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Colibrí denunciamos la decisión de poner fin a DACA

“Perder DACA significaría perder las herramientas que tengo para vivir la vida. En vez de ser un miembro contribuyente de la sociedad, volvería a vivir en el limbo. Sin ninguna manera de progresar en la vida, me haría incapaz de proveer para mi esposa. Haría de la vida cotidiana una lucha, y tendría que depender constantemente de otras personas. La cosa que sería la más difícil sería no cuidar de mi esposa. “- Manny Bartsch, receptor de DACA y graduado de la Universidad de Heidelberg

Hoy es un doloroso día de traición para la comunidad de inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos y para todos nosotros que somos aliados. Esta mañana, el gobierno de Trump anunció que terminará oficialmente el Programa de Acción Diferida para los Llegado de la Infancia (DACA). DACA protege a más de 800.000 jóvenes indocumentados que llegaron a los Estados Unidos como niños, permitiéndoles solicitar demoras renovables de dos años de deportación y hacerlos elegibles para permisos de trabajo y licencias de conducir. Los receptores de DACA están comprando casas, graduándose con grados avanzados, y construyendo vidas. Aunque todavía había mucho por hacer para proteger y dar justicia a la comunidad indocumentada en los Estados Unidos, DACA fue al menos un paso hacia la creación del futuro que todos soñábamos. Como lo expresó nuestro amigo e indocumentado Juan Escalante, DACA dio a la gente una sensación de libertad para vivir sin temor y tener éxito en sus vidas.

La decisión de Trump de poner fin a DACA es inequívocamente injusta. Pone a cientos de miles de jóvenes estadounidenses y las personas que los aman en peligro. Esta es la última de una serie de acciones que tienen consecuencias devastadoras para la protección de los derechos de los inmigrantes y los derechos humanos en los Estados Unidos. La persecución directa a la comunidad inmigrante, la islamofobia, la falla en denunciar las acciones de los supremacistas blancos y la campaña sostenida de lenguaje racista y xenófobico son una repugnante y vergonzosa traición de los valores americanos.

En el Centro Colibrí de Derechos Humanos, reconocemos y celebramos las numerosas e invalorables contribuciones hechas cada día por la comunidad inmigrante en los Estados Unidos. Los inmigrantes indocumentados, en particular, traen inmensos beneficios económicos, culturales y sociales a nuestra nación tal como lo han hecho durante generaciones. Estos beneficios no son tangibles. Se estima que aproximadamente 65.000 estudiantes indocumentados se gradúan de las escuelas secundarias americanas cada año. Estos estudiantes pasan a buscar títulos universitarios, educación de la escuela de comercio, o puestos de trabajo en la fuerza laboral. Estos estudiantes son nuestro futuro. Son nuestros amigos, nuestros vecinos, nuestras familias. Como todo el mundo, merecen vivir libres con la oportunidad de seguir sus sueños, al igual que sus padres lucharon tan duro para lograr el sueño de llevar a sus hijos a un país donde podrían prosperar. Merecen sentirse seguros. DACA les proporcionó esa seguridad, y hoy, este país los traicionó.

La derogación de DACA pone en riesgo a cientos de miles de jóvenes con la posibilidad muy real de ser deportados. La deportación no es burocrática, es violenta. Puede ser mortal. Arranca a las personas de sus comunidades y las pone en situaciones dolorosas y peligrosas. Aislados de sus familias, de su vida, de la comunidad de la que siempre han formado parte, deja a las personas sin otra opción que intentar volver a todo lo que conocen y aman. Muchos de los que han sido deportados tratan de cruzar de regreso a través del desierto, el único terreno disponible, pero el más mortal. En Colibrí, vemos esta realidad todos los días. Vemos fines inimaginablemente trágicos a las historias de padres, niños, hermanas, hermanos, personas que murieron luchando por un sueño. Trump está una vez más demostrando que no tiene ningún respeto por estos seres humanos, por los inmigrantes y sus familias. Él no tiene respeto para los más vulnerables y no tiene sentido real de lo que realmente hace que los Estados Unidos sea increíble.

