New York - The Intercept has published “Bodies in the Borderlands,” a long-form feature by reporter Ryan Devereaux focused on the prosecution of Scott Warren, a humanitarian aid worker volunteering with the immigrant rights group No More Deaths (also known as No Más Muertes) in Arizona.
Arrested on January 18, 2018, in Ajo, Arizona, at a barn where two Central American men, Kristian Perez-Villanueva and Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Godoy, were taking shelter, Warren is now accused, “of providing the men with food, water, clean clothes, and a place to sleep over three days.” These charges amount to two counts of harboring and one count of conspiracy and, if convicted, Warren could serve up to 20 years in prison. (Warren’s first trial for a misdemeanor offense begins today (May 7, 2019) in Arizona. A second trial on felony charges is scheduled for May 29.)
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Devereaux’s reporting points to new guidelines issued during the Trump administration that explicitly criminalize humanitarian aid at the border, and writes about the mention of Irineo Mujica as an unindicted co-conspirator in the charges Warren is facing. Mujica runs a migrant shelter in Sonoyta, a Mexican town in the state of Sonora, and is perhaps better known “for his role in running Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an organization that has been instrumental in working alongside the migrant caravans to the U.S. border.”
“Humanitarian assistance and solidarity with migrants and refugees is a common thing along the border region,” said Warren. “The U.S. government is trying to criminalize all of that.” According to Devereaux, “Like No More Deaths, Pueblo Sin Fronteras has been a favorite villain of the Border Patrol union.”
About Ryan Devereaux: Ryan Devereaux is an award-winning investigative journalist covering immigration enforcement, the drug war, and national security. Prior to The Intercept he worked at Guardian US reporting on policing and criminal justice. His work has also been published by Rolling Stone, The Nation and the Village Voice. He is based in New York City.
About The Intercept: The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Its in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more.