Voces de California hablan, ayudan y documentan el cruce fronterizo

12 de diciembre de 2012

Por Virginia Bulacio para El Nuevo Sol de California State University, Northridge

Muro/pared en la frontera – Sitio N º 4, US-México, Tijuana, Baja California Norte, México (Estamos Buscando A), 2003. © Paul Turounet, 2012. Exclusive permission and use courtesy of Paul Turounet – http://paulturounet.com

Los Ángeles, California.– Clara (nombre ficticio para proteger su identidad) recuerda que llevaba lo necesario en su mochila para su viaje: galones de agua y sándwiches. Los nervios se apoderaron de ella cuando sus guías le contaban las historias de sufrimiento en la frontera de México y Estados Unidos. Clara, traumatizada de miedo, sentía una profunda tristeza por abandonar su escuela y su país de origen.

Clara tenía quince años en 1994 cuando cruzó por primera vez la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos, junto a sus padres y otros familiares que buscaban mejorar su situación económica.

“Me daba mucho miedo, nunca me había imaginado de que yo iba a pasar por la situación”, dice Clara al recordar su experiencia. “Habían mochilas que las dejaban tiradas porque ya no aguantaban, incluso decían de que habían hasta cadáveres tirados, se oían coyotes”.

Clara y su familia durmieron durante el día escondidos debajo de árboles y al oscurecer caminaron alrededor de 16 horas en camino a San Diego, California, pero fueron detenidos por agentes de inmigración.

Vea el reportaje completo en el sitio de El Nuevo Sol

Vea nuestra cobertura de la frontera en el sitio de El Nuevo Sol

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Remembering Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez: Day of the Dead in Nogales

November 6, 2012

By Murphy Woodhouse for NACLA

On November 2, high above Nogales, Sonora at the Colinas del Buen Pastor cemetery, Taide Elena placed two lit candles on the grave of her grandson, 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez.

Taide Elena, Jose Antonio's grandmother, paying her respects at her grandson's grave. Credit: Josh Morgan

Taide Elena, Jose Antonio’s grandmother, paying her respects at her grandson’s grave. Credit: Josh Morgan

“Era mi niño,” she said over and over again through tears. He was my boy. He was my boy.

Colinas del Buen Pastor was teeming with people this Day of the Dead. Several families had hired Banda and Norteño musicians to play at their burial plots. Multiple generations sat together around memorials— drinking, eating, laughing, and remembering. But Elena, mourning a death just three weeks past, came alone, left her ofrenda, or offering, cried, and walked away. The tears soon stopped but the shell-shocked expression of someone slowly working through a sudden and inexplicable tragedy held on longer. Later on that evening, you could still it in the long stares of her large, expressive eyes.

Walking to her car, Elena shared a memory of her grandson, who had been living at his grandparents’ house, just a few blocks south of where he died, for several years since the death of his father and his mother’s decision shortly thereafter to move to Navojoa, Sonora to look for work.

“What I miss most about him is that he always greeted me with a hug and a kiss when he came home,” she said. “He was very loving.”

Elena was heading back toward the port of entry, where people were starting to gather on both sides of the border for the first binational march protesting the death of her grandson. On the evening of October 10, a border patrol agent shot and killed José Antonio, who was approaching the end of his secondary education when he died. The incident is still under investigation.

Read the rest of the story at NACLA.

Family of Jose Antonio Demands Justice in Nogales March

October 20, 2012

By Murphy Woodhouse for the Tucson Weekly

From left to right: Taide Elena, Araceli Rodriguez, Selma Barrón and Andrea Paula Elena Rodriguez, Jose Antonio's younger sister, protest in front of the U.S./Mexico port of entry Saturday morning. About 30 family members, friends and supporters of Jose Antonio attended the protest, which started at Plaza de Hildalgo and continued to the port of entry and then to the site where Elena Rordriguez was shot. Credit: Josh Morgan

From left to right: Taide Elena, Araceli Rodriguez, Selma Barrón and Andrea Paula Elena Rodriguez, Jose Antonio’s younger sister, protest in front of the U.S./Mexico port of entry Saturday morning. About 30 family members, friends and supporters of Jose Antonio attended the protest, which started at Plaza de Hildalgo and continued to the port of entry and then to the site where Elena Rordriguez was shot. Credit: Josh Morgan

Chanting demands for justice and a thorough investigation, roughly 30 friends, relatives and supporters of the slain 16-year-old Nogales, Sonora, resident José Antonio Elena Rodriguez marched to the Sonoran side of the downtown port-of-entry Saturday morning.

José Antonio was killed the evening of Oct. 10 in a Border Patrol shooting that is still under investigation on both sides of the border.

The march ended a few blocks west, at the site of José Antonio’s death, near the corner of Internacional and Ingenieros. Standing just feet away from that corner, anger comes easily to Araceli Rodriguez, the young man’s mother.

“They’ve taken a piece of my heart. It’s where they buried him,” she said. “No one is going to return my son to me. No one can give me back the hugs I gave him, the kisses, his voice or his smile.”

Read the rest of the story at the Tucson Weekly.

Conference calls for border activism

December 12, 2012

By Brenna Goth for the Arizona Sonora News Service

John Fife, the founder of the Sanctuary Movement in Tucson, introduces Alexia Salvatierra at The Struggle Continues conference on Nov. 30. (Photo by: Brenna Goth)

John Fife, the founder of the Sanctuary Movement in Tucson, introduces Alexia Salvatierra at The Struggle Continues conference on Nov. 30. (Photo by: Brenna Goth)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Border activists called for commemoration and continuation of community organizing in Tucson during a conference marking milestone anniversaries of several local humanitarian groups.