Todos nosotros en Colibrí estamos profundamente enojados y dolidos por la decisión de Trump de poner fin a DACA. Estamos constantemente impresionados por la fuerza, tenacidad y valentía de la comunidad de inmigrantes. Sabemos lo difícil que la comunidad luchó por programas como DACA y nos comprometemos a estar siempre luchando junto a nuestros aliados por la verdadera y justa protección de los derechos de los inmigrantes y los derechos humanos.

TOME ACCIÓN. Esto es lo que usted puede hacer para luchar por los jóvenes en su comunidad:

  1. Asista a una manifestación o velatorio organizado localmente. Pon atención a los eventos locales o vea organizaciones como Movimiento Cosecha o United We Dream que están organizando acciones a nivel nacional.
  2. Llame a los funcionarios electos que han estado haciendo campaña para terminar con DACA.
  3. Comparte esta declaración en tus redes sociales con el hashtag #DefendDACA y deja claro tu apoyo a los jóvenes de DACA

Colibrí Denounces Decision to End DACA

“Losing DACA would mean losing the tools I have to live life. Instead of being a contributing member of society, I would return to living in limbo. With no way to progress in life, I would become unable to provide for my wife. It would make everyday life a struggle, and I would constantly have to depend on other people.  The biggest thing that would be the hardest pill to swallow would be not taking care of my wife.” – Manny Bartsch, DACA recipient and Heidelberg University graduate

Today is a painful day of betrayal for the immigrant community in the U.S. and for all of us who stand as allies. This morning, the Trump administration announced that it will officially end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. DACA protects more than 800,000 undocumented youth who came to the U.S. as children by allowing them to apply for renewable two-year deferments from deportation and making them eligible for work permits and driver’s licenses. DACA recipients are buying homes, graduating with advanced degrees, and building lives. Although there was still much to do to protect and give justice to the undocumented community in the U.S., DACA was at least a joyous step towards creating the future we all dreamed of. As our friend and undocumented activist Juan Escalante phrased it, DACA gave people a sense of freedom to live without fear and to succeed in their lives.

Trump’s decision to end DACA is unequivocally wrong. He places hundreds of thousands of young Americans and the people who love them in danger. This is the latest in a series of actions that have devastating consequences for the protection of immigrant rights and human rights within the United States. The blatant targeting of the immigrant community, the overt islamophobia, the refusal to denounce the actions of white supremacists, and the sustained campaign of racist and xenophobic language are a repugnant and shameful erosion of American values.

At the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, we recognize and celebrate the numerous and invaluable contributions made every day by the immigrant community in the U.S. Undocumented immigrants in particular bring powerful economic, cultural, and social benefits to our nation just as they have done for generations. These benefits are not just opinion, they are tangible. It is estimated that approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from American high schools every year. These students go on to pursue college degrees, trade school educations, or jobs in the workforce. These students are our future. They are our friends, our neighbors, our families. Like everyone, they deserve to live free with the opportunity to pursue their dreams, just as their parents fought so hard to pursue the dream of bringing their children to a country where they could thrive. They deserve to feel safe. DACA provided them with that safety, and today, this country betrayed them.

Repealing DACA opens hundreds of thousands of young people up to the very real, very dangerous possibility of being deported. Deportation is not bureaucratic, it is violent. It can be deadly. It rips people out of their communities and forces them into painful and dangerous situations. Isolated from their families, from their life, from the community they have always been part of, it often leaves people with no other viable choice than to try coming back to all that they know and love. Many who have been deported try to cross back through the desert, the only terrain available, but the most deadly. At Colibrí, we see this reality every single day. We see unimaginably tragic ends to stories of parents, children, sisters, brothers, people who died fighting for a dream. Trump is once again demonstrating that he has no regard for these human beings, for immigrants and their families. He has no care for the vulnerable and no real sense of what actually makes America great.

All of us at Colibrí are deeply angered and pained by Trump’s decision to end DACA. We are constantly in awe of the strength, tenacity, and bravery of immigrant community. We know how hard the community fought for programs like DACA and we commit ourselves to always standing and fighting alongside our allies for the true and just protection of immigrant and human rights.

