Usemos las antenas…

Tú y yo, con la Madre Tierra, somos uno.

El espíritu del aire tiene conexiones… largas.

Si nos sintonizamos bien, con el corazón y la palabra, aunque lejos, ¡podremos encontrarnos!

Si utilizamos las antenas.

[Reinterpretación elaborada para Radio Indígena por este humilde Macehual, a partir de un video descubierto en YouTube, sobre las antiguas formas de comunicación entre los nativos de Norteamérica, espacio geográfico donde convivían cientos de idiomas].

Aquí el video:

Between Snakes and Eagles

Hondurans between snakes and eagles

Tijuana / Mexicali.–

Trucks and grenades

Margarita has a secret. A silence which she is trying to forget, something that happened in a remote village in Chiapas, Southeast Mexico.


Silenced by fear. A natural protective instinct. Because when even talking about it, she feels her life is in danger, as well as her family in Honduras. The words she speak to the recorder come out with fear: “It’s the organized crime. They know my country like the palm of my hand and the simple truth is that those people have influence in the police. The drug traffickers are linked with Migration agents, and with cartels. If you give information about them, there are allways people inside police agencies that work for them, so it is not okay to talk about them.”


Margarita, younger than 20 years, migrating from Honduras to cross the United States border knows about hiding information to a reporter: the name of a place in Chiapas, where she spent her most traumatic experience ever.


Although safe in the shelter for migrant women, Centro Madre Assunta, in Tijuana, over 4,000 kilometers away from Chiapas, from South border of Mexico all the way North, she prefers to keep her secrets for herself, the finer details.


In her story, she travels with her uncle, a friend and another young man heading to the United States, when intercepted by several new model trucks in a modest town of Chiapas. Men descend off the vans with high caliber weapons, body armor, “even belts with grenades.” she says. From one moment to another, she’s traveling in vehicles, blindfolded in the dark, with unknown destination.


“When you pray a lot to God, God moves mountains and we came out of that well. Nobody touched me even with a fingernail, but yes, we were kidnapped, but they didn’t do anything to us,” she says.


Perhaps no one knows what happened exactly to Margarita. At the end of her story she doesn’t include her travel companions. She manages to reach a road and a Christian family gives her a ride from Chiapas to the northern border, to Tijuana.


Margarita has a young mulatto body, much like the Caribbean. Many times in her story she highlights the sexual harassment of police, immigration agents, drug dealers…


At the end, in her silence, only she knows the truth. What really happened in Chiapas.


Trains and machetes


The wild and rugged landscape of Mexico showed it’s fiercest teeth to Holvan Renieri and his group in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, the port located 1.420 kilometers south of Tijuana, near the Pacific Coast.


In this famous coastal port in northwestern Mexico, he and two fellow travelers are the 25 surviving guys mounting “La Bestia”, the freight trains used by migrants to cross the Mexican geography, from south in Chiapas up to these regions.


When they let down the train in Mazatlan, private security personnel blocked their way out. Like mice in a maze, the only clear path led to an alley where some men who were waiting with guns and machetes. They stripped the migrant travelers with everything they had, leaving them only with boxers, almost naked and barefoot.


Holvan is 23, from Honduras. Drinking coffee and waiting hot instant soup to cool down provided by the module of Albergue del Desierto right in the Mexicali-Calexico border. He’s been deported by U.S. Border Patrol just one hour ago, with two of his friends that survived the mexican path.


Holvan is the only one who wanted to talk about their experience: “We were stripped naked and took away everything from us: shoes, money, and still beat me with a machete so wide, they hit me in the back with the plain side,” he says, wearing the clothes of someone else.


Any uniform is a threat, the say. Especially in southern Mexico, they explain. “You will run from the police, not for fear of being caught, but for fear of them taking your money, they assault you… just because they can… It’s like that, from Mazatlan to Chiapas up to here.”


For them, humiliation never ends. Holvan says that in Mexico they receive a different treatment because they’re foreign. They need to take care from the police and even the staff of some shelters for migrants: “You see how all given food is quietly good (in shelters), but for us, we just get bread with lettuce and mayonnaise,” describes Molvan, tired and dry skinned for so many ultraviolet rays for over a month travelling towards the “american dream”.


Initiation shots


At 17 years, the adventure North for Ramon has become one of those trips where the adolescent initiation ends up becoming a man.


In this race against the economic poverty of his mother, who fired him from Honduras, sending him to migrate to the U.S., Ramon has seen and done what he ever imagined. He escaped from the Maras Salvatruchas, the Zetas, the Mexican police. It’s been four months since he started his attempt to cross the United States border.


While regaining the courage to cross the border, he’s being employed as a carpenter near the Albergue del Desierto in Mexicali, a new employment that may not fit with his anatomy: long body, slender, brown skin, curly hair and green eyes, as one of those kids that can be imagined cutting coconuts on a tropical beach.


What’s Mexico for this young Honduran? “Danger,” he replies without hesitation.
Since he rode “La Bestia”, along with a couple of Hondurans and Salvadorans friends he met in this almost mythical adventure for the Centralamericans, overcame the dangers of the Mara Salvatrucha, when in Chiapas these gangsters took down from the train a bunch of migrants, Ramon included.


Then, in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, he had to get down of the train in a hurry, because of shots coming from people who identified themselves as Zetas. “They stopped the train and fell to rob or kidnap migrants”.


“We no longer saw what happened”, remembers Ramon, safe in the Mexicali migrant shelter, “whether killed or taken away, I never knew. We went to the back of the train and then got out and ran as fast as we could.”


Eagle or Sun (Heads or Tails)


The roads in Mexico are for Central American immigrants as a coin toss, with the eagle and the sun as the only plan. Life and death at the hands of someone else. Someone who carries a gun to bring out a Mexican reality increasingly violent.


The discovery of 72 bodies belonging to migrants in a wasteland of Tamaulipas, in August 2010, turned on the alarm of the new everyday: migrants kidnapping, integrating them with organized crime and, if not, killing them.


The Human Rights Commission in Mexico (CNDH, as in Spanish) released a study in 2010 documenting 214 mass kidnappings in the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Chiapas and Oaxaca, only from April to September, only last year.


In total, 2010 were abducted about 20,000 migrants in Mexico, according to the CNDH.


This 2011, Mexico passed a law to protect migrants. Meanwhile, Judge Baltasar Garzon has said that there is in the southern neighbor a deep humanitarian crisis.


Calculations from different organizations indicate about 300,000 Central American migrants enter Mexican territory in pursuit of the American dream, every year.


Mexico adopted in mid-2011 a new Immigration Act, a regulation that is missing track, but above all, implement in every day actions.
In total, in 2010 there were abducted about 20,000 migrants in Mexico.

Mexican Bus Drivers Condemn Extortion

TIJUANA.– The roads of northeastern Mexico radiate fear: Central American migrants cross them in fear of being used as bait by the Zetas. And those who are deported from the United States try to avoid being repatriated across the border to the Atlantic side.



Mexican newspapers have reported on the abuses suffered by migrants from the eastern states of Nuevo León to Chiapas, but few reports have focused on the roads of northwestern Mexico — the Pacific side — that is said to be under the control of the Chapo Guzmán drug cartel.



Those who are most qualified to speak to the dangers of these roads are the drivers of public buses.



A tour of Tijuana’s bus station is enough to see a growing problem. In addition to the threat of organized crime, extortion and violence directed at passengers can be committed by elements of the region’s own police force. Bus drivers point to members of the Investigative Police Ministry, formerly called the Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI).



Extortion 



It isn’t an official toll, but according to employees of the Tijuana Central Bus Station, plain-clