Human Rights in Arizona

Two Journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Created a fund to help organizations in the state of Arizona in supporting rights for migrants. The Frontera Fund, as it is known, was established by the two journalists, after a 3.75 million dollar settlement they received. The settlement came as a result of the two being arrested in October 2007.

They were arrested soon after they had revealed the existence of Grand jury proceedings that would seek out notes from reporters covering Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio. This was the very same sheriff that arrested Lacey and Larkin in there homes in the middle of the night.

Since the arrest and subsequent settlement, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have used the Frontera fund to continue a long career fighting for Migrant rights. They are known for encouraging civic participation and freedom of speech throughout Arizona. Their efforts extend to include the boarder of Mexico, which they call, “ La Linea Fronteriza”.

In 2014, The Lacy and Larkin Frontera fund partnered with an organization, the Colibri Center for Human Rights. The Colibri Center is a family advocacy group, dedicated to working toward ending migrant suffering and death on the boarder between Mexico and the United States. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737

This non-profit group is based in Tuscon, Arizona. Their mission is to deal with the problems at the boarder with a focus on human rights. The Colabri Center uses three main tools to help accomplish their work. These are, The Missing Migrant Project, The DNA Program and Red de Familiares.

The Missing Migrant Project focuses on working with the families of missing migrants to gather as much forensic information as possible, even down to often overlooked details like tattoos and belt buckles. This information will be used by forensic scientists to track and identify missing migrants. Read more: Michael Larcey | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Twitter

Taking that a step further, The DNA project is tasked with traveling between five major cities, to meet with the families of missing migrants, which will be used primarily to identify the bodies of the deceased. With the hopes of bringing closure to the families.

Finally, Red de Familiares, was designed as a network of support for the families of missing and deceased migrants. This will allow families to connect through social media, as well as over the phone and even face to face. This network is also used by the Colabri center as a means to evolve based on the needs of the members.

Thanks to the on going efforts of The Colabri Center for Human Rights, now backed by the support of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, the lives of migrants and their families have had a strong ally for over a decade. Through a realistic and data driven approach, they have impacted hundreds of lives, through a well rounded approach to solving a real world problem.

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