Here’s what you can do to take action and fight for the DACAmented youth in your community:

  1. Attend a rally or vigil being organized locally. Check out your local events or see organizations like Movimiento Cosecha or United We Dream that are organizing nationwide actions.
  2. Call the elected officials who have been campaigning to end DACA.
  3. Share this statement on your social media with the hashtag #DefendDACA and make clear your support for DACAmented youth.

We’re Hiring! Two Full Time Positions

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is looking for two new members to add to our team! We are hiring a Missing Migrant Project Associate and a Family Network Coordinator who can join us full-time. Please review the two job descriptions below. Deadline to apply is August 31, 2017.

Missing Migrant Project Associate/Asociado(a) del Proyecto de Migrantes Desaparecidos 

Tucson, AZ; Regular Full Time; Non-Union

Job Summary
The Missing Migrant Project is the Colibri Center for Human Rights’ flagship project, which provides support to relatives and loved ones of migrants who have gone missing while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border through forensic science, rigorous data, and advocacy. The Missing Migrant Project Assistant coordinates and collaborates with key interdepartmental staff to manage office operations and deliver key services to families of the missing. Colibrí is seeking a highly organized, detail-oriented self-starter with strong organizational and IT skills to manage incoming inquiries from families, day-to-day office operations, company expenses, and administrative affairs for executive management. In addition to taking missing person reports from relatives of missing persons, this role would include day-to-day office management responsibilities such as bookkeeping, scheduling/arranging travel, managing all aspects of the office, and improving internal operations so that they run smoothly and efficiently.

Responsibilities:

  • Office management duties including
    • Managing vendors to ensure that our office is clean, functional, and organized
    • Using our bookkeeping system to pay bills & organize receipts
    • Recording employee expenses through our expense management system
    • Functioning as the “Admin” and “Light Tier 1” support for various platforms, ensuring that onboarding and offboarding are done on time and with accuracy
    • Coordinating around deeper technical issues with our IT support and vendors
    • Handling ad-hoc tasks around the office as they arise
    • Making travel arrangements
    • Scheduling appointments
  • Call Center management duties including
    • Checking voicemail, Facebook messenger, and company email daily and routing correspondence to appropriate team member
    • Handling requests and queries appropriately
    • Taking missing person reports from families of missing migrants
    • Traveling with Colibrí team for week-long DNA collection events throughout U.S.
    • Traveling internationally occasionally for partner meetings
    • Serving as the point-person for team travel and overseeing packing, printing, and trip preparation

Requirements

Education and Experience:

  • BA/BS required
  • MA preferred (in anthropology, psychology, social work, business administration or related fields)
  • At least 2 years of experience in service provision and/or office management.
  • Non-profit experience preferred.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken Spanish required.
  • Experience as an executive administrative assistant, senior executive assistant or in other secretarial position a plus

Skills:

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills (in English and Spanish)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Full comprehension of office management systems and procedures
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office 365 and Google Suite
  • Naturally skilled in planning, organization and logistics
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Exemplary planning and time management skills
  • Experience working with impacted communities, especially those going through emotional trauma
  • Knowledge of immigration political discourse in the United States and/or humanitarian issues on the U.S.-Mexico border is strongly preferred
  • Ability to think strategically in a fast-paced environment while prioritizing to meet deadlines
  • A sense of humor, humility, and a collaborative spirit

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is a family advocacy nonprofit working to end migrant death and related suffering on the U.S.-Mexico border. We partner with families, forensic scientists, and humanitarians to find the missing and help identify the dead. We also work to bear witness to the loss of life and hold space for families to build community, share their stories, and help raise consciousness about this human rights crisis.

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQIA applicants. Individuals with personal immigration stories are encouraged to apply!

