Monday, December 14, 2009

25 Days In Federal Prison For Littering? Border Patrol Cracking Down on Human Rights Activists

By Jessica Weisberg, AlterNet. Posted December 14, 2009.

Walt Staton was dropping off water jugs for people who attempt the often deadly trek into Arizona from Mexico when the Feds ticketed him for "knowingly littering."

On Friday December 4th, an Arizona District Court judge told Walt Staton, a 28 year-old seminary student, that he might be facing 25 days in a federal prison. His crime was "knowingly littering" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

One day last December, Staton and a friend named Victor Ceballos, loaded 70 plastic water jugs into the back of a truck and drove from Tucson to outer stretches of Sonora desert. Temperatures in the desert are extreme, reaching 120 degrees during summer months and dropping below 30 degrees in the winter. Many people who attempt the four-day trek between the Mexico border and Phoenix do not survive; this year, a human rights group found the remains of 206 people. The main causes of death, the group believes, are heat overexposure or hypothermia, but corpses decompose so quickly in the desert that it is often impossible to tell.

Read on...

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