Humanitarian Organizations

Arizona OpenGIS Initiative for Deceased Migrants

This web site is the result of ongoing partnership between the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, or Pima County OME, and Humane Borders, Inc. Although each organization has a distinct mission, both are committed to the common vision of raising awareness about migrant deaths and lessening the suffering of families by helping to provide closure through the identification of the deceased and the return of remains.

We provide geographic information systems-based tools that use publicly available information to grant access to high quality downloadable spatial data regarding migrant deaths. Data are updated on a quarterly basis and the search tools allow any user to:

  1. query data concerning migrant deaths
  2. view the data using on-line maps and tables
  3. download the data for further use.
  4. Please use these tools with sensitivity and mindfulness.

Since January of 2001, over 2,100 undocumented migrants have died within the Pima County OME jurisdiction. The information presented is stark and perhaps unsettling. However, both Humane Borders and the Pima County OME believe that the availability of this information will contribute to fulfilling our common vision.


Map Tools

Map of Migrant Mortality

Bounding Box Spatial Search Map

Case Number-based Spatial Search Map

Mapa en español.



Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner

Humane Borders, Inc.



Información en español

Printable Maps and Posters






Through dynamic educational experiences, BorderLinks connects divided communities, raises awareness about the impact of border and immigration policies, and inspires action for social transformation.


BorderLinks envisions a world in which people, within and across social borders, respect and care for each other, value and celebrate differences, and build healthy and just communities where everyone has equal opportunity for a full and dignified life.

Derechos Humanos

Coalición de Derechos Humanos (“The Human Rights Coalition”) is a grassroots organization which promotes respect for human/civil rights and fights the militarization of the Southern Border region, discrimination, and human rights abuses by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials affecting U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike.

Our goals include:

  • Strengthening the capacity of the border & urban communities to exercise their rights and participate in public policy decisions.
  • Increasing public awareness of the magnitude of human rights abuses, deaths and assaults at the border resulting from U.S. policy.
  • Seeking changes in government policies that result in human suffering because of the militarization of the U.S. border region.


Influencing Public Policy

Derechos Humanos holds press conferences and interviews, hosts media crews, has demonstrations, weekly vigils, symposiums and marches to draw attention to the unjust policies and inhumane treatment of immigrants. We counter the anti-immigrant hysteria and work to change the stereotypes and misinformation about immigrants.


Why we do it:

In the DHS fiscal year 2006-2007, the human remains of 183 men, women and childrend were recovered on the Arizona-Sonora border.  Since the implementation of border policies in the mid-1990s, it is estimated that more than 5,000 migrants have died.  Migrants have been driven into the desert as urban crossing points have been closed down, and border communities have suffered from the division and xenophobia that militarization has brought. Immigration policy has been a total failure and needs to be changed.  It has not prevented people from attempting to cross the border but has put the lives of thousands of men, women, and children in serious danger. Their deaths are the direct result of U.S. policy.  Derechos Humanos calls upon all people of conscience to work together to demand change on the borders and in our communities.



Humane Borders

Humane Borders, motivated by faith, offers humanitarian assistance to those in need through the deployment of emergency water stations on routes known to be used by migrants coming north through our desert. Our sole mission is to take death out of the immigration equation. Our water tanks are on a combination of private and public lands. In all cases we have permission to locate our water stations on these lands in writing from the landowners.

Humane Borders was founded in June 2000 to create a safe and death free border environment.We are a 501 C-3 non-profit organization and our membership includes more than 1,500 volunteers and 100 affiliated organizations from all walks of life.



No More Deaths


No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona whose mission is to end death and suffering in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. No More Deaths operates on the premise of civil initiative: the conviction that people of conscience must work openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights. No More Deaths endorses the Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform and practices the following methods of intervention:

• Direct aid that extends the right to provide humanitarian assistance
• Witnessing and responding
• Consciousness raising
• Global movement building
• Encouraging humane immigration policy



Tucson Samaritans




Samaritans (formerly Samaritan Patrol) are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border.  We are a diverse group of volunteers that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together July 2002 to provide emergency medical  assistance, food and water to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.



We travel the desert on a daily basis continuing the ancient Southwest tradition of hospitality to travelers. Samaritans has 2 donated 4-WD vehicles to navigate any road or terrain.  At least one member on each trip is a fluent Spanish speaker, and one has medical training.  Vehicles carry water, food, emergency medical supplies, communication equipment, maps and individual traveler-packs containing items necessary to survive in the desert.



No. Samaritans is an entirely overt organization committed to a protocol of aid that has Border Patrol is aware of.  We have enjoyed cooperative relations with the agents in the field.  We patrol only areas that are open to us, never trespassing onto private land.




In the last six years we have directly aided hundreds of people some of whom were in dire medical distress.  Volunteers feel that even if we have only saved one life or helped one exhausted suffering person then our efforts have been worth it. We have provided water to those dehydrated from walking in the desert heat, treated severe sprains and other injuries, bandaged severely blistered feet (potentially life-threatening if you cannot walk and get left behind), called emergency aid for people close to heat stroke, offered blankets on cold nights, given diapers and baby formula to infants and continue to give food and water to large groups of crossers.



Yes, unfortunately people also die of exposure, dehydration and hypothermia in the winter months.



Routes change as the need changes.  You may find us along State Highway 86 between Tucson & Sells and beyond to Ajo, near Ironwood Forest National Monument in the Silverbell Mine area, or along State Route 286 from Three Points to Sasabe, in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, around the Arivaca and Amado areas, near Green Valley, Rio Rico, Nogales, Patagonia and Sonoita.



We are actively seeking to change border policy by serving as witness to its failures, by drawing media attention to the suffering in the desert and by advocating a more realistic and humane border policy.  We support  the finalization of international accords that would help prevent traveler’s deaths.  We are committed to bringing all parties to the table to define sustainable immigration policy.



Absolutely.  Volunteers attend a 3 hour training which includes the mission, protocol, history of the border, legal and medical  issues. Trainings are held on the first Sunday of each month. For those who do not want to go on trips, there are support roles available.


The Migrant Trail


The Migrant Trail Game

“THE MIGRANT TRAIL  presents a first-person journey through Arizona’s desert borderlands.  Play as  an undocumented immigrant attempting to cross the Arizona desert and/or a border patrol agent attempting to secure the border.  Playing the game offers an alternative  platform to further engage conversation, investigation and inquiry, into the themes and questions raised by the documentary.

Migrant Mode Intro

Every year an unknown number of migrants cross through the harsh Sonoran desert from Mexico into Arizona.   They pay $1500-$2500 to join a crossing party, that is led by for hire guides referred to as Coyotes.   If one cannot keep up, twists ankle or runs out of water, he or she is left behind and many die.  On average, the remains of 200 dead migrants are found each year.  It’s not known how many are never found.

Border Patrol Mode Intro

Every day U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol the Sonoran Desert along the Arizona-Mexico border. Their job is to apprehend undocumented border crossers, provide first aid to the injured, and locate the remains of dead migrants.