19,444 gallons of water in the desert: how volunteers save lives at the US border
Carrot Quinn volunteered with No More Deaths, an organization devoted to those who risk dehydration entering the US where the wilderness is a 'weapon' e're walking in the Growler Valley near Ajo, Arizona, sidestepping around bristling cholla cactuses and traversing the deep, sandy washes that cut the land when we find the skull.
This essay by Carrot Quinn is a good example of blending of personal writing and journalism. When you cover an issue that is so difficult and emotionally eviscerating and you’re an eye-witness to numerous speechless victims whose stories will go untold and you have the burden of relaying that condition of omission and then there are these difficult questions like “what for? why? how could we?”, it is hard to check your outrage and balance the needs of a perfect narrative.
Quinn writes: “It wasn’t always this way; for decades, the route into the US was less hazardous to human life, and yearly deaths hovered in the single digits. Then, in the mid 1990s, the Border Patrol adopted a strategy called “prevention through deterrence”: urban areas were walled off and checkpoints were placed in such a way that people attempting to cross were funneled into the driest, most remote and brutal parts of the desert, far from roads, resources or possible rescue. In other words, the US Border Patrol used the desert wilderness as a weapon.”