The bodies have been turning up for years, thousands of them, scattered across the borderlands in the American Southwest. Ever-stricter border enforcement has encouraged migrants to avoid cities like San Diego and El Paso and take their chances at remote desert crossings instead. As they trek across the vast, unfamiliar and scorching terrain, many get disoriented and run out of water, with devastating consequences. So far this year, 94 bodies have been recovered in Arizona alone.
Since 2004, a faith-based coalition called No More Deaths has been leaving gallon jugs of water near common migration routes in a desperate bid to save lives.But in May of this year, just as temperatures in the harsh Sonoran Desert climbed above 100 degrees, the group’s volunteers began to notice that their water bottles were being slashed, destroyed or emptied. With violence from ranchers and vigilantes a constant threat, No More Deaths installed hidden cameras. They were surprised at what they found: Border Patrol agents were purposely, even gleefully, destroying the life-saving jugs of water.
Visible on the tape, which will be broadcast for the first time tonight on the PBS show “Need to Know,” are three Border Patrol agents, two men and a woman, walking along a migrant trail and approaching half a dozen one-gallon jugs of water. The female agent stops in front of the containers and begins to kick them, with force, down a ravine. The bottles crash against rocks, bursting open. She’s smiling. One of the agents watching her smiles as well, seeming to take real pleasure in the spectacle. He says something under his breath, and the word “tonk” is clearly audible. “Tonk,” it turns out, is a bit of derogatory slang used by some Border Patrol agents to refer to undocumented immigrants. One agent told me it’s derived from the sound a flashlight makes when you hit someone over the head — tonk. After destroying the entire water supply, the three agents continue along the path.
(In response to specific questions about these events, Border Patrol officials replied only with a general statement emphasizing that misconduct would not be tolerated and that agents were trained to treat migrants with dignity and respect.)
The event was not an anomaly. A volunteer with No More Deaths had complained several months earlier to Lisa Reed, community liaison for the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, that water was being destroyed by agents. Reed responded then with an email saying, “I am preparing a memo from the Chief to all the agents directing them to leave water alone.” The agents on the tape apparently either never got the memo — or simply ignored it.
This attitude extends into the Border Patrol’s holding facilities.
I met Demetrio, a migrant in his early 20s from Veracruz, Mexico, after he was apprehended by the Border Patrol. At the time of his capture, he’d been lost in the Arizona desert without food or water for three days. When he arrived at the Border Patrol custody facility outside Tucson, he told agents he felt sick and was running a fever. “I asked to see a doctor … and they said no,” Demetrio said. “One of them said, ‘Put him in there and let him die.’” They shoved him into an overcrowded cell. He was vomiting blood and felt so faint he could barely stand. Yet, according to Demetrio, he was not given any food or water for at least six to seven hours.
Border Patrol protocol requires agents to provide detainees with food, drinking water and emergency medical services, to hold them under humane conditions, and to refrain from making degrading remarks, but this is rarely honored in practice, say human rights advocates. Over the past 15 years, reports documenting human rights abuses at the hands of Border Patrol agents have been published by Amnesty International, the ACLU, No More Deaths, even the United Nations. Contrary to their own protocols, Border Patrol agents have been accused of systematically denying food and water to migrants in custody, forcing them into overcrowded cells, stealing their money, confiscating medications, and denying them medical treatment. Migrants have described agents hurling verbal abuse, racial slurs and curses, and inflicting sexual assault, physical violence, even death. At least 14 migrants and border residents have died at the hands of Border Patrol agents over the past two years. These practices appear to be systemic, amounting to what No More Deaths calls “a culture of cruelty.”
Disgusting, disgraceful, and shameful. These “people” are a huge blot on our society.
The Maya Are Alive – and Have Made Some Wise Recent Predictions
The Zapatistas foresaw the long-term dangers of globalization. So much for the idea that the Maya are a ‘thing of the past’
When the Maya indigenous peoples of southeast Mexico launched a revolution in 1994, they most certainly did not have in mind the “end of the world.” If there was, in the Zapatista imagination, a date evoking a doomsday, it would have to be January 1, 1994, the date of the inauguration of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
To the Zapatistas, the enactment of economic globalization was nothing short of a “death sentence,” because they understood it could have lethal implications for the land and ancient traditions of the Mayas. On that cool winter’s day, armed with sticks, stones and very little ammunition, the Maya rebels of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) heralded a new era. But new did not mean better: the uprising did not result in the Mexican constitution fully recognizing the indigenous peoples as subjects with juridical status.
