Deaths in desert down so far this year

I don't want to go on being just a root in the shadows,
vacillating, extended, shivering with dream,
down in the damp bowels of earth,
absorbing it, thinking it, eating it every day.

-Pablo Neruda from 'Walking Around'

Border issues in the news...

The number of illegal immigrants dying in Arizona's desert appears to have significantly decreased so far this year — no matter who's counting.

Tallies from the U.S. Border Patrol, county medical examiner's offices and the Mexican Consulate show declines in deaths that range between 21 percent and 35 percent lower than the previous year. Each organization tracks the deaths slightly differently.

Some say the lower number is a sign that fewer people are crossing through Arizona, perhaps as a result of more enforcement at the border, the threat of jail time in the Border Patrol's zero-tolerance program, the state's new employer-sanctions law and the downturn in the U.S. economy.

Others say it's more likely because of cooler weather, or because smugglers have shifted routes.
But with the rest of June and the hottest, and deadliest, month of July still to come, the numbers could spike to match the totals of past years.

Continue reading this article by Brady McCombs in the Arizona Daily Star