Alvaro Enciso is one of the most notable artists in the American Southwest. Among his other work, in recent years he has placed crosses to mark the deaths of more than 900 migrants who have died in the Sonoran desert south of Tucson, each marked with a red dot, like the dot marking the thousands of deaths of immigrants on the “death maps” published by Humane Borders. This is his new report from the borderlands, yesterday.
“if it weren’t for bad luck i’d have no luck at all”
bluesman albert king
carlos a bejarano cruz, born in mexico,
had walked a very long distance from the border, and was just west of the mustang mountains when he was caught in a rain storm. he was hit by lightning, electrocuted. he was only 24 years of age.
marlon abrego paz, a 17-year-old boy from honduras, had already done his part: he had walked to where his ride was waiting. but the driver of the vehicle he was in, lost control, and marlon and his 10 companions died from multiple head and chest injuries, in august of 2009
in 2006 ignacio montiel borbonio was walking north along a dark country road, perhaps hoping to reach sr 82 before daybreak. he could see the headlights of trucks just a couple of miles. he never made it there: he was hit by a car and died from his injuries. he was from mexico, and was 33. this past tuesday when i planted the blue cross for him, workers on the other side of the fence were putting a water system for a brand new vineyard next to a big home.
tuesdays is the day i honor the courage of migrants who die here in the borderlands. but this past tuesday, a group of sudents and faculty fom washington jefferson university, pa, and another group from fala, a high school in flagstaff, arizona, accompanied me, and that made for a very special day. Also, first from the left, back row, is isabella mains who came to my studio a couple of days before the trip, and she and i made the 2 pink crosses. isabel, who was born in guatemala but lives in connecticut, is here in tucson with her mother, learning all they can about the humanitarian crisis here in southern arizona.
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