It’s a reminder of what’s possible, and the danger that anyone can be in, you know, whether they live on the border or not. If there’s Border Patrol around and there’s an incident, and you’re murdered or killed, there’s no oversight. There’s no accountability process.
And I think that’s, you know, an interesting tactic. Because when things happen like this, it’s like, well, where does it go? You know, people make reports. But as far as pressing charges, as far as someone who’s on it, you know, to make sure that there’s some type of justice, it really comes down to community members and the families. And that’s been the experience that we’ve seen throughout the years.
—Amy Juan, a leader of the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, interviewed at the Border Chronicle podcast. In a May 18 incident that remains to be clarified, Border Patrol agents killed a 58-year-old O’odham man, Raymond Mattia, shooting him multiple times in the front yard of his house.
Juan added thoughts about how alone O’odham communities near the U.S.-Mexico border are, living alongside a Border Patrol presence that is very hard to hold accountable, and may even be engaging in corruption—an issue that Mr. Mattia, the victim, may have raised.
Mr. Mattia has also been vocal, not just now, but in the past and recently, about the activity happening that he’s seen in his community, namely, involving Border Patrol. Corruption, and—you know—being involved in illegal activities there. And like I said, there’s no oversight. There’s no one there to really monitor the activity that happens there. And so from what I understand, what I’ve heard, from community members—and also reporters that have reached out to me—they say that they had been talking to Raymond about these issues for a while. And so I’m not assuming anything, I’m just I’m sharing that, you know, this is an instance, you know, where the community has been, you know, “keeping eyes.”