Border deaths

August 15, 2014 11:00 am

Database of individuals who have died attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Click here to load this Caspio Bridge DataPage.

Total border deaths by calendar year:

2001: 75*
2002: 145*
2003: 154*
2004: 168
2005: 198
2006: 169
2007: 211
2008: 168
2009: 186
2010: 225
2011: 182
2012: 157
2013: 167
2014 through Aug. 5: 79

With no official record-keeping system, the exact number of illegal border crossers who died along Arizona's stretch of U.S.-Mexican border has never been know. In the summer of 2004, the Arizona Daily Star started compiling border deaths recorded by Pima, Cochise and Yuma County medical examiners in an effort to present an accurate tally of the numbers of people who die crossing into the United States illegally through Southern Arizona. The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office handles bodies found in Santa Cruz and Pinal Counties as well.

In the summer of 2010, the Arizona Daily Star updated existing cases in the database with new information from the medical examiner's offices; such as names, ages, hometowns and cause of death. The Arizona Daily Star also retrofitted the database to include deaths from 2001-2003 from the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office, the only office that tracked border deaths during those years. The data originally went back to October 2003.

We hope this database provides a service to the loved ones of those who have disappeared. We also hope it helps the general public gain perspective on the number of lives lost.

To report somebody who is missing who tried crossing the border through Arizona or for help trying to locate them, contact:
• Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office: 520-243-8600
• Mexican Consulate Call Center: 1-877-632-6678
• Coalición de Derechos Humanos: 520-770-1373
• National Missing and Unidentified Persons System website:

* 2001-2002 figures includes deaths only from the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office. Yuma and Cochise county medical examiner's did not track border deaths during these years.

* 2003 includes deaths from the Pima and Cochise county medical examiner's offices, and from Yuma from October through December.

• In print, the Arizona Daily Star often reports the number of fiscal-year border deaths in the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector only, which is different than the number in this database because the sector doesn't include Yuma County and because the fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 - Sept. 30.

For questions about this database, contact Star border beat reporter Perla Trevizo at 573-4213 or