I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Border Deaths

I don't know how anyone can read about this and think that the immigration crisis is all about criminals coming over here to victimize our women and old people. It's about rape victims being more afraid of the police than their attacker because they are undocumented. It's about people so desperate to eke out a living that they'd die crossing the desert to get here. It's about our own humanity when confronted with people who are struggling to survive catastrophic economic circumstances at home...

By Brady McCombs
Cochise County sheriff's deputies recovered the body of a 22-year-old Guatemalan man east of Sierra Vista who died after walking for six days without food and water in an attempt to enter the United States illegally.

At 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office received a phone call about a dead man at milepost 10 on Moson Road, about four miles east of Sierra Vista, said Carol Capas, Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman.

A man at the scene told deputies that he was driving south on Moson Road when a man waved him over and told him that he thought his friend was dead. Deputies spotted a man lying in a tall patch of grass with his head being held by another man.

Paramedics arrived and pronounced the man dead. He was identified as Rogelio Antonio Rodas, 22, of Guatemala, Capas said. The man holding his head identified himself as Bersian Mendez-Perez, 31, of Chiapas, Mexico.

Mendez-Perez told deputies that he and Rodas had crossed the border six days earlier with a large group. He said they had been walking for six days without food or water. Rodas has been sick for two days, he said.

Someone came to pick them up in a car south of Sierra Vista on Wednesday but refused to continue with Rodas on board for fear he might die, Mendez-Perez told deputies.

The driver left Rodas and Mendez-Perez at Moson Road. Mendez-Perez told deputies that Rodas appeared to have died about 30 minutes before he went to get help.

Rodas is the 21st illegal immigrant found dead in Cochise County this calendar year, nearly double the 12 that had been found at this time last year, records from the Cochise County's medical examiner show.

At least seven bodies have been discovered this week across Arizona's stretch of U.S.-Mexico border from New Mexico to Yuma County.

At least 131 bodies have been found along that stretch since Jan. 1, up from 119 at the same time last year, medical examiners records show.

Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or

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