September 22, 2020

News Roundup: Mexico challenges unauthorized hysterectomies, Kirkpatrick fights for another term

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, September 22.

Arizona COVID-19 one-week snapshot, Oct. 19

Since last week, Arizona reported 5,847 new cases (3% increase), 71 more deaths (1% increase) and a statewide positive test rate of 8.1%. The state reported a daily average of 835 cases and 10 deaths. Choose a Layerlayer and click on a county to learn more.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: ADHS, county health departments, Census 2018 Quick Facts. *Test numbers are totals including diagnostic and serology tests. Positive test rate is calculated using reported case and test totals. Daily reports may not reflect recent data, the state says.

Cases 214,846 | Deaths 5,498

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 595 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths. On the same day, the United States COVID-19 reported death toll passed 200,000.


Congressional veteran hopes for another term

AZPM

Ann Kirkpatrick wants voters to send her back to Congress for another term. She has represented the First and Second Congressional Districts in Arizona for five previous terms.

The southern Arizona Democrat said the 2020 campaign is like no other in her career.

“It’s an interesting time quite honestly. You know my favorite thing is to go door-to-door, talk to voters, meet them on their doorstep and you just can’t do that now. So, we’ve had to switch everything to virtual and that’s been tough,” said Kirkpatrick.

In January, Kirkpatrick publicly admitted to struggling with alcoholism and took a brief leave of absence to seek treatment. She returned to work at the end of February just as the pandemic was hitting the United States.

Learn more here.


Army veteran hopes to unseat Kirkpatrick

AZPM

Brandon Martin ran in the Republican primary for Arizona’s Second Congressional District in 2018 and lost. He won the primary in 2020 and is now challenging Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick for her seat.

Arizona’s second district includes the eastern part of Pima County and all of Cochise County.

Martin served 11 years in the Army Reserves in an intelligence unit. He served one tour in Afghanistan.

“I came back here in 2006 and I started working for the Army and I’ve worked for the Army ever since in some capacity. So, my whole adult life has been about service. And then almost nine years ago my daughter was born at the TMC in Tucson. And southern Arizona is home for me, and I want to leave our district and our nation better for my kid and all of our children,” Martin said.

Martin lives in Sierra Vista. He said his top priority for the district has changed due to the pandemic. Now, he’s focused on the economy, jobs, and helping small business.

“The people that are really employing the heart and soul of this community are being affected. The government needs to inform the people on the issues on what’s going on, how to safely reopen the economy but we have to get everybody back to work because every job is essential,” said Martin.

To accomplish that, Martin said, if elected he will sponsor legislation he calls “The Liberate the Economy and The American Paychecks Act.”

“It calls for tax cuts for every bracket down to 10 percent so we can get more money in people’s pockets and their bank accounts so they can spend it on things they need which is also going to help fuel the economy. And so, we’ve taken some looks at that. But also, we’ve put forward some cuts to some permitting processes and regulations,” he said.

The district is a border district where the Trump administration is currently building new sections of wall. Martin said he is not sure that new laws are what is needed to deal with the border.

“We have to enforce the laws that are on the books. What good does it do to create new laws if you’re not enforcing the one that you already have?” Martin questioned.

But Martin says he is not against immigration.

“People that want to come here because America is the greatest country in the world, let’s do so legally… and then we can work towards helping these folks and continue to push a merit based program that adds to America that puts people in a position to make more and better for themselves that way not only are they improving their lives but we’re also improving the nation,” said Martin.

Martin has not held political office before but said he is confident he can accomplish things at the Capitol regardless of whether he is in the political majority or minority.


Mexico Demands Reports On Alleged Unauthorized Hysterectomies, Sexual Abuse In ICE Custody

Fronteras Desk

MEXICO CITY — Two immigration detention centers were accused of serious violations of human rights, including involuntary surgeries and sexual abuse. Mexico’s government has formally requested from U.S. authorities a report on the alleged negligent practices.

Mexico’s secretary of Foreign Affairs, through its consulates in Atlanta and El Paso, is asking for detailed reports on the alleged violations. The accusations point to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

One points at a doctor in Irwin, Georgia, who reportedly practiced a series of unauthorized hysterectomies — or uterus removal — on immigrant women, some of them Mexican nationals.

In a press release, the Mexican government says it wants to clarify the facts and identify Mexican people who may have been affected, to guarantee that their rights are respected.

Several U.S.-based human rights organizations are putting together legal complaints while pushing for investigations.


Mexican Security Head Highlights Sonoran Violence Hotspots, Drop In Kidnapping

Fronteras Desk

Mexico’s top security official recently highlighted several parts of Sonora as particularly troubling when it comes to murder.

Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo, a native of the state, pointed to three Sonoran municipalities during a recent press conference: Empalme, neighboring Guaymas, which includes the popular beach resort of San Carlos, and Caborca.

Explaining the hotspots concentrated in Northwestern Mexico, he said they are in the zones with “the largest shipments of drugs toward the world’s most important market, which is the United States.”

Learn more here.


Navajo to extend weekend lockdown because of new virus cases

AP

WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation is implementing a stricter weekend lockdown as it looks into new clusters of coronavirus cases. Residents of the vast reservation that extends into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah will be required to stay home from Friday evening until early Monday morning. A previous lockdown was a day shorter.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez says the tribe is investigating new cases that resulted from family gatherings around Ganado, Arizona, and on the eastern side of the reservation in New Mexico. A new public health order with the extended lockdown is expected Tuesday.

Learn more here.


Tucson police officer arrested for hitting cuffed suspect

AP

Tucson police have arrested one of their officers for striking a suspect who was handcuffed and down on the ground. Authorities say Officer William Gallego was booked Sunday on one count of aggravated assault. He resigned from the police department before his arrest.

The incident started when other officers made an arrest for trespassing after a fight broke out involving several people. Gallego was at the scene to assist. Police say Gallego recognized the suspect from a previous incident. An internal review of body camera footage showed Gallego deliberately hit the suspect in the head with his shin twice while walking past him.

Learn more here.


1 man dead, another seriously hurt in Tucson wall collapse

AP

Authorities say one man is dead and another seriously injured after a wall collapsed at an office building on Tucson’s southwest side. Tucson Fire Department officials say crews were called out about 10 a.m. Tuesday. They say one victim was declared dead at the scene and the other was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

The names and ages of the two men weren’t immediately released. It was unclear what the victims were doing at the time of the wall collapse and authorities didn’t immediately know why the collapse occurred.

Learn more here.


US: Mexican man with dehydration symptoms dies in Arizona

AP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say a man from Mexico has died at a Tucson hospital after showing symptoms of dehydration. They say the 30-year-old man died Monday. His name wasn’t immediately released.

The man was at a centralized processing facility operated by U.S. Border Patrol on Sunday. Medical personnel assigned to the Tucson Coordination Center became aware that the man in their custody had dehydration symptoms. Border Patrol officials say the man died at the hospital after doctors were unable to resuscitate him.

Learn more here.


Suspect in Tucson double homicide turns himself in to police

AP

Police in Tucson say a suspect has been arrested in connection with a double homicide last week. They say 19-year-old Raul Corrales turned himself in to police on Sunday. After being interviewed, police say Corrales was booked into the Pima County jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder.

Police didn’t disclose a possible motive for the double homicide . They say 21-year-old Manaury Acevedo was found mortally wounded Friday night on midtown Tucson street near a stopped SUV. They say 20-year-old Javier Araiza Lugo was found fatally shot in an alley as officers canvassed the neighborhood for evidence. A handgun was found near Acevedo and detectives determined that he and Lugo were both in the SUV when the shooting occurred.

Learn more here.


Border Patrol: Agent fatally shot person after being stabbed

AP

NOGALES — The U.S. Border Patrol says an agent fatally shot someone who stabbed the agent multiple times. It happened Monday evening as the agent was patrolling on foot east of Nogales.

The Border Patrol says the agent was able to fire his weapon despite being stabbed, killing the person. The agent was flown to a Tucson hospital where he was treated and released.

The FBI said Tuesday that it is investigating the assault of a federal officer but declined to provide further details. The Border Patrol didn't immediately respond to a request for more information, including the identities of the agent and the person killed.

Learn more here.


Tuskegee airman from Arizona who flew in 3 wars dies at 95

AP

NOGALES — A member of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen who died in Arizona will be remembered this week. Martinez Funeral Chapels in Nogales confirmed a funeral for George Washington Biggs is scheduled for Thursday. Biggs died Saturday at age 95. His daughter, Rose Biggs-Dickerson, told The Arizona Republic that her father had been living in a senior-care facility in Tucson.

A native of Nogales, Biggs enlisted in 1943 at age 18 with the U.S. Army Air Corps _ which later became the U.S. Air Force. He was placed in an elite group of fighter pilots trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute.

Learn more here.


Arizona Senate race could impact confirmation of new justice

AP

PHOENIX — If Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly wins a seat in the U.S. Senate, he could take office as early as Nov. 30. A Kelly victory would shrink the GOP’s Senate majority at a crucial moment and complicate the path to confirmation for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Kelly has maintained a consistent polling lead over Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat held by the late John McCain.

Because the contest is a special election to finish McCain’s term, the winner could be sworn in as soon as the results are officially certified. Other winners in the November election won’t take office until January.

Learn more here.

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