Our methodology note

Part of
Published on: December 1, 2022

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While reporting this story we relied on open records requests, historic documents, public databases, international treaties and legislative records. We also immersed ourselves in books, films and other media. Here is just some of what we consumed.

Futuro Investigates spoke to academics, volunteers, policy analysts and advocates to learn more about border deaths, many who didn’t make it into our story. Those include:

Kino Border Initiative
People Helping People
Roxanna Altholz, from the International Human Rights Clinic (Berkeley Law)
Jenn Budd, activist and former Border Patrol agent
Adam Isacson, from WOLA
Jennifer Johnson, from The Southern Border Communities Coalition
Gail Kocourek, from Casa de la Esperanza
Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, from The American Immigration Council
Ari Sawyer, from Human Rights Watch
Azadeh Shahshahani, from Project South
Gabriella Soto, from Arizona State University
Joel Smith, Humane Borders
Mike Kreyche, Mapping Team, Humane Borders
No More Deaths
Dr. Sam Chambers
Ajo Samaritans
Tucson Samaritans


  • The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De Leon
  • The End of Policing by Alex Vitale
  • Border and Rule by Harsha Walia



Art/Cultural Institutions

Data for this story were obtained by Futuro Investigates through publicly available documents as well as open records requests. Thanks to our partners at the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, Daniela Guazo and Daniel Gómez Hernández, for the data visualizations and maps used in this story.

Special thanks to Jess Alvarenga for their original reporting and production and to Ruxandra Guidi for her editing work on the early stages of this project. Thank you to Fernanda Santos and Hector Luis Alamo for their revisions to the articles for this investigation. And to Diane Sylvester, founding executive producer of Futuro Unidad Hinojosa and Kara Andrade for her early editing work for this story.

This reporting was made possible with support from the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Hispanics in Philanthropy. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona for their early support of this work.

Banner photo by Jess Alvarenga for Futuro Media

The work of Futuro Investigates is made possible by the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Tow Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Michelle Mercer and Bruce Golden, and Hispanics in Philanthropy.