The 2-day event, called “The Struggle Continues,” was hosted by Southside Presbyterian Church, BorderLinks and Samaritans on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. More than 100 people gathered at Most Holy Trinity Parish to hear local and national speakers as well as participate in breakout “strategy” sessions.

Several local groups and movements have important anniversaries in 2012. The Sanctuary Movement, during which churches provided refuge to Central Americans fleeing wars, is marking 30 years from the day Southside Presbyterian Church was the first to declare itself a sanctuary in 1982.

BorderLinks grew out of the movement 25 years ago to provide workshops and other social justice programs in the community. Ten years ago, volunteers formed Samaritans and began patrolling the desert to provide aid to migrants in distress.

The theme of the conference was celebrating these efforts while determining how to continue fighting for human rights on the border.

Read the full story on the Arizona Sonora News Service.

Los Chinos or Los Coreanos?

Man Ku Baek, a Korean business owner in downtown Nogale, Ariz., watches a Korean television show behind his cash register at Susan's Fashion. (Photo by Josh Morgan)

Man Ku Baek, a Korean business owner in downtown Nogale, Ariz., watches a Korean television show behind his cash register at Susan’s Fashion. (Photo by Josh Morgan)

Man Ku Baek begins every morning practicing the same taekwondo forms he taught U.S. soldiers in Seoul, South Korea, in the 1960s. He bathes, then eats a typical Korean breakfast of rice with pickled and spiced vegetables. After his morning routine, he commutes from his Rio Rico, Ariz. home to his clothing and general merchandise store, Susan’s Fashion, in Nogales, Ariz.

Tightly-packed racks of generic men’s and women’s clothing line his walk from the door to the register. In the back of the building is a small florería with rows of brightly-colored plastic flowers, wreaths and figurines of La Virgen de Guadalupe. A few hundred feet south of his storefront, Nogales, Sonora, is visible through gaps in the rusted steel fence that marks the U.S./Mexico border. He shares the building with three other Korean business owners; Susan Kim, Heungyeol Ju and Jaewon Kim. His younger brother, Hong Ku Baek, owns the building.

The Nogales Korean business community, a group of about 40 families, is an important facet of the local downtown economy. Baek says most retail stores in downtown Nogales, about 75 percent, are now owned by Koreans. They carry cheap, generic clothing, general merchandise and inexpensive, Mexican-inspired decorative pieces.

Read more at El Independiente.

Border Angels for the undocumented

December 5, 2012

By Misael Virgen for El Nuevo Sol de California State University, Northridge

Executive director and founder of Border Angels, Enrique Morones, kneels in front of a poppers grave at the Holtville Cemetery in the Imperial Valley while holding a cross that reads “no olvidados” (not forgotten). (Photo by Misael Virgen/ El Nuevo Sol)

Since 1994, 10,000 people have died trying to cross the border between the United States and Mexico, according to Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels.

Founded in 1986, Border Angels is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to undocumented immigrants. They initially started helping the undocumented community by bringing food and water to immigrants who were living in the canyons of North County San Diego.

Among those who have attempted the journey are men, women and children. It is common for migrants to pay an expensive price for smugglers to take them through the trek, nonetheless, due to harsh weather conditions and tough terrain, many lose their lives in the attempt to make it across.

Morones said that there are two main reasons why people migrate to the United States – to look for better economic opportunity and for family reunification.

Read the full story at El Nuevo Sol

Check out our coverage of the border at El Nuevo Sol

Sandra Rodríguez Nieto presenta su libro “La fábrica del crimen” en Los Ángeles

15 de noviembre de 2012

Por Manuel Morfín, video entrevista de Jésica Bedolla y Joanna Rentería, audio cortesía de Rubén Tapia para El Nuevo Sol de California State University, Northridge

Sandra Rodríguez habla en la presentación de su libro en el Auditorio Noski de CSUN, el pasado 14 de noviembre de 2012. Jesús Araujo/El Nuevo Sol

Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, periodista investigativa de Ciudad Juárez, presentó el jueves su libro La fábrica del crimen en la Universidad del Estado de California, Northridge (CSUN) en Los Ángeles, y habló sobre el proceso periodístico que realizó a lo largo de varios años y que culminó en la publicación de su obra, una historia que narra el trágico final de Vicente, un adolescente de Ciudad Juárez que mató a sus padres y hermana con la ayuda de dos de sus amigos y con la firme convicción de que nadie lo notaría.

Rodríguez Nieto abordó brevemente la problemática y las causas detrás de la historia de Vicente y contestó a algunas de las preguntas de quienes se hicieron presentes para escuchar a la galardonada periodista, que entre otros premios ha recibido EL Premio Internacional de Periodismo que otorga el periódico El Mundo.

En su libro, Rodríguez va mas allá de las causas superficiales atribuidas a la violencia de la urbe juarense. Movida por la entrevista que hizo a Vicente, después de su crimen, explora el sistema jurídico de Chihuahua, la impunidad existente entre los diferentes niveles de autoridad y la perspectiva negativa que se ha generado en la juventud en una ciudad donde los homicidios y la falta de seguimiento a los casos, han creado una imagen de que la justicia es inexistente y por lo cual la paz es inalcanzable.

“No va a haber paz si no hay justicia… eso no hay (en Juárez), y no hay en México”, dijo Rodríguez Nieto.

Vea el reportaje completo en el sitio de El Nuevo Sol

Vea nuestra cobertura de la frontera en el sitio de El Nuevo Sol