To Apply:

Please submit the following materials to [email protected] by 8/31/17:

-Cover letter
-Resume or CV
-Names and contact information for 3 references (email addresses & phone please)

*Note: Applicants with limited Spanish speaking skills will not be considered for this position. Applicants should clarify Spanish language proficiency in Resume or Cover Letter.*

Start date: October 1, 2017

Family Network Coordinator/Coordinador(a), Red de Familiares

Tucson, AZ; Regular Full Time; Non-Union

Job Summary

The Family Network Coordinator will implement communications strategies to build and sustain the Family Network, Colibrí’s space of connection and support for relatives and loved ones of migrants who have gone missing while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. This position coordinates and collaborates with key interdepartmental staff to deliver training and resources to Family Network members.

Responsibilities:

  • Facilitates, sustains, evaluates and builds (in English and Spanish) the current components of the network: a closed group on Facebook where families discuss topics and share thoughts; one-on-one calls with key Family Network members; conference calls where family members connect with one another; and regional meetings where individuals can meet face-to-face, share time with each other and meet Colibrí staff and members.
  • Recruits, supports, and advocates with Family Network members.
  • Develops an outreach strategy and field training model in conjunction with staff on communications (i.e. spokesperson skills) and advocacy strategies per the organization’s priorities and initiatives.
  • Maintains current contact information and other data for Family Network members in organizational systems and databases.
  • Tracks and reports on Family Network activities and needs.
  • Serves as link between Family Network members and Colibrí staff.
  • Presents positive image of Family Network and Colibrí to others.
  • Basic analytic ability is required to identify established guidelines and procedures to follow for solving problems.
  • Participates in shared responsibility and collaboration with internal and external constituents.
  • Participates in staff calls and meetings, as well as periodic external convenings.
  • Other assignments as needed.

Requirements

Education and Experience:

  • BA/BS required (in Communications, Journalism, Education and/or related field).
  • At least 3 years of communications, training, advocacy, and/or education experience.
  • Non-profit experience preferred.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken Spanish required.

Skills:

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills (in English and Spanish) including public speaking, training, and facilitating.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Social media savvy, especially knowledgeable about Facebook platforms.   
  • Ability to use tact and discretion to obtain cooperation and understanding on routine matters.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Team building and excellent presentation skills are required.
  • Experience and ability working collaboratively toward our shared goals.
  • Experience working with impacted communities, diverse audiences/trainees, and populations going through emotional trauma.
  • Ability to work well with limited day-to-day supervision.
  • Familiarity with PowerPoint of Keynote and other office software.
  • Knowledge of immigration political discourse in the United States and/or migrant death and related suffering on the U.S.-Mexico border is strongly preferred.
  • A sense of humor, humility, and a collaborative spirit.

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is a family advocacy nonprofit working to end migrant death and related suffering on the U.S.-Mexico border. We partner with families, forensic scientists, and humanitarians to find the missing and help identify the dead. We also work to bear witness to the loss of life and hold space for families to build community, share their stories, and help raise consciousness about this human rights crisis.

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQIA applicants. Individuals with personal immigration stories are encouraged to apply!

To Apply:

Please submit the following materials to [email protected] by 8/31/17:

-Cover letter
-Resume or CV
-Names and contact information for 3 references (email addresses & phone please)

*Note: Applicants with limited Spanish speaking skills will not be considered for this position. Applicants should clarify Spanish language proficiency in Resume or Cover Letter.*

Start date: October 1, 2017

COLIBRÍ STANDS AGAINST XENOPHOBIC EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Released January 30, 2017

The past week has left us all shaken but holding stronger than ever to our commitment to fight for the protection of human rights and the preservation of human life in the face of disturbingly zealous xenophobia.

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump survived by playing to his supporters’ fear of immigrants, refugees, and anyone they considered “other.” He repeatedly perpetuated false claims about undocumented immigrants and promised merciless action against such “threats” upon taking office. On Wednesday, the Administration put the first of its anti-immigrant promises into action by signing an executive order calling for the immediate construction of a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border among other directives that will further militarize border communities. Then came another xenophobic executive order indefinitely barring all Syrian refugees from entering the country, suspending all other refugee admission for 120 days, and banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries including Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen for at least 90 days.

