Michael Martinez, Chicago Tribune, May 5
AGUA PRIETA, Mexico — If “vigilantes” were watching the U.S. side of the border with Mexico last month as President Bush claimed, then Scott Kerr of Downers Grove, Ill., may very well be their traitorous adversary.
Counteragent or not, the 29-year-old Kerr demanded secrecy about his exact whereabouts from a visiting journalist recently as he negotiated a thorny desert in magnificent floral bloom a half-mile from the Arizona side of the border.
He wants the location to remain clandestine as long as possible because it’s home to the most precious resource in this broad valley of utter aridity: fresh water.
If the barrels are empty, Kerr says he should be shot dead. So goes the overzealous saying among activists like him. Migrants regard the barrels, marked by 15-foot-tall blue flags, as sanctuary, he said.
Officially, Kerr is a “Christian peacemaker,” he said. His blue T-shirt logo bears double meaning: “Getting In The Way,” which he says means “in the way of the Lord” and “in the way of two warring parties.”
In fact, this intrepid, red-bearded activist is a member of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams, a non-profit group consisting of Protestants and Roman Catholics who have dispatched 44 full-time workers to Colombia, Iraq, Israel and the border between Douglas, Ariz., and Agua Prieta.