Indeed, the long-term repercussions of both economic globalization and the Maya uprising itself, were clearly foreseen by the Zapatistas, who predicted, not an end of the world, but the collapse of the western capitalist economy. Furthermore, Zapatista predictions had a certain sense of “prophecy” – with all the connotations that word has: in the sense of teaching and the sense of foretelling or anticipating. When the EZLN had stated in the first Lacandona declaration that the era of party politics was over, it was not only prophesying alternative ways of making politics – invoking direct democracy (based, incidentally, on ancient Maya traditions, and different from representative democracy), but it was, in fact, anticipating the collapse of some political institutions of western modernity.
In 1999 and 2007 the Mayan rebels’ spokesperson, Subcomandante Marcos, anticipated the collapse of the financial and banking systems. Indeed, the EZLN was predicting nothing less than the demise of Lehman Brothers: “companies and states will crumble in a matter of minutes, not by the storms of proletariat revolutions, but by the onslaught of financial hurricanes.” Were these words not glaringly prophetic?
If anything, the Zapatista Mayan prophecy would have been the announcement of the end of a myth: a realization echoed by the Occupy movement years later. And if myths were crumbling, Nafta marked the beginning of a new series of crises; the Zapatistas were the first truly to understand this, along with the shattering of the promises of modernity.
To the Mexican government, NAFTA had represented legitimate access to the future, a right of entry to the elite club of the emerging powerful corporate world; but, to the Zapatistas, NAFTA came to signify the beginning of a yet another long-fought historical war against colonial and neocolonial voracity. To some, the Maya represent a source of apocalyptic delusion and “a thing of the past” for tourist consumption only. But, asserting that Maya today are extinct, as many do, not only denotes grotesque ignorance and bigotry, but it is a rhetorical manoeuvre to validate their exploitation, conveniently transforming them into cheap labour to cater for their billionaire tourist industry.
Read More at The Guardian
Image Credit: Radio Pozol
Another fucking example of how white people’s lives are always considered more valuable and worthy than us inferior, worthless, brown/black people with dark hair and black eyes.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — At a busy intersection, a girl with a high half ponytail looks at you as she begs for coins. There is dirt beneath her fingernails and her pink shirt looks unwashed. The image in the photo could fit thousands of impoverished Mexican children who sell gum or beg for money in the streets, but for one thing: The girl in this picture is blond.
The flurry of internet attention to the photo, and the quick way officials reacted, has renewed a debate about racism in Mexico, a nation that is proud of its mestizo heritage but where millions of indigenous people live in poverty and passers-by often barely notice the dark-skinned children begging in the street.
It started last week when a Facebook user posted a photo of the girl standing next to a rearview mirror on a Guadalajara street. He apparently suspected she might have been stolen because “her parents are brown,” and said he had already contacted a welfare agency and state prosecutors.
“Let’s spread this photo around,” he wrote.
Tens of thousands shared the photo of the golden-haired, green-eyed girl and dozens commented on it, some thanking him, others complaining the post was racist.
Lino Gonzalez, the spokesman for prosecutors in Jalisco state, where Guadalajara is the capital, said the widespread distribution of the photo was seen as a sort of collective warning, and an investigation was launched.
“The concern was the suspicion the girl had been stolen,” Gonzalez said. “We had to respond because there was suspicion a crime had been committed.”
Officials quickly tracked down the 5-year-old child, put her in a Guadalajara orphanage and detained her 23-year-old mother for two days.
Authorities said she lied about her address and about the father of the girl, first stating he was a foreigner, then saying he was was Mexican, but estranged from her.
The child’s grandmother — who also has green eyes — was able to hand over the birth certificate of the girl. Gonzalez said the mother was released and there were no signs the girl had been kidnapped, though DNA results are pending. Authorities say they are also considering charges of child exploitation.
The case outraged many.
“We need to see a white girl to worry about kidnapping, trafficking of children and child exploitation. I’ve never seen photos of Indian children or simply dark-skinned kids circulating on the Internet with people asking others to help them,” wrote human rights activist Yali Noriega in her blog.