It is clear that the Administration is intentionally targeting refugees, immigrants, and migrants. The Colibrí Center for Human Rights stands in unequivocal opposition to these actions, which violate human and civil rights, disregard Indigenous sovereignty, endanger precious border ecosystems, and threaten human life.

The current Administration’s focus on the U.S.-Mexico border is not only dangerous, but also misguided and misinformed. There already exists approximately 650 miles of a border barrier: 352 miles of primary fencing and 299 miles of vehicle barrier fencing. The remaining border terrain is heavily surveilled and enforced by stadium lighting, ground sensors, state-of-the-art cameras, checkpoints, drag roads that disrupt the local flora and fauna, and a record number of border agents. For the migrants who are apprehended, a complex and lucrative court process awaits to prosecute them, filling the coffers of the private prison industry at the expense of the American taxpayer.  Meanwhile, data show that overall immigration from Mexico has declined since its peak in 2007 and that apprehensions have decreased at the border, making the multi-billion dollar proposal not based in fact but in an interest in instilling fear.

For those of us who actually live and work on the border, we know exactly what the effects of these executive actions will be; we have seen them for more than 20 years. We bear witness to the continued death and disappearance of migrants on the border, the separation and devastation of families, and the devastation brought upon border communities.

Since the mid-1990s, at least 7,000 men, women and children have died crossing the border. More than 2,500 people are still missing. The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner currently has approximately 900 cases of individuals recovered on the border who remain unidentified. These deaths are a direct result of border militarization policies just like those proposed by the Administration. We need not wait and see — further militarization will lead to more deaths.

If the Administration carries through on its injudicious orders and continues to ignore the checks placed on them by federal judges and the judicial branch, then it won’t only be migrants and refugees who are in danger, but the very fabric of our government.

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights remains steadfastly committed to the families we serve, to those whose lives have come undone after losing a loved one on the border, to those who know all too intimately the painful effects of anti-immigrant policies and border militarization. We pledge to stand together with all communities whose very humanity is being called into question and who find themselves targeted by bigotry. We will not be silent as the lives of migrants, their families, or any other community are being devalued and attacked.

Now Hiring: Intake Specialist (Contractor Position)

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is a respected leader in the fields of human rights, forensic science, and immigration advocacy. Founded in 2013 with roots that trace back to 2006, Colibrí has served thousands of migrants and their families and currently manages the largest and most comprehensive database of missing and deceased individuals believed to be migrants for the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Colibrí is seeking a highly motivated individual to join our small, hardworking team as our Intake Specialist.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume (CV if applicable) to [email protected] by January 20th, 2017

INTAKE SPECIALIST 

  • Part-Time Position
  • Hourly Salary Commensurate with Experience

The Intake Specialist’s work will be focused within our flagship program, the Missing Migrant Project. The primary role of the Intake Specialist will be to assist the Missing Migrant Project Manager with handling incoming missing person cases.

The responsibilities of the Intake Specialist are categorized into three parts:

  1. Data management: This will involve assisting the Missing Migrant Project Manager with the organization of incoming cases from email, voicemail, Facebook, and other sources.
  2. Intakes: The most vital part of this role: this will involve taking detailed, forensically-relevant missing persons reports for people last seen crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. You will be thoroughly trained by Colibrí staff prior to taking any reports.
  3. Follow ups: This will involve reaching out to families who have already filed a case with Colibrí in order to update them on the status of their case.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, English, Spanish, Communications or related field
  • Fully bilingual in Spanish and English (native speakers preferred)
  • Strong work ethic
  • Strong organizational skills: this position will require extensive organization of highly sensitive data
  • Ability to speak to traumatized people in Spanish with compassion, sensitivity, and professionalism
  • Ability to handle emotionally heavy subject matter, disturbing images and difficult experiences associated with death, grief, loss, and human remains
  • Receptive to feedback and able to take direction

Colibrí is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity as central to our work serving underrepresented communities, and we encourage candidates from a wide range of backgrounds to apply.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume (CV if applicable) to [email protected] by January 20th, 2017

#GivingTuesday: Colibrí Standing Strong with our Community

11-29-2016

Dear Friends,

If you are receiving this email it is because you are a part of Colibrí’s inner circle: our close friends, family, and community members. You sustain us and empower us to continue our fight to end migrant death and suffering, and to recognize, respect, and honor the lives of migrants and immigrants. We are grateful for each and every one of you.

