US-Mexico border deaths monument

Dublin Core


US-Mexico border deaths monument


“This is a monument for those who have died attempting to cross the US-Mexican border. Each coffin represents a year and the number of dead. It is a protest against the effects of Operation Guardian. Taken at the Tijuana-San Diego border” (Castelazo). In this photograph, taken by Tomas Castelazo, we can see various coffins propped against the wall of the Mexican-American border with years ranging from 1995 to 2004. The peak year for deaths was 2000 with approximately 499 deaths. Every year after 1998 has had more than 300 deaths demonstrating the stricter U.S. border patrol which forces illegal immigrants to cross in more remote areas where they put their lives’ at even more risk since no assistance can be possibly provided for them if they are in the middle of the dessert or canyon dying of dehydration or freezing to death. This photograph shows both a statistical yet not so detached aspect of risky border crossing. To some extent, it puts a face to the number of deaths by displaying them with coffins. Such an image of coffins, a border wall, and a number of deaths will certainly leave a more permanent mark on your memory than a mere statistic that you read of a newspaper article.


Tomas Castelazo



30 November 2007


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Date Added
November 15, 2010
Item Type
Still Image
Tomas Castelazo, “US-Mexico border deaths monument,” Borders, accessed March 24, 2019,
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