Sunday, July 12, 2009

Volunteers Fined for Leaving Water on Migrant Routes in Arizona

TUCSON, Arizona – Thirteen members of a group trying to prevent deaths among undocumented migrants were fined for leaving gallons of water inside the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, which lies in southern Arizona on the border with Mexico.

Volunteers from the No More Deaths organization tried to place bottles and gallons of water along the routes most frequently used by immigrants.

The group acted ahead of a weekend when temperatures in southern Arizona are forecast to exceed 110 F (43 C).

From the time they arrived at the refuge, the volunteers were shadowed by agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service, according to a press release from No More Deaths.

Federal officials confiscated all the water the volunteers placed at four strategic points between the town of Arivaca and Interstate Highway 286.

“They followed us every step of the way, grabbing the water that we left there,” Maryada Vallet, a volunteer paramedic with No More Deaths, said.

Among the volunteers fined for littering were two Protestant ministers and a Catholic priest.

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