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US/Mexico Border Crisis

Call to Action

Emergency Vigil in Tucson, Arizona on Friday June 2, 2000 Armory Park on South 6th Avenue Between East 12th and East 13th Streets Commencing at 7:00 PM

A coalition of organizations, leaders and citizens will hold an emergency "Vigil" at Armory Park in Tucson, Arizona starting at 7:00 P.M. on Friday June 2, 2000 concerning the ongoing hunting and killing of undocumented Mexican workers by armed Arizona vigilantes and their supporters. "The shooting and killing of our brothers and sisters from Mexico crossing the border will not be tolerated by the U.S. Latino leadership", said coalition leader Dr. Armando Navarro who along with Mario Obledo, President of the National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, is calling for an immediate cessation of the violence. Latino groups and leaders from throughout the United States will join the Arizona based civil and human rights organization Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, as well as national religious groups, in the Vigil at Armory Park which is located on South 6th Street between East 12th and East 13th Streets.

A call for a national mobilization in support of the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos Candlelight Vigil has been made by Navarro and numerous other leaders from throughout the country. Organizing efforts have been initiated to have caravans of supporters drive to Tucson to demonstrate their solidarity with the Coalicon. Navarro stated, "the illegal and dangerous actions being taken by armed Gringo ranchers against defenseless and unarmed Mexicano and Central American immigrants cannot be and will not be tolerated. Those of us outside of Arizona who will be in attendance at the Vigil will demonstrate by our presence and actions that Mexicanos in Arizona are not alone in their struggle to bring peace to the explosive and conflict ridden Arizona/Mexico border.

Prior to the commencement of the Vigil, Navarro and a small group of leaders accompanied by leaders of the coalicion will travel to Douglas, Arizona and the border affected on a fact finding mission. A debriefing meeting will be held with Mexico's Consulate officials in Douglas and efforts will be made to meet with some of the immigrants who have been terrorized by the armed vigilante Gringo ranchers. A report of their findings will be made by the group of leaders later that evening at the Vigil. A strategy meeting is also being planned for Saturday morning. Details on the strategy meeting will be released shortly.

Violence by armed vigilantes against Mexican migrants in the region has been escalating. Arizona ranchers recently disseminated a "flyer" throughout the United States inviting white supremacists to come to their ranches to help hunt down Mexican workers crossing the border. The situation reached a crisis when two vigilantes on horseback ambushed 5 migrants and shot one critically on the head near Sasabe, Arizona. The violence has now spread to Texas where another rancher murdered an undocumented Mexican worker while the migrant was looking for water on his ranch near Del Rio.

There is widespread concern in the U.S. Mexican-American community that the violence will spread northward from the border. U.S. citizens of Mexican descent have already been victimized by anti-Mexican immigrant groups. The worst incident occurred at a McDonald's Restaurant in San Ysidro, California in 1984 when James Oliver Huberty massacred 22 with an Uzi assault rifle. Huberty was targeting Mexican immigrants but among the massacred where U.S citizens of Mexican descent including children.

The national Latino leadership is calling for all Americans of good conscience to join us in a national mobilization to stop the human rights atrocities occurring at the US/Mexico border against helpless migrant workers who are only coming to the United States to seek work, work that has greatly enriched the economy of this country. We should not allow a few angry vigilantes in Arizona and Texas to determine the image the world has of America as a land of justice.

Information on the national mobilization for peace on the US/Mexico border can be obtained at:

Isabel Garcia - Coalicion de Derechos Humanos - Phone: (520) 770-1373 Fax: (520) 770-7355 E-mail: AZBRP@aol.com

Dr. Armando Navarro - University of California at Riverside - (909) 787-4577 Ext. 1821

Hector Carreon - Impacto 2000 - E-mail: Impacto@mail.serve.com

Mario Obledo - President, National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations - (916) 441-3626

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