the government calls the harboring of migrants. we're here on the boundary.
throughntinue south organ pipe and check on water drop locations but we will not go on to the national wildlife refuge. amy: the government was forced to drop conspiracy charges against you for helping migrants, but the felony charges for helping them remain. it shocked many because it was a hung jury. eight of the jurors said they would have acquitted you. the government decided to move forward. why do you persist? this is the first time you have come out on the range since your trial and yet you're here delivering water. it is part of the regular work we do out here to check on these water drops. to be a presence and to witness what is happening in the desert. it is very remote out here.
the things that we do is just being a presence already. , and to be a witnessing presence is very important. being out here is a gogood thin. usis something that those of who live in ajo and do this work really feel compelled to be out here this time of year. the as we drove next to border patatrol forward operatig base -- it sounds like a war. so do the casualties. no more deaths having disintegrating bodies of migrants, the bones of migrants who had died much earlier not far from where we are standing right now. scott: that is right.
you mentioned the casualties here. both the people who hahave died, the migrants being forced into these remote and rugged areas of decades now as a result the way that the border is enforced. impact onhe direct people who have died, peopople o have suffered or disappeared, and the ripple effect on their families. is trauma that that creates, another way that it can feel like a war zone. i don't like the war zone rhetoric that you typically hear politicians use because it is used to do -- to increase militarization and building walls but it is appropriate to the trauma that people have faced. forwardk about this
operating base of the border patrol who come out here and stay for days and rotation. this wasn't built during the trump years but under president obama. scott: there have been different versions of a forward operating organ pipe cactus national monument for d decades, but this one here is very established. it is fairly recent in the last five to seven years. organ pipe cactus national monument. is a military base builds and a national park. >> a military base built in national park on native american territory. arelevels of disposition many here of the indigenous people that have always lived here and this has always been
there territory. it is layers upon layers of disposition. amy: just as we got out of our car -- here we are at organ pipe but we are not going into the is not safecause it for you, a helicopter flew overhead. talk about the significance of these helicopters. >> those are u.s. customs and border patrol helicopters. they are o out here looking for people. they fly up and down this valley through these mountains and in different areas. on the one hand they can come across people who want to get rescued. people might send a signal fire or something.
people might be trying to signal because they have run out of want to be -- they've come to the end and they are doing everything they can to get themselves rescued. helicopters are also part of prevention and deterrence. they will scatter groups of people. they can chase groups of people and further disorient folks, brutality ofy the it. , theexplain that scattering. there is the famous book called the devil's highway. if you can talk about what happened a and how it continues today. >> it is part of a larger enforcement strategy of the
border which is prevention through deterrence. it is about increasing hardships on people with the hope that they will give themselves up. on the biggest scale of the border that was like building walls and fences in urban areas and pushing it to remote places like this where it is difficult to cross. levels, it can be the helicopter that can cause a group to scatter. amy: what does that mean? scott: seeing a group of people and flying close to them were low to them. amy: they scatter but what does it mean for them? scott: for people scattered by that it can mean death. >> if you could summarize you are involved in two separate trials right now. scott: that's right. i'm facing misdemeanor charges resulting from humanitarian aid
work that we did particularly in the summer of two honeys -- of 2017, providing water and food cabeza prieta. it includes operating a motor vehicle in the wilderness area and abandonment of property. the other charges are from a separate incident which are the felony charges of harboring which resulted from an incident in january 2018. i was arrested with two men from central america at a property in ajo called the barn. they charged them with illegal entry and they charged me with so the jury was a hung jury?y? scott: that's right. the government initially also charged me with conspiracy, though they dropped the conspiracy charge and now they
are pursuing the harboring charges. amy: by dragging out these cases, whether you are acquitted or not are they getting what they want, preventing you from speaking fully or going to all of the places that you went to help migrants? >> it is a good question. i don't know what their purpose is, frankly. them the have to ask goal of all of this. certainly i have been affected by it. partner, my family and my friends. at the same time there is a lot of awareness of people who want --.elp because of the level of awareness around this.
it has ironically had the effect of bringing a lot of people here who want to give some help. amy: it is clearly across the political spectrum. all of this happening against the backdrop of the separated families of the children dying. since you were first charged, scores of migrants have died. of from thecount year 2002 now, 3000 migrants have died. scott: that number is for arizona. border-wide, it is much larger. peoplere numbers that who have been found. describe this border patrol van to us that just past?
scott: that is a pretty typical border patrol truck that has been used and they are rigged up that way to take people who have been apprehended. there are cages in the back. amy: with this forward operating base we see a cage. explain what happens from cage to cage. scott: people will be apprehended in the field and put into a truck like that. they can be brought here to this forward operating base. this is the enclosed fence area where they can be operated and put into the facility inside. from there they are taken to the station whichrol is another one to 2 hours drive.
from the whole border patrol ajo borderfrom the patrol station they are taken to another sector. amy: how has this grown over time >? scott: in that station there are something like 500 agents. were two90's there dozen agents and that station has the capacity of up to 900 agents. amy: what do you plan to do from here on in? you face the trial and this other case as well. scott: unfortunatelyly it has become normalized. litigation and waiting for trials. we will continue to wait. i will do what i can.
