Monday, June 1, 2009

Trial Against No More Deaths Volunteer

A jury trial will begin Monday, June 1, to determine if No More Deaths
volunteer Walt Staton is guilty of “knowingly littering.” Walt received a
littering ticket on December 4, 2008 while putting out gallon jugs of water
on migrant trails in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.
Three agents and a helicopter were
used to follow the NMD volunteers on December 4, 2008.

A US Fish and Wildlife officer gave Walt and his three companions citations
for littering after Border Patrol agents, who had been following the NMD
volunteers, reported them to Buenos Aires officials. The US Attorneys office
has dropped the
the other three.

Walt refused to accept guilt and pay the original $175 fine associated with
the ticket. He now faces a punishment that could include up to one year of
prison time and a large fine if found guilty.

Dan Millis, a friend and colleague of Walt’s, received a similar ticket in
February, 2008. Dan was found guilty last September>after
a bench trial before magistrate judge Bernie Velasco in Tucson. Dan
appealed the case to the US District Court, where the original ruling was
It is currently under appeal at the 9th Circuit Court.

According to Pima County medical examiner's data mapped out by Humane
Borders <>, approximately 20 bodies of deceased
migrants have been recovered from Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge since 2002.
Dehydration is a factor that leads to many of the deaths. More than 5,000
bodies have been recovered from the US/Mexcio border as a result of the
current enforcement strategy, which was implemented in the mid-1990s—many
thousands more will never be discovered.

Walt hopes to be able to speak about his personal motivations in order to
defend himself, but the government has already filed motions to preclude him
from testifiying about his intent. It is clear that the US Government wants
to intimidate and push humanitarians out of the desert, which will directly
lead to more death and suffering. No More Deaths urges all people of
conscience and faith to speak out against this strategy of deterrence and
death. [read our principles for immigration

No comments:

Post a Comment