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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by AZCENTRAL.COM:

Joaquin Estevan belonged on both sides. He moved freely across the border, splitting his time between the United States and his tiny tribal village in Mexico.

He needed to cross again in March, so he hitched a ride and bounced over five miles of desert to the San Miguel Gate, in a remote spot west of Nogales. There, members of the Tohono O’odham tribe are supposed to cross the international boundary between Mexico and Arizona.

The article goes on to state the following:

A truck waited on the Arizona side to take him into Sells, the capital of the Tohono O’odham Nation. He walked to the gate and showed the Border Patrol agent his purple-and-gold tribal ID card, the piece of plastic that allowed Tohono O’odham tribal members like him to travel across the border.

So began the story that has spread north and south of the border, told in Facebook posts and private conversations. No one person seems to know everything, and versions of the story vary in their details. No official source will weigh in. But every account points to one inciting event:

The Border Patrol agent turned Joaquin away.

Joaquin moved west, to a spot where the agent couldn’t see him. There, he walked across the invisible line and knocked on the first house he found. He needed a ride. The occupant of the house agreed to help. They headed north, but were stopped by the same Border Patrol agent. The agent approached the window and peered inside. He recognized Joaquin.

It is at this point that Joaquin Estevan was reportedly arrested and shuttled to Tucson, then Florence, where he would later say he kept to himself because he spoke only O’odham.

The report goes on:

Now, activists and tribal leaders have seized upon the incidents as what they say is the most obvious proof yet of the Border Patrol’s increasingly aggressive presence on O’odham land. They call it a violation of tribal sovereignty.

“Why would they want to pick up an O’odham that’s on his own land?” said José Martin Garcia Lewis, governor of the O’odham in Sonora, who said he met with Ernesto in Nogales. “That is our territory.”

Read more abut this story at AZ CENTRAL.

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