Border patrol agents are destroying lifesaving jugs of water left for migrants in the desert
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are trying to kill migrants crossing the U.S./Mexico border. There’s no other conclusion to draw from a video, released by humanitarian group No More Deaths, of border patrol officers tampering with and destroying jugs of water left for border crossers in the desert.
From 2001 to 2014, at least 2,100 migrants died of exposure in the searing desert heat, where temperatures can go anywhere from 110 degrees and up. Over the years, as humanitarian workers have placed tens of thousands of one-gallon jugs along this area to save lives, workers have also reported that jugs have been routinely destroyed and tampered with by human hands.
While racist border vigilante extremists have eagerly confessed to some of the destruction, human rights groups have long suspected border patrol agents of being participants as well. Now, No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos have released a report and footage confirming it:
The report … said wildlife—as well as hunters, hikers and border militia members —also damaged aid drops. But it said the main culprits were agents from border patrol, a branch of Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
“The practice of destruction of and interference with aid is not the deviant behavior of a few rogue border patrol agents, it is a systemic feature of enforcement practices in the borderlands.”
Steve Passament, a border patrol spokesman in the Tucson sector, said the agency did not condone the destruction of or tampering with water or food caches. “We don’t want to see anyone out there die. We have to do our enforcement job and we do it as humanely as possible. We want to save lives.”
Except Border Patrol allegedly violated an Obama-era agreement in order to raid No More Death’s lifesaving medical camp along the border last summer, arresting a number of immigrants in a sweep that resembled a war movie. The organization said “30 armed agents entered camp with at least 15 trucks, 2 quads and helicopter to apprehend four patients receiving care.”