Category Archives: Press releases

Our press releases are listed here in chronological order.

Hung Jury in Case Against Scott Warren

June 11th, 2019

TUCSON, AZ – A jury failed to convict No More Deaths volunteer Scott Warren today in Tucson. Dr. Warren was charged with two counts of felony harboring and one count of felony conspiracy for his humanitarian aid work in Ajo, Arizona. The jury was split with 8 in favor of acquittal and 4 against.

Dr. Warren has received an outpouring of support from communities and faith leaders across the globe. United Nations experts urged authorities to drop charges against Dr. Warren, arguing that “providing humanitarian aid is not a crime.”

With this outcome, the government has failed in its attempt to apply federal charges to acts of common compassion. In Scott’s own words, “Today it remains as necessary as ever for local residents and humanitarian aid volunteers to stand in solidarity with migrants and refugees.”

Catherine Gaffney, a longtime volunteer with No More Deaths, responded to today’s outcome: “The question of whether we stand with undocumented people and protect the basic tenets of a healthy society is for each of us to answer.”

After the case closed, both Dr. Warren and his lawyer, Greg Kuykendall shared statements in front of the federal courthouse to Dr. Warren’s family, supporters, and press. The two men spoke in front of 88 pairs of shoes lined up on the sidewalk behind them – each pair representing someone whose remains have been recovered in the desert outside Ajo in the time since Scott’s arrest in January of 2018. Read the statements here.

Multiple remains recovered this week

TUCSON, AZ:  On Sunday, May 5th, No More Deaths launched a search and rescue mission in the West Desert outside of Ajo, AZ, resulting in the ultimate recovery of four sets of human remains.  The remains were encountered in the Growler Valley, the same valley in which Dr. Scott Warren was issued as citation for leaving water in summer 2017. Dr. Warren has been on trial the past two days and continuing into today for charges related to that incident

The search and rescue was launched in response to a call that came through the No More Deaths Missing Migrant Hotline after family members calling the hotline asked for support in urging Border Patrol’s Search and Rescue arm to initiate a rescue operation and CBP refused to mobilize resources.  The first day of the search resulted in the team encountering a set of skeletal human remains that had been found and reported to the Pima County Sheriff in December 2017 by the Armadillos del Desierto, a San Diego based search and rescue organization. The Sheriff never recovered the body. The second day of the search, volunteers found three more sets of remains within a few miles of a newly installed rescue beacon.

The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, where the remains were recovered, is one of the deadliest migration corridors of the US/Mexico borderlands.  The Refuge does not grant No More Deaths and others humanitarian groups access to administrative roads, even in emergency situations. Search groups must embark on foot from the edge of the wilderness boundary – greatly diminishing response time and scope.

Dr. Warren has testified in court to his spiritual beliefs that compel him to provide humanitarian aid on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge  The discovery of four sets of remains in two days confirmed Warren’s testimony that “the Growler Valley is the area of highest and most need.

The No More Deaths abuse documentation team is investigating systemic governmental inaction to reported emergencies from distressed migrants in the desert. The findings will be published in Part III of The Disappeared report later this year.

The remains from the past two days have been reported to the Pima County Sheriff. The missing person has not been found.

Note: The image above reflects remains recovered in April of 2019 and does not include data about the individuals mentioned in this article.

Trials Begin January 15th

On Tuesday, January 15th at 8:30 AM, No More Deaths will hold a pre-trial press conference outside the Deconcini Federal Courthouse, 400 W Congress.  We ask supporters to join us then and for the rest of week in the courtroom as the trial unfolds.  Please tell us you are coming so we can be in touch if needs or updates arise.


DAILY TRIAL UPDATES


January 15th, 2019, TUCSON, AZ – Four No More Deaths volunteers facing federal misdemeanor charges begin trial today for their humanitarian aid work along the southwest border.  The aid workers are being prosecuted for their efforts to place life-saving food and water on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, a vast and remote area south of Ajo, Arizona where 91 border crossers are known to have died since 2014 and countless more have gone missing.