Juchitán, Oaxaca, México
Naa Isabel Tino
Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca, México
“Na Isabel es una sobreviviente de un grupo de mujeres que en 1934 integraron la “Sociedad Femenil Margarita B. de Marín”, y tuvieron como objetivo darle a Unión Hidalgo su primer kiosco. Para ello organizaron bailes y rifas, vendieron carne de cerdo, tamales y dulces. Y fue hasta 1946 bajo la presidencia del club de la Sra. Amable M. de Marín que lograron alcanzar su objetivo. Desafortunadamente ese kiosco que tanto trabajo costó construir fue demolido el 20 de febrero de 1991.
Pintar a Na Isabel como un pequeño homenaje a aquellas mujeres que sin mayores estudios tuvieron la capacidad de organizarse y trabajar por la comunidad. Otras mujeres que integraron dicho club fueron; Benita Azair, Higinia López, Agustina Marín, Teresita Santiago, Florinda López, Eusebia, Fortunata y las maestras Sebastiana Jiménez Ramos y Klelia Pineda Carrasco.”
for yall motherfuckers who need to be educated
Ironically, Irish Catholics came to this country as an oppressed race yet quickly learned that to succeed they had to in turn oppress their closest social class competitors, free Northern blacks. Back home these “native Irish or papists” suffered something very similar to American slavery under English Penal Laws. Yet, despite their revolutionary roots as an oppressed group fighting for freedom and rights, and despite consistent pleas from the great Catholic emancipator, Daniel O’Connell, to support the abolitionists, the newly arrived Irish-Americans judged that the best way of gaining acceptance as good citizens and to counter the Nativist movement was to cooperate in the continued oppression of African Americans. Ironically, at the same time they were collaborating with the dominant culture to block abolition, they were garnering support from among Southern, slaveholding democrats for Repeal of the oppressive English Act of the Union back home. Some even convinced themselves that abolition was an English plot to weaken this country.
Upon hearing of this position on the part of so many of his fellow countrymen now residing in the United States, in 1843 O’Connell wrote: “Over the broad Atlantic I pour forth my voice, saying, come out of such a land, you Irishmen; or, if you remain, and dare countenance the system of slavery that is supported there, we will recognize you as Irishmen no longer.” It’s a tragic story. In a letter published in the Liberator in 1854, it was stated that “passage to the United States seems to produce the same effect upon the exile of Erin as the eating of the forbidden fruit did upon Adam and Eve. In the morning, they were pure, loving, and innocent; in the evening, guilty.”
An article by a black writer in an 1860 edition of the Liberator explained how the Irish ultimately attained their objectives: “Fifteen or twenty years ago, a Catholic priest in Philadelphia said to the Irish people in that city, ‘You are all poor, and chiefly laborers, the blacks are poor laborers; many of the native whites are laborers; now, if you wish to succeed, you must do everything that they do, no matter how degrading, and do it for less than they can afford to do it for.’ The Irish adopted this plan; they lived on less than the Americans could live upon, and worked for less, and the result is, that nearly all the menial employments are monopolized by the Irish, who now get as good prices as anybody. There were other avenues open to American white men, and though they have suffered much, the chief support of the Irish has come from the places from which we have been crowded.”
Once the Irish secured themselves in those jobs, they made sure blacks were kept out. They realized that as long as they continued to work alongside blacks, they would be considered no different. Later, as Irish became prominent in the labor movement, African Americans were excluded from participation. In fact, one of the primary themes of How the Irish Became White is the way in which left labor historians, such as the highly acclaimed Herbert Gutman, have not paid sufficient attention to the problem of race in the development of the labor movement.
I found this part interesting about some Irish Americans who actually fought FOR Mexico against USA. I never knew this:
Oh that there had been other Irish Americans such as the soldiers from St. Patrick’s Battalion who fought on the side of Mexico in the War of 1848, who did remain green and fought against oppression. So perhaps we Irish in America must reclaim our greenness and, perhaps, our anti-racism trainers are right that we all must reclaim our cultural heritage and bring it to the multicultural table. The only stipulation is that we do it in a decidedly anti-racist manner and in solidarity with oppressed classes of people. Maybe we can all share in the sentiment proclaimed in the 1991 movie about Dublin, “The Commitments,” when it was stated that “The Irish are the blacks of Europe, so say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.”
Very interesting… there’s one part in the article which claims that many Asian Latino immigrants in USA identify as “Asian” and not as “Latino” on census surveys. What about East-Indian Latinos? Do they identify as “Asian/Pacific Islander” or “East Indian”? Sometimes, I’ve seen on surveys and census papers that seperate “East Indian” from “Asian/Pacific Islander.”