i'm being held and carried by so many good people and so much support. i am extremely lucky. i'm extremely lucky to have that as i face a felony trial. probably the most supported person who has been in a situation like this. amy: we are joined now by gina jackson. talk about this terrain and what this means for migrants. t this is the sonora desert, one of the hottest and driest parts of the world. because of government policies like prevention through deterrence, migrants are funneled into some of the deadliest terrain. where we are now is emblematic of the mountain ranges. these are the growler mountains. this is the growler valley.
flat and there are not signs of humans are solo -- .r civilization amy: where do people go for help? gina: it varies. just to the north there is a town in sonora, mexico. some leave from the town itself in summer dropped off some distance from the town. some travel about 40 miles north through the checkpoint. there is the town of ajo and another 40 miles north there is the checkpoint. walking are not just just outside the little bit of border wall that pushes people deeper into the desert but they
are also walking deeper into the desert to get past the checkpoint. the second checkpoint is 80 miles north of the border which makes this journey over 100 miles. amy: tell us where we are southward right now and the significance of the final mountain in the growler range. gina: from here to that peak continues to be cabeza prieta. past that starts the goldwater bombing range. there are also proving grounds. amy: this named after the senator and former presidential candidate? gina: yes. peak in the distance, there is no public access. humanitarian organizations have only had access to once in the many years of doing this work.
when we did get access to that area we found many human remains and just a couple of hours. amy: explain. record theis area we human remains that are found. it is not a good indicator of the total human lives lost but just the remains that are found. it is limited. this is the only public access road. until the other side of the mountains that is the only public access road you are allowed on. we can hike in this area with permits from cabeza prieta. in july 2017, cabeza changed their permits to add a clause saying leaving food, blankets, water, medical care would be in violation of the permit. so in order to do our work we need to violate a food and wildlife refuge permit.
one group had permission to go onto the range with a bombing escort and within a couple hours they found over 10 human remains. if you look at the map of recorded remains, there are no recorded remains anywhere on the bombing range which we know is not true because in the few hours we had access to that land we found a dozen. we can't recover their bodies or even know how great this crisis is. amy: a journalist suspected there were mass graves under the goldwater bombing range. scott: -- gina: when we first started exploring along the west side of fourange, we would find human remains in just one day.
hiking,nding many days the loss of human life is immense. the amount of people who have disappeared family members and don't have the closure of knowing what happened to them is massive. for where we are right now, this is still south of that range. we can only imagine how many more people are dying 40 miles further north. amy: the sonoran desert. !his is democracy now when we come back, paige and scott warren go on a water drop. it is scott's first time in more than a year. crimes of retrial for helping migrants last year. stay with us.
amy: they built a wall by anarchitechs. cactusto the orgagan pipe national monument just north of the u.s. mexico border, scott and two other volunteers hiked into the desert over the weekend to leave food and water for migrgrants. how does it feel to be coming out here to be part of a water drop for the first time since your trial in over a year? scott: it is good to be back out and it is good to be having a presence out here again.
to be part of the work that people are doing. amy: what are your plans right now? paige: we are in organ pipe. we are going to check on some water drop locations that are up in these hills. on thoseking to check areas. amy: how do you know about the presence of migrants in these areas? scott: we have spent several years now in these areas doing search and rescue, search and recovery, and doing water drops. we know that people are moving through these areas. they have been moving through in large numbers for a while. areas,e mountainous often there are trails of people who hike. it is easy to find those trails. get humanitarian
supplies to people. have you found bodies or bones in these hills? scott: yes, we have, unfortunately. where we are going therere have bebeen several recoveries we wee involved in and searches. and people who have died in this area. amy: can you describe this area we are walking through? scott: sure. area -- from here we are probably 15 miles north of the border as the crow flies. we are hiking into these mountains on the west side of organ pipe cactus national monument. the sonoran desert can be difficult to walk through. that might look
flat, there is quite a bit of terrain and topography. it seems like it could be a flat and easy walk. it is really strenuous because your walking down ininto these deep washes and climbing back out and going back down into a wash and climbing out again. amy: can you say what a wash is? gulley? -- a scott: yes, it will have water when it rains but most of the time it is dry. this is one way where we know where to drop water. these trails are distinct and used by migrants. scott: what were they created -- amy: what were they created by? scott: by migrants just using th ese trails. amy: it is over 100 degree weather. we have been walking for just
half an hour. itit is beyond depleting. for migrants, some of them walk for days and it can be hotter than this. scott: that's correct. days in this weather. you cannot carry enough water. even if you are able to carry four gallons of water, you will go through that. people are dependent on finding the few water sources that exist in this desert. sometimes you get to a watering hole in the water can be quite dirty or dry. thing.really risky paige: whenever we leave water gallons, we leave messages on them. so folks know it is not border patrol putting out water that is a trap.