As many of you know, today is Giving Tuesday, a day when we are encouraged to donate to causes we care about. I hope you will consider giving to Colibrí to show your continued support for our work.

At Colibrí we are still trying to make sense of the election results from earlier this month. It is a deeply troubling time for us, as it is for our country, for people of color, for women, for Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and especially for the families we work with, many of whom are undocumented. The racist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant rhetoric that helped elect Donald Trump is nothing new, but the legitimacy this sort of hate speech has gained as a result of his election is unprecedented. Now more than ever it is important that Colibrí can count on your support as we continue our fight to end migrant death and suffering.

In the words of Audre Lorde, “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.” Although we did not feel ready to face a Trump presidency, the reality is that we as a community are well prepared to battle his racism and anti-immigrant policies. Everything he has proposed is deeply unoriginal, building off of a racist history of immigrant exclusion that goes back generations. Border militarization in particular has been robbing people of their lives, tearing communities apart, and disappearing mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and daughters and sons for over two decades. Border communities know better than most the true impacts of such policies, and more importantly, how to contest them.

Although we are deeply concerned about what this new administration will mean for migrant communities, we are also feeling profoundly grateful for our continued ability to do our work to combat injustice. In the spirit of hope and continued resistance we would like to share a few exciting updates with you. In the past six months Colibrí has:

  • Launched our DNA Program! We have worked hard to raise funds over the past three and a half years, and are finally at the point where we are able to launch our DNA program. Over the next three years we will be traveling across the US, sampling hundreds of people who have missing loved ones that may be among the unidentified dead on the border. Nothing like this has ever been done in the US. This is an incredible step towards bringing healing and justice to the families of the missing and dead, and Colibrí is deeply honored to be trusted with such an important task.
  • Successfully Expanded our Database! We recently hosted a meeting of our closest partners in order to strategize around common issues and train them how to integrate their data into our database. It was a huge success and one more important step towards centralizing the information on the missing and dead on the US Mexico border.
  • Grown Our Team! Colibrí is now a team of 5 fulltime employees! We are pleased to announce the hiring of our new DNA Coordinator, Mirza Monterr Mirza is a Forensic Anthropologist from Guatemala with experience in identifying the victims of the country’s 36 year-long civil war. She is a fantastic addition to our team and we are so grateful to have her!

We hope these updates will remind you that despite the devastating news from November 9th, there is still so much to be hopeful for. Audre Lorde also wrote, “Without community, there is no liberation.”  We are so thankful for you, our community. We are standing, we are ready, and we are right here with you in the struggle for a better world. Colibrí is not going anywhere.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Chelsea Halstead

Deputy Director

Colibrí Center for Human Rights

 

 

 

 

Remembrance on International Day of the Disappeared

Written by Reyna Araibi

AUGUST 30, 2016 — Sitting at Colibri’s desk inside the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, I often see hummingbirds, colibríes, fly outside our window looking to taste sweet nectar before continuing on their journey. Each little bird makes me pause. As I watch the rapid beating of their wings and the way their color shimmers in the sunlight, I think of the powerful symbolism this small creature carries. Legends say the hummingbird is a symbol of divinity, an embodiment of strength and resilience, and a messenger between the heavens and the Earth. With every colibrí that hovers nearby, I think of the missing. I think of the courage and tenacity demonstrated by all those who embarked on a perilous journey across borders. I think of those who were lost along the way and how, like the hummingbird, they became messengers for a powerful truth: migration is an expression of love, an act as old as humanity that should never be criminalized or fatally punished.

This small meditation feels especially relevant to share today on International Day of the Disappeared — a time of remembrance and recognition for the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are missing and for their families who navigate daily life with the incomparable pain and ambiguity that comes with having a missing loved one. For those of us at the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, each day is dedicated to this remembrance and recognition.

