On October 10, 2012, sixteen-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodriguez was in his hometown of Nogales, Mexico when Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz fired 10 shots across the border and killed him. Since then, José Antonio’s family has demanded justice, including organizing monthly vigils, protests, and other actions, including legal actions. His family is one of the founding families of the Border Patrol Victims Network. Many of you may remember hearing from Araceli Rodriguez, José Antonio’s mother, and Taide Elena, his grandmother, at previous SOA Watch Vigils and Encuentros. As they prepare to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of José Antonio’s murder by the U.S. Border Patrol, Taide Elena and the Elena Rodriguez family have invited the SOA Watch movement to join their family at the border for the 10 year anniversary Vigil this October.
On October 8 & 9, 2022, join us in accompanying the Elena Rodriguez family and the Border Patrol Victims Network in Ambos Nogales (Arizona and Sonora) to uplift the memory of José Antonio and countless victims of border militarization. We are grateful to the family of José Antonio for the invitation to stand in solidarity with them.
In addition to supporting the Vigil to commemorate José Antonio, the convening will include panel discussions, art making and sharing, the breaking of bread, and building of community together in pursuit of justice for all victims of border militarization and Border Patrol brutality. While this event will not be of the size and scope of previous Encuentros, it will be our annual gathering for 2022.
This is a cross-border mobilization and we acknowledge and understand there may be limitations to participation due to citizenship status and privilege. Please note that although there will not be simultaneous programming, there will be opportunities to participate on one or both sides of the border. We also understand not everyone may be comfortable traveling given COVID-19. (For more on COVID-19 precautions, see the registration page.) We hope to share the events online as they occur for those unable to join us in person. We encourage all to participate in the ways they are able and feel called to do so.
Please mark your calendar for On the Line: Border Convening 2022 in Ambos, Nogales on October 8th and 9th. We look forward to sharing a weekend of creative resistance, communal remembrance, and a shared recommitment to solidarity across borders. We will share more details soon, in the meantime you can pre-register for the event using this link.