also just to show the level of care and solidarity with people whwho are making a really dangerous trip. we write little notes on them and leave them for people to find. amy: what are you going to write? paige: i usually write religious notes like vaya con la fuerza de bendice su dios camino. orwith the strength of god may god bless your journey. >> on this when i wrote animo or si se puede. words of strength. we have asked some of our patients before what would feel good to read on the gallon. ?hat would be a nice message
people have said more religious stuff. a lot of them have said animo. amy: you are laying out canned beans. why beans? >> we lay out the cans that have pop tops so people can open them easily. we want to put in things that have calories in them and salt. drinking water is not enough. people have an electrolyte imbalance. we put out salty food. starchyve calories, are and have sugars. caloric intake in addition to the water. amy: you are putting this in the shade. >> we want to protect the pop tops. a lot of times we put them upside down so that birds won't get at the shiny part and we don't want the rain to rust the
pop tops. we want a gallons to be in the shadier area. we will come back and check on these drops within a week or two if anythingwap out has gotten old. we will pack up the empty gallons and leave fresh ones. amy: is this against the lawaw n these parts? geena: h humanitarian aid is ner a crime. it is a humanitarian imperative to ease the death and suffering in this area. regardless of government agencies trying to prosecute humanitarian aid workers we maintain that humanitarian aid is never a crime. amy: as you watch what your colleagues are doing, do you get to describe this to the courtroom? noticing theust energy of this moment.
i think because all of us are here and hearing my friends describe the messages they are writing on the bottles, it is a routine for us. importantnt andw sacrered it is and for us. be ablehonor for us to to be out here and to do this work. amy: that was scott warren with no more deaths. it was his first time in more than a year accompanying a water drop in the desert. he faces a november retrial for helping migrants last year. when we come back we speak with robin wright nikki -- robin reiniki. she identifies the remains of thousands of migrants who have been found in the sonoran
human rights is working to identify the remains of thousands of migrants who have already perished. colibri have received calls from thousands of family members looking for loved ones who have disappeared. they have conducted meticulous data collection of remains from -- and from family members who are alive. launched thebri bring them back campaign. this is felix gomez speaking about his father pablo jacinto foundwhose body was attempting to cross the border. brother. s my dear
the last i knew of h him was 2018.day, july 2 29, the date that t he decided too cross s the border. wewe did find himm but n not thy we w wanted. we learned that center had found his remains. we lost t so many ththings which made us have to seseek other horizons. my brother was a hardd worker, brave, and a a really friendly .erson n not i havaveor hope f for the f future, of f ci
.. i hope that there will bebe betr opportunitieies in our c countr. ththat people will not have toto risk their l lives anymore t to crososs thee desert t and face e same fate as mymy brother. felixix jacinto gomez. i demand bring them back. amy: that was felix speaking about his brother pablo who was found after an attempt to cross the u.s.-mexico border. robin will come in reineke. the numbers are horrifying. in the last 20 years, we are talking about the remains of, 3000 migrantstse found inin the d desert in s son arizona? those are the
remains that have been found. we don't know how many are yet to be discovered. 3000,ition to those thousands more remain missing. bri's database contains additional names of those who are missing. amy: how do you match up the loved ones remains with those in the desert? are various blockades due to vulnerability, racism, marginalization. the desert is a horribly effective disappearing machine. skeletal within a matter of weeks. thaties face the problem they try to report law enforcement and are turned away. they try to access the federal database and are told you have to go to law enforcement and are referred to border patrol.
the colibri center for human located in the office of the medical examiner to respond directly to the family needs, to recognize that the famimilies needed to be received with respect and honoring the fact that they are afraid that they are going through something terrifying, that they have a human right to justice and truth and information. amy: you work with the medical examiner. can you explain how that works? foundedhe center was inside the county government office which is something we are proud of. it is not only the activists and the nonprofit people who are responding humanely to those losing their lives on the border it is also county officials. the office of the medical examiner does a beautiful and rigorous job examining the reins -- the remains.
that it is nots their job to collect missing persons information. that is what colibri does. we focus on relationships with every single person found on that landscape. we collect all of the physical information. when did they disappear? what happened? hohow old were they? what did she tell you she was going to do when she got there? we build a family profile and then collect dna. amy: groups like no more deaths often find bones or decomposing bodies. does it help you in your work with families? robin: the families are terrified, they are distraught. they hate the idea that their loved one may be deceased and languishing in the desert to be consumed by animals. if you can imagine thinking about your loved one ask about
remains being left out to be consumed by animals -- your remains being left out to be consumed by animals, it is a horrifying thought. borders and, humane many others. amy: we just went out to the desert to see where he plants his crosses. can you talk about the importance of this work and restoring dignity to people who are so often uncounted in life not to be uncounted in death? robin:n: yes. felt despair in collecting so many missing reports over the years. writing down the details and the names and the tattoos and everything that this family can remember about their loved one is that we are involved in not
only trying to find truth for that family, trying to find out what hapappened in ththe case of felix through his brother. we were able to successfully we are alsot involved in the practice of witnessing, acknowledging that despite all of this rhetoric, despite everything going on, that they are irreplaceable and they mattered. amy: thank you so much for being with us. cofounder of the kohler brie center forget -- of the colibri center for human rights. rainey andon, libby dennis linehan. thank you to arizona public media here in tucson. produced b by --