The Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund is working to help other activist groups in Arizona by providing them with funding and support. They are focused mainly on migrant rights issues because they are located in Phoenix and deal with a lot of immigration issues along the United States and Mexican border. The organization was founded by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, two journalists who have devoted their lives to human, migrant, and civil rights groups.
The two men were arrested from their homes in the middle of the night in 2007 by the corrupt Sheriff in Maricopa County. Larkin and Lacey sued the county for their unjust arrest and were given more than $3 million in settlement money once the country ruled that the arrest had no grounds. They used this money to start the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund so that they could fund other activist groups in the Arizona area.
One of the first groups to ever be funded by the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund was the Colibri group in Arizona. They are family run organization that works to provide relief and support to the families of the missing and dead migrants.
One of the ways that they are able to help is by getting with the families and helping them to compile detailed missing persons reports. Unlike the majority of missing persons reports that are sent out, the Colibri group pays special attention to the small details that make it easier for the medical examiners to identify bodies. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Phoenix New Time
They take information such as tattoos, prayer cards, and defining moles or body marks. These clear and detailed missing persons reports are then sent out to all the organizations and labs in the area to increase the chances that they will be able to find the person.
In addition to this, they are also in the process of implementing a DNA program into their identification system. There are so many bodies found on the border between the United States and Mexico and the majority of them are unable to be identified. This is caused by the harsh weather circumstances in the desert along the crossing area at the border.
It makes it very hard to identify them with photo ID and fingerprint analysis. This means that there are a lot of families who are left wondering what happened to their loved one and they have to live without knowing. So the Colibri group is traveling around Arizona to meet with the families of the missing and collect their DNA.
They then send the DNA samples out to the proper genetics and testing labs. The DNA of the families is compared to the DNA gathered from the bodies. This is going to drastically reduce the number of bodies that go unidentified. The Colibri group also has a family support network so they can better help the families who have lost someone while crossing the border. They give them a place to talk and also use it as a way to figure out how they can provide help.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: