XIMENA ORGANES CABRERA and her 8th month old baby in the womb, died in July 2010 walking through the San Pedro River near Sierra Vista, AZ. What desperation would cause a mother to trek through such difficult terrain when she is carrying an 8 month old baby in her womb!? Ximena was taken to Sierra Vista Hospital by her husband?, brother?, family member? friend?, stranger?? No one knows who had mercy on her and her child and called for medical assistance. Mother and child died in the care of the medical professionals at the hospital. One can only imagine the heartbreak and sadness experienced by all involved.
In January 2002, five men coming from Chichuahua, MX undertook a risky journey that led to their death in a railroad car filled with coal. Two were brothers, GERARDO RUBEN JIMENEZ MARTINEZ, 29 years old, and GERARDO RAMON JIMENEZ MARTINEZ, 26 years old; the other three, WENCESLAO TORRES TORRES, 48 years old, RAFAEL ALBERTO PALMA SALAS, 37 years old and CARMELO MONARREZ RAMIREZ, 38 years old, were probably cousins or good friends.
As we approach the 16th anniversary of their deaths, we remember the families who still are suffering this inconsolable loss. We ask our loving God to grant to Ruben, Ramon, Wenceslao, Rafael and Carmelo peace and joy in the next life.
(Article on the death of these men)
Jesus, as an infant you fled to Egypt with your mother Mary and Joseph. You were a vulnerable family in a foreign land, looking for shelter and sustenance. Help us to welcome those like you who cross our borders today. Give us hearts of compassion, humane response, and laws that respect the dignity of all immigrants. Amen
Our prayer today was for a young woman, ZENAIDA COLMENERO DIRCIO, age 26, who crossed the desert of Arizona with her 16 month old little girl. We have no knowledge of what drove Zenaida to make the decision to walk for days through this harrowing desert with her baby girl. We do know that Zenaida did everything possible to save her child from suffering during this horrible journey. See “Migrant moms die trying to save Kids”.
We prayed for Zenaida’s daughter who is now 17 years old. May she know that her mom loved her deeply and sacrificed all for a fuller life for her.
A poetic video by Mike Foster whose hearts goes out to our friends from the South who have lost their lives in pursuit of a better life. May their family members know that there are many here in the Borderlands who remember their loved ones and honor their lives.
A Mi Vieja Amiga from San Pedro River Videos on Vimeo.
For our memorial cross planting today we were welcomed by Charlie One Horse, a Yaqui holy man, who shared his wisdom and song with us as we remembered our young migrant, JUAN SOTELO MARTINEZ, age 19. We were invited by Charlie to plant Juan’s memorial cross on his property in the Mule Mountains, so that Juan’s struggle for a better life would not be forgotten. May Juan Sotelo Martinez rest in peace, knowing that his family that was left behind will be cared for by a loving God.
Today, friends from Idaho, Colorado, Missouri, Indiana and Paris, France joined us to remember and pray for ALEJANDRO CAMACHO VELEZ, age 38 from Vera Cruz, Mexico and for his family who have missed his loving presence since 2005.
We recalled the dangerous journey that Alejandro took through the Dragoon Mountains, risking his life for the betterment of his family. We prayed that one day, in our great nation of immigrants, we will be able to sing with full voice and compassionate hearts, “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place”.
Today 25 mourners gathered to remember and pray for GUADALUPE VEGA VEGA, age 20, who perished in one of the most beautiful valleys in southern Arizona. We placed the cross for Guadalupe on the property of a friend who promised to cherish his memory forever. May the spirit of Guadalupe fill this land and bring forth new life where struggle and death reigned.
In the heat of the September morning sun, we placed a memorial cross near the town of Tombstone for ADRIAN OLVERA RODRIGUEZ, age 29. Adrian walked on the same migrant path that thousands have traversed, from the Dragoon mountains to the Whetstones– to a better life. Adrian lost his life in this unforgiving mountainous desert and failed to reach the fulfillment of his dreams. We pray for Adrian, his family and for our country whose unjust laws force people to take this incredible risk.