The Colibrí Center for Human Rights; Helping Migrants Families Get Closure

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights refers to a family advocacy group situated in Tucson, Arizona that collaborates with migrant families, philanthropists and forensic scientists to end migrant deaths and other forms of suffering encountered on the U.S- Mexico border.

Taking a look at the country’s southern border, one encounters several unidentified migrants remains, and even as illegal immigration into the US diminishes, the immigrant’s death rate is still high. The refugees meet their death as they pass through dangerous and isolated environments in an attempt to evade arrest. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey

As such, most of such remains were collected and stored in enormous refrigerators leaving the family of the deceased without a word of what happened to their loved one. For this reason, Colibrí Center for Human Rights was established to help the families of the missing migrants get closure, and they do so by employing three primary programs.

Missing Immigrant Initiative

Calibri’s has a vast database of information that aids it not only find and identify a lost migrant but also to educate on a large scale basis. Even since 2006, the foundation has managed to link the data gap existing between physicians and the families of the missing.

Colibrí Center for Human Rights develops reports forensically for the missing individuals and puts a high emphasis on overlooked details like player’s cards, belt buckles, tattoos or other unique possessions which it then collaborates with forensic experts and doctors to put a name to the remains.

The DNA Program

Colibrí Center for Human Rights has an established DNA system that helps in the identification of several unidentified remains. Because most of the remains are retrieved from deserted regions, the foundation employs non-genetic techniques as the conventional fingerprint, and photo comparison rarely works in such incidences. Form the thousands of unidentified cases conducted by the Pima County Office; more than nine hundred remains remain unknown.

Nevertheless all the bodies have been tested for DNA, and such details have been stored in the organization’s DNA database. Colibrí intends on traveling to five states in the next three years to gather DNA samples from families of the missing migrants which it will use to cross check with the DNAs it has stored at the Pima County Office.

Red de Familiares (Family Network)

Additionally, Colibrí has in place a program that brings together all the relatives of the missing migrants and helps them with the healing process by offering them counsel and platforms where they get to share their stories and connect.

About Lacey and Larkin

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are media journalists in charge if Phoenix New Times and Village Voice. The two are also the co-founders of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund that aims at financing advocacy groups handling civil, human and migrant’s rights in Arizona.

The idea to form Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund was hatched out of a personal ordeal where the two journalists were oppressed by one Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Arpaio’s was deemed as one of the toughest officials in Maricopa County and had been exposed in the Phoenix New times owned by the two for his involvement in racial profiling, corruption, abuse of office, inmate mishandling, the death of prisoners as well as the illegal incarceration of Latinos.

The sheriff, in turn, sent his officials who arrested Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin in the middle of their night from their homes and help them illegally. However, the duo was released, and all charges were dropped following a public outcry. E next step they sued the county for infringement of their First Amendment Rights and won the case and were awarded a $3.7 million settlement. The two journalists then used the settlement cash to establish the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia

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