Following the searchers into the desert

Volunteers search for a missing person on Aug. 28, 2021, near Three Points, Arizona. Photo by Bear Guerra for BuzzFeed News.

In August, Homelands’ Bear Guerra accompanied volunteers with the group Aguilas del Desierto (Eagles of the Desert) as they searched for missing migrants in the desert near the Mexico-Arizona border. Nine of his photos appear in the BuzzFeed News article “We Know How They Suffer” by staff reporter Adolfo Flores.

Most of the Aguilas del Desierto volunteers themselves made the treacherous journey across the desert on their way to the United States. The group receives hundreds of calls per year from loved ones seeking help locating missing persons. So far in 2021, Flores reports, the Border Patrol has recovered more than 380 human remains in the desert and has made more than 10,000 rescues.

Guerra, a native of San Antonio who lives in Tucson, frequently covers border issues. In addition to his freelance work, he is also the photo editor of High Country News.