5/25: CDH/AISF call for investigation of Border Patrol
- For Immediate Release: CDH/AISF call for investigation of Border Patrol
May 25, 2004
For more information, please contact Derechos Humanos at:
Coalición de Derechos Humanos
Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras
Post Office Box 1286
Tucson, Arizona 85702
Coalición de Derechos Humanos/Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras expresses
its outrage at the news of the mistreatment of migrants by Border Patrol
officials in detention centers. Our organization has worked for the
last three decades in documenting abuses by law enforcement officials,
and in increasing public awareness about the problem of abuse in our
communities. The continued lack of accountability, and the desperate
need to have an independent entity to handle reports of abuses by
officials is something that must be immediately addressed, particularly
in light of the massive increase in appropriations in the last several
years, which have failed to stem the tide of immigration, and have seen
an alarming increase in violence and deaths on our borders.
Details in this situation, which happened in the detention center in
Douglas, allege that migrants are going up to 24 hours without food and
are crowded into cells. The Coalición de Derechos Humanos/Alianza
Indígena Sin Fronteras has received reports that allege abuses that
range from denial of medical attention, physical abuse, sexual
harassment, and verbal abuse from detainees and inmates from many
places, including detention centers in Florence, Eloy, and Wilmot.
Attempts by detainees and inmates to report these abuses internally have
been fruitless, and they have sought the aid of Derechos Humanos/Alianza
Indígena. It is a frustrating process, both for the alleged victim, and
for our organization, as there is no clear process for reporting
allegations of abuse. Furthermore, there is no independent entity to
investigate these allegations, and many times the alleged victims are
afraid to speak up, fearing retribution.
Current events have recently shed light on abuses that take place in
detention centers and on the need to establish an independent entity for
investigating these allegations. For years, these allegations have come
into our office in the form of letters and phone calls. The lack of
clear command in regards to detention centers is an obstacle when
attempting to either investigate or report abuse is, to say the least,
frustrating, but the lack of information provided to the public only
serves to exacerbate the situation. Our office has been informed that
investigations of abuse are an “internal affairs” matter, and therefore,
the identity and outcome in regards to the alleged abuser are protected.
As a result, the public never finds out the outcome of allegations of
abuse or what disciplinary action might have been taken against the
agent or official.
This pattern of mistreatment and lack of accountability has been amply
documented by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1980 and again in 1997
in hearings and public forums. These multi-state hearings resulted in
recommendations including establishing a meaningful complaint procedure,
training, and accountability. To date, none of these recommendations
have been implemented. In addition, Amnesty International and Human
Rights Watch have also investigated and found serious violations of
human and civil rights.
This lack of accountability, and the absence of an independent entity to
address these concerns must be remedied immediately. Our communities
deserve full disclosure of an investigation that involves our officials
funded by our tax dollars. We demand an independent entity with
investigatory powers to look into allegations of abuse, make
recommendations in regards to procedure and protocol, and can mete out
sufficient disciplinary action when warranted.
Coalición de Derechos Humanos/Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras calls for
all people of conscience to stand with us in our demand for the creation
of a fully independent entity, with complete investigatory powers, to
review allegations of abuse by U.S. Border Patrol and officials working
in detention centers. Violations of human and civil rights of
individuals must not be permitted to exist in our society, and must not
be tolerated in our governmental institutions.
For more information, please contact Derechos Humanos at: (520)
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
webpage: http://www.actionla.org/ISN/ (For latest immigrant issues/news)
***Please consider making a donation to the important work of the ActionLA
Coalition, National Immigrant Solidarity Network and US-Mexico Border Actions
Send check pay to:
1013 Mission St. #6
South Pasadena CA 91030
(All donations are tax deductible)
*to join the immigrant Solidarity Network daily news litserv, send e-mail to:
*a monthly ISN monthly Action Alert! listserv, go to webpage
*National Immigrant Solidarity Network is the part of the ActionLA Coalition
and US-Mexico Border Actions Project
US-Mexico Border Actions
No Militarization of Borders! Support Immigrant Rights!
*to join the US-Mexico Border Information Bulletin, send e-mail to:
Action for World Liberation Everyday!
To join our ActionLA Listserv
go to: http://lists.riseup.net/www/subscribe/actionla
or send e-mail to: actionla-subscribe@...
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]