Humanitarian aid workers accuse U.S. Customs & Border Patrol agents of sabotaging their efforts. The federal agency says they welcome any evidence that shows agents violating policies and will discipline anyone responsible.
The organization No More Deaths places thousands of gallons of water each year in strategic areas of the Arizona desert near the border. The water is meant to assist immigrants crossing the border who risk dying of thirst on the treacherous journey.
The aid group claims they routinely find the containers of water punctured or damaged.
"We recorded three years of data from 2012 to 2015 which documents over 3,500 gallons vandalized during that time period," said Alicia Vinsmore, a spokeswoman for the Tucson-based No More Deaths.
A spokesperson for The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says agents are instructed not to steal or destroy anything intended as aid for migrants.
"We share common goals with non-government organizations to preserve human life," said Tucson sector agent Chris Sullivan.
He added the agency addressed issues several years ago brought to their attention involving agents shown on camera destroying water stations and that if there is new evidence, they want to see it.
“If we were told right away (of the allegations)," Sullivan said, "we can address the agents, fix the problem and remedy the situation."
Video from 2010 shows an agent emptying a container right in front of a humanitarian worker's camera. A 2012 hidden video shows another agent kicking away containers of water left for border crossers.
No More Deaths released video from last year showing a Border Patrol agent allegedly puncturing water containers. Another shows an agent taking away a blanket left for border crossers.
The group also released photos of water jugs and canned food punctured.