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5/25: CDH/AISF call for investigation of Border Patrol

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    For Immediate Release: CDH/AISF call for investigation of Border Patrol May 25, 2004 From: nnirr@nnirr.org For more information, please contact Derechos
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2004
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      For Immediate Release: CDH/AISF call for investigation of Border Patrol
      May 25, 2004
      From: nnirr@...

      For more information, please contact Derechos Humanos at:
      (520) 770-1373

      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)

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