Category Archives: Activism

Joe Arpaio – The man who’s Behind the Frontera Fund


Frontera Fund by Lacey and Larkin is a fund set apart for providing financial support to groups that address human, civil and migrant rights in Arizona reaching up to Mexican Border. It is possible for one to know the existence of the fund without a proper understanding of how it came to be. Well, the origin has about ten years, in October 2007, Sheriff Arpaio sent armed deputies of Maricopa County to arrest Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey. These two co-founders and executives of the Village Voice Media and Phoenix times were forcibly removed from their homes at the wee hours of the night into unmarked SUVs of Mexican license plates with dark tinted windows. The destination would be two separate jails where they would serve their sentence as Joe conceived in his mind.


The two deputies with handcuffs were just agents sent by their senior Joe Arpaio who had taken pride as the America’s toughest Sheriff. Notably, Phoenix New Times had done an expose on his misconduct and misuse of his power. The report in the daily offered a detailed explanation of how Joe had taken a patriarchal and domineering role in fostering anti-Mexican, political posturing and fear mongering throughout Arizona.


Further, Phoenix New Times reported mismanagement of the Sheriff’s office as well funds embezzlement in the office which had become a routine practice. With misused resources, Joe Arpaio’s jails were in substandard conditions at times leading to the deaths of the inmates. Mistreatment and deaths of inmates were not unheard of as well as the unlawful detention of the Latinos coupled with rampant racial profiling.


When Joe Arpaio realized the story had been covered, he went ahead to seek identity of the writers, editors and online readers of the Phoenix New Times to arrest them. This would happen through seeking reader’s IP address. Lacey and Larkin instead of giving in to the orders, they wrote another story regarding that matter which resulted in their arrest. However, due to a national outcry, they were released in less than a day with no charges and a compensation of $3.75 million which was used to form the Frontera fund. It is therefore worth noting the input of Arpaio to the formation of the Frontera fund albeit from a rather controversial angle. Mr. Arpaio did not anticipate how the case of Lacey and Larkin would go as they eventually won the case.