|Udu-Gama, Bourgeois walk around border fence, enter U.S. "without inspection."|
Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of School of the Americas Watch, and SOAW field organizer Nico Udu-Gama entered the United States--their country of citizenship--without inspection Sunday in a direct act of nonviolent civil disobedience. Their action climaxed a week-long delegation visit of solidarity with human rights activists on the U.S.-Mexico border.
As supporters chanted "Bienvenidos" ["Welcome"] the two returned to the U.S. side of the vigil after communing with supporters on the Mexico side of the fence during a street drama held at the end of the chain link border fence between Sunland Park, NM and Anapra, Chihuahua. The two explained the significance of their action upon re-entry. Their remarks were interrupted by a low fly-over by a helicopter, an illustration of the militarization of the border they denounced.
Bourgeois and Udu-Gama were arrested by Border Patrol agents following the vigil activities. They were detained for some hours then released without being charged.
Images of landmark Cristo Rey statue atop El Paso's Mount Cristo Rey created a dramatic backdrop for the street drama. People of faith consider noncompliance with U.S. law in protest of the U.S. foreign and economic policies that create violence and lead to countless deaths as an expression of their spirituality.
Still images of the action can be found here, here, extended video coverage here.