August 2007 Archives



(Picture of the Ladies of La Patrona as they give food and water to migrants. La Jornada / Nathalie Seguin Tovar)

I've written so much about injustice, lately, that I thought I would focus on something positive, for once. "Las Mujeres de La Patrona" are more than positive. They are humanity's hope. They stand up for all of us with their goodness.

As Central American migrants cling to rickety old trains with the hopes of making it North the are exploited by police, corrupt officials, and gang members.  But a small town on the outskirts of Cordoba in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, offers a welcome respite. The Ladies of La Patrona, who have very little means, give all that they can to the migrants passing on the trains. Why? Just because it's right.


(a picture of Central American migrants I took in Arriaga, Mexico)

Everyone has heard the stories of migrants crossing the desert to get into the U.S.  For people that favor including them in the U.S.'s history of immigration, these are the modern day pilgrims.  They brave thirst and heat for an "American Mirage."

This is a false narrative.  Unfortunately, what most migrants go through is much worse than a simple trek through the desert to flee poverty.  The narratives begin long before that, lost in the untold stories of migrants that didn't make it.
On Friday August 10, JTD sent me this email:

I assume you're aware of the savage, horrible shooting down in NJ last week, of 4 young college students...Turns out, one of the murder suspects is an illegal immigrant (from Peru) ...

If they haven't started already, get ready for a wave of huffing-and-puffing from Fox Noise, Michelle Malkin, the Right Wing Nuts, Freak Show, et al., on how this is a sign to aggressively clamp down on illegal aliens... Tancredo will probably come back from vacation with more draconian legislation, etc...

Haven't noticed any of the GOP Presidential candidates jumping on it yet, but, then again, they probably haven't gotten the smear talking points yet...
I can't believe how right he was.  It's been less than two weeks since three young students were executed in New Jersey and Michelle Malkin has already used this as an opportunity to start a national campaign against "criminal aliens".  I don't have a problem with political opportunism, I have a problem with the harmful misinformation she's spreading.


(Picture from Prensa Libre, a woman has her identification cut by a Migration employee)

Guatemala's main newspaper, Prensa Libre, published an article entitled "Wave of Deportees".  I recommend you read it in Spanish if you can, because it is written beautifully, but I have translated the article for those who only speak English.  It chronicles what Guatemalan deportees are going through better than most English language media, but more importantly it tackles the issues no one speaks about: what all of this means for a nation like Guatemala.  Very few people even consider the countries that people come from in the U.S. "immigration debate", and even fewer act on the increasing pressure that Emigration States are facing.  When bettering Emigration States is the only real way that we are going to fix the problems associated with migration, it's kind of ridiculous the issue is hardly ever brought up, much less acted upon.

'Saving' Lost Children

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(BBC picture of Guatemalan indigenous women and children randomly paired with adoption articles)

Guatemala made the international press, today, and as usual the reporting has done more to misinform than to inform, it has done more harm than good.  The BBC and the Associated Press are reporting on a raid of an adoption house, Casa Quivira, supposedly full of stolen children.  The local Guatemalan press, however, has not even reported on it.  Couple that with shoddy international reporting and it's likely that all of this is bogus.  As far as I can tell this is just a stunt by the Guatemalan government that the international press fell for hook, line, and sinker.


It is time to boycott Chiquita Brands International, Inc. I covered Chiquita for the first time almost five months ago. Since then, I have gotten over 30 blogs to cover the fact that Chiquita pled guilty to "Engaging in Transactions with a Specially-Designated Global Terrorist". Finally, this scandal is getting the attention it deserves. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal ran front page stories on Chiquita's indictment. While I will continue my campaign to get blogs to cover this issue, it is clear that we need to step up what I have humbly named the Campaign for International Justice. It is time to boycott Chiquita.
A Brazilian national, Edmar Alvez Araujo, died in federal custody after he couldn't get access to mediction for his epilepsy.  According the Boston Globe, Araujo was apprehended on Tuesday by the Woonsocket Police Department after a traffic stop.  He was transferred to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency due to an outstanding deportation order from 2002. ICE took custody of Araujo at 3 p.m.  He was pronounced dead at the Rhode Island Hospital at 4:18 p.m.

Araujo's sister, Irene, said she was turned away by the Woonsocket police when she tried to give him his medication.  The MetroWest Daily got this quote Irene Araujo:

  "Yesterday, I was wondering how I was going to tell my mother Edmar was going to be deported," she said. "Now, I don't know how I am going to tell her Edmar is dead."

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