Asian Latin Americans are Latin Americans of East Asian, Southeast Asian or South Asian descent. Asian Latin Americans have a centuries-long history in the region, starting with Filipinos in the 16th century. The heyday of Asian immigration occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries, however. There are currently more than four million Asian Latin Americans, nearly 1% of Latin America’s population. Chinese and Japanese are the group’s largest ancestries; other major ones include Filipinos, Koreans, and Indians. Brazil is home to the largest population of Asian Latin Americans, at some 2.1 million. The highest ratio of any country in the region is 5%, in Peru. There has been notable emigration from these communities in recent decades, so that there are now hundreds of thousands of people of Asian Latin American origin in both Japan and the United States.
The first Asian Latin Americans were Filipinos who made their way to Latin America (particularly Mexico) in the 16th century, as sailors, crews, prisoners, slaves, adventurers and soldiers during the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. For two and a half centuries (between 1565 and 1815) many Filipinos sailed on the Manila-Acapulco Galleons, assisting in the Spanish Empire’s monopoly in trade. Some of these sailors never returned to the Philippines, and many of their descendants can be found in small communities around Baja California, Sonora, Mexico City, and others.
In the 19th century, thousands of Indian labourers of Tamil descent from the Indian French colonial settlements of Madras, Pondichéry, Chandernagor and Karikal were brought to French Guiana, Guadeloupe & Martinique to work in plantations.
Most Chinese-Latin Americans descended from the Coolie slave trade, and most are found in the Caribbean, especially in Cuba and Peru. They are also closely related to Afro-Asian people in Latin America.
Most Asians, however, arrived in the 19th and 20th century as contract workers or economic migrants. Today, the overwhelming majority of Asian Latin Americans are of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean descent. Japanese migration mostly came to a halt after World War II (with the exception of Japanese settlement in the Dominican Republic), while Korean migration mostly came to an end by the 1980s (though it still continues in Guatemala) and Chinese migration remains ongoing in a number of countries.
Settlement of war refugees has been extremely minor: a few dozen ex-North Korean soldiers went to Argentina and Chile after the Korean War, and some Hmong went to French Guiana after the Vietnam War.
check out the statistics for Indians in Latin America (PDF).
Editado: Este artículo ha sido traducido ha Español.
The bride wears a huipil of Pinotepa de Don Luis - very simple with little embroidery - ” one of her arms in the arm openings of the huipil. The other arm is inside the garment. This is the way that huipiles were worn for weddings. If the woman is buried in her wedding huipil, both arms will be placed through the armholes.”
“The photo of the young Mixtec bride was published in Volume One of The Ephemeral and the Eternal of Mexican Folk Art (1971). The photographer is identified as Irmgard W. Johnson.”
- information courtesy of Teyacapan.
“Este novia joven es de la ciudad de Pinotepa de Don Luis, “una ciudad y un municipio en el distrito de Jamiltepec, al oeste de la Región Costa de Oaxaca, México.”
“La novia lleva un huipil de Pinotepa de Don Luis - muy simple, con poco bordado - “uno de sus brazos en las aberturas del brazo del huipil. El otro brazo está dentro de la prenda. Esta es la forma en que se usaban huipiles para las bodas. Si la mujer es enterrada en su huipil boda, ambos brazos se colocan a través de las mangas.”
“La foto de la novia joven Mixteca fue publicado en el Volumen Uno de Lo Efímero Y Lo Eterno del Arte Popular Mexicano (1971). El fotógrafo está identificado como Irmgard W. Johnson. “
- Información cortesía de Teyacapan.
Your blue and baby pink zig-zag iPhone cover is not Aztec.
Your short shorts with the patterned pockets are not Aztec.
Your fingernail designs are not Aztec.
Your laptop case is not Aztec.
And your hipster, photoshopped pictures of you posing dramatically in a field or a desert or wherever is definitely not Aztec.
You know what is actually Aztec? Multiple ethnic groups of Central Mexico. The Nahuatl language is Aztec. The archaeological remains of Tenochtitlan are Aztec. Mexico’s coat-of-arms is Aztec.
And that Mayan calendar that everyone assumes is part of some nonsensical prophesy? The picture that’s now my icon? That’s actually the Aztec calendar.
Here, if you’re being ridiculous and offensive to cultures that have been oppressed and stepped on for centuries, you can expect to be called out on it.
Your “cute and hipster” knick-knacks are institutionalized racism.
No estoy llorando, se me metió una medalla de oro en el ojo. \o/