2 Water Tanks to Aid Crossers Vandalized

AP, June 1, 2006

BISBEE—Someone vandalized two water stations set up by a humanitarian group that is trying to prevent deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the desert, a group volunteer said.

Two 55-gallon water tanks east of Naco were poked full of holes during the holiday weekend and thrown over a border fence into Mexico, said Humane Borders volunteer Marilyn Jones. The tanks’ spigots were stolen, as was the station’s 30-foot flagpole, which is topped with a blue flag to alert migrants to the location.

A flagpole at the second station was bent and the spigots were stolen from its two water tanks.

Jones said she had encountered sabotage at the stations before, but that normally, vandals simply drain the tanks. She said that any attack on the stations is hurtful.

“It makes me feel like somebody wants people to die before they want them to have a drink of water,” she said.

Tucson-based Humane Borders maintains several water stations along different areas of the Arizona-Mexico border, the busiest illegal entry point on the nation’s southern border. The stations are meant to prevent dehydration among illegal entrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico.

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