“Members of our organization are being criminally prosecuted for placing water in areas where hundreds of people have died of thirst.” says Paige Corich-Kleim, a humanitarian aid volunteer with No More Deaths. “Anybody who has visited the refuge understands the harshness of the terrain and the need for a humanitarian response.”

The summer of 2017 was one of the deadliest on record in Arizona, resulting in a total of 32 known migrant deaths on the Refuge.  No More Deaths volunteers maintained a consistent presence in the area, putting out humanitarian aid supplies and responding to search and rescue calls for missing migrants.  That winter, nine volunteers, in places as disparate as New Orleans, Minneapolis and Seattle, received knocks on their door from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.  Charges include operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area, abandonment of property, and entering a wildlife refuge without a permit. One of the defendants is Ajo resident Dr. Scott Warren, who is also charged with felony harboring and conspiracy related to humanitarian aid work.  Dr. Warren’s felony trial is scheduled for May of this year.

The trial begins as the country goes into the fourth week of government shutdown, the longest in history.  “The president is holding the country hostage over his demand for a border wall and claiming the humanitarian aid crisis as justification for his actions,” says Max Granger, another longtime volunteer with the group.  “We believe a humanitarian crisis warrants a humanitarian response.  A border wall will do nothing to alleviate the crisis of death and disappearance along the US-Mexico border.  The protection of the right to give, and to receive, humanitarian aid is essential as long as the government maintains border policies that funnel migration into the most remote parts of the desert.”

Trials are expected to last through the week, with a verdict being issued sometime after trial ends.  Dr. Warren’s misdemeanor trial is scheduled for February and the final round of Cabeza defendants will go to trial in March.

Eight humanitarian-aid workers face federal charges

Contact: 520-240-1641, email, Twitter @NoMoreDeaths

Tucson, Arizona—On Tuesday, January 23, eight humanitarian-aid providers with No More Deaths appeared in court for federal misdemeanor charges relating to their work with the organization in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, a vast and remote stretch of land near Ajo, Arizona that shares 56 miles with the US–Mexico border. One of the eight individuals is Scott Warren, who was also arrested last week by the US Border Patrol and now faces felony “harboring” charges. Continue reading Eight humanitarian-aid workers face federal charges

Border Patrol arrests humanitarian-aid provider and two individuals receiving care

Contact: 520-240-1641, email, Twitter @NoMoreDeaths

Tucson, Arizona—On January 17 near Ajo, Arizona, a humanitarian-aid provider from the group No More Deaths and two individuals receiving humanitarian aid were arrested by the US Border Patrol. The arrests came hours after the release of a report concluding that the Border Patrol plays a significant role in the destruction of humanitarian-aid supplies. Scott Warren, 35, was preliminarily charged with a felony involving alien smuggling and appeared in court on January 18. He was represented by Bill Walker and released on his own recognizance. The two other individuals remain in custody. Continue reading Border Patrol arrests humanitarian-aid provider and two individuals receiving care

Border Patrol raids humanitarian-aid camp in targeted attack

Contact: Alicia Dinsmore
520-240-1641, email, Twitter @NoMoreDeaths

Thursday, June 15, 6:00 p.m., Arivaca, AZ—In temperatures surging over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the US Border Patrol raided the medical-aid camp of humanitarian organization No More Deaths and detained four individuals receiving medical care. Obstruction of humanitarian aid is an egregious abuse by the law-enforcement agency, a clear violation of international humanitarian law, and a violation of the organization’s agreement with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol. Continue reading Border Patrol raids humanitarian-aid camp in targeted attack

Four sets of human remains found in five days by humanitarian-aid workers near Ajo, Arizona

Contact: Genevieve Schroeder
520-240-1641, email, Twitter @NoMoreDeaths

In the first week of exploration during a new volunteer program in the area of Ajo, Arizona, humanitarian-aid workers discovered four sets of skeletal human remains in five days. One set of remains was recovered in the area of Hat Mountain on December 18, 2016. The other three were subsequently recovered in the Growler Valley.  Continue reading Four sets of human remains found in five days by humanitarian-aid workers near Ajo, Arizona