Over the past two decades, at least 2,700 people have disappeared crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Two-thousand-seven-hundred irreplaceable lives.

Mothers and fathers.
Sons and daughters.
Sisters and brothers.
Cousins.
Spouses.
Best friends.

The missing are never forgotten.

The unique pain of ambiguous loss experienced by the families of the missing cannot be alleviated by the passage of time or social pressure to move on. It invades every aspect of life and lingers with the uncertainty of not knowing whether your loved one is alive or dead. The right to know is fundamental. It is documented in international humanitarian law and lies at the heart of international human rights. Yet even beyond our responsibility to honor international legal protections, we have a human responsibility to the families of the missing. This duty — like all other questions of humanity — transcends borders.

Unequivocally and without question, families deserve to know what happened to their missing loved one. While the pain of losing that person will never go away, the ambiguity of the loss may perhaps be alleviated by providing answers. This is the very least — the very least we can do to honor the families and the lives that have been lost. At its core, this is what our work strives towards each day at Colibrí. We stand with the families in their search for answers — truly, a search for justice around this deeply unjust loss of precious human life.

As I witness another colibrí take flight outside our window, I wonder what message this small yet powerful creature has for me — for us. I know it’s telling us something and I believe it is this:  remembering and honoring the missing is not for one special day or one organization; it is a universal and continuous duty we have as human beings. People do not simply disappear. We never give up on those we love. To seek justice for this loss of life is not a task to be shouldered by the families of the missing alone; it is a demand we all make together. To stand up against the ongoing death and disappearance of thousands of migrants, immigrants, and refugees is the work of an entire community, country, and world.

_______________

CONMEMORACIÓN EL DÍA INTERNACIONAL DE LOS DESAPARECIDOS

30 DE AGOSTO DE 2016 — Sentado en el escritorio de Colibrí dentro de la Oficina del Médico Forense del Condado de Pima, veo colibríes volando fuera de nuestra ventana con ganas de probar dulce néctar antes de continuar su viaje. Cada pequeño pájaro me hace parar. Mientras observo el rápido latido de sus alas y la forma en que su color brilla en la luz del sol, pienso en el simbolismo que esta pequeña criatura lleva. Las leyendas dicen que el colibrí es un símbolo de la divinidad, una encarnación de la fuerza y la resistencia, y un mensajero entre el cielo y la tierra. Con cada colibrí que vuela cerca, pienso en los desaparecidos. Pienso en el coraje y la tenacidad demostrada por todos los que se embarcó en un peligroso viaje cruzando fronteras. Pienso en los que se perdieron en el camino y cómo, al igual que el colibrí, se convirtieron en mensajeros de una poderosa verdad: la migración es una expresión de amor, un acto tan antiguo como la humanidad, que nunca debe ser criminalizado o fatalmente castigada.

Esta pequeña meditación me parece especialmente relevante para compartir hoy el Día Internacional de los Desaparecidos — un momento de recuerdo y reconocimiento para los cientos de miles de personas a través del mundo que están desaparecidos y cuyas familias tienen que navegar la vida diaria con el dolor incomparable y la ambigüedad que viene con tener un ser querido desaparecido. Para nosotras en el Centro Colibrí de Derechos Humanos, todos los días se dedica a este recuerdo y reconocimiento.

Durante las últimas dos décadas, al menos 2.700 personas han desaparecido al cruzar la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México. Dos-mil-setecientos vidas irremplazables.

Padres y madres.
Hijos e hijas.
Hermanas y hermanos.
[email protected]
[email protected]
Mejores [email protected]

Los desaparecidos nunca se olvidan.

El dolor insoportable y única de la pérdida ambigua sufrido por las familias de los desaparecidos no puede ser aliviado por el paso de tiempo o la presión social de seguir adelante. Este dolor invade todos los aspectos de la vida y se prolonga con la incertidumbre de no saber si su ser querido está vivo o muerto.  El derecho a saber es fundamental. Está documentado en el derecho internacional humanitario y se encuentra en el corazón de los derechos humanos internacionales. Con todo, más allá de nuestra responsabilidad de honrar a la protección legal, tenemos una responsabilidad humana a las familias de los desaparecidos.  Este deber — al igual que todas las cuestiones de la humanidad — trasciende las fronteras.

De manera inequívoca y sin duda alguna, las familias tienen derecho a saber lo que sucedió a su ser querido desaparecido. Aunque el dolor de perder a esta persona nunca se irá, la ambigüedad de la pérdida quizá puede ser aliviado con respuestas.  Esto es lo mínimo — lo mínimo — que podemos hacer para honrar a las familias y a las vidas que han sido perdidos. En su esencia, esto es lo que nuestro trabajo se esfuerza por conseguir cada día en Colibrí. Estamos con las familias en su búsqueda de respuestas – verdaderamente, una búsqueda de la justicia alrededor de esta pérdida profundamente injusta de la preciosa vida humana.

Mientras veo a otro colibrí volando fuera de la ventana, me pregunto cuál es el mensaje que esta criatura pequeña pero poderosa tiene para mí – para nosotros. Sé que nos está diciendo algo y creo que es la siguiente: recordar y honrar los desaparecidos no es para un día especial o una organización; es un deber universal y continuo que todos tenemos como seres humanos. La gente no simplemente desaparecen. Nunca rendimos cuando tiene que ver con nuestros seres queridos. Buscar justicia para esta pérdida de vida no es una cosa para las familias de los desaparecidos solo; es una exigencia que todos hacemos juntos. Luchar en contra de la muerte y desaparición de miles de migrantes, inmigrantes y refugiados es el trabajo de toda una comunidad, el país y el mundo.

We’re Hiring! Announcing a Job Opening at Colibri

The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is a respected nonprofit organization working at the intersections of human rights, forensic science, and immigration advocacy. Founded in 2013 with roots tracing back to 2006, Colibrí has served thousands of migrants and their families and currently manages the largest and most comprehensive database of missing and deceased individuals believed to be migrants for the US-Mexico border.

Colibrí is seeking a highly motivated individual to join our small, hardworking team as our Forensic Specialist.

Please refer to the following for a detailed description and information on applying:

Forensic Specialist

Full Time Position
Salary Commensurate with Experience
Full Benefits (health, dental and vision insurance, 401k)
Located in Tucson, Arizona
2 weeks paid vacation per year
10 sick days per year

The Forensic Specialist will lead the implementation, facilitation, and development of a multi-year DNA Program aimed at identifying the remains of hundreds of unidentified people who died in Arizona while crossing the border. This project will require extensive travel, highly developed organizational skills, and collaboration with multiple actors.

Requirements

Master’s degree or higher in Forensic Anthropology or comparable field
Fully bilingual in Spanish and English (native speakers preferred)
Ability to relocate, if necessary, to Tucson, Arizona
Ability to travel extensively
Strong organizational skills
Ability to speak in Spanish with compassion, sensitivity, and professionalism
Ability to handle emotionally heavy subject matter related to death, grief, and human remains
Ability to collaboratively implement a massive, multi-year project
Ability to delegate tasks, manage interns and other staff, and provide critical feedback and performance reviews
Experience with DNA testing and genetics a plus but not required
Experience in maintaining chain-of-custody relevant to biological samples

Job Description

Utilize Colibrí’s database of over 2,500 missing person reports to contact families of the missing, track their relationships to the missing person, and map their locations
Create a plan for DNA collection using the maps produced by family calls in order to strategically carry out sampling trips
Coordinate with local NGOs and consular officials once collection sites are determined in order to set up sampling meetings
Publicize the event and get RSVP’s from families who plan to attend
Collect Family Reference Samples (FRS) and ensure chain of custody
Facilitate DNA collection, shipping, and tracking
Track DNA reports and matches in Colibrí database
Communicate with forensic scientists and families about DNA results
Notify families of positive identifications

Colibrí is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity as central to our work serving underrepresented communities, and we encourage candidates from a wide range of backgrounds to apply.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume (CV if applicable) to [email protected] by August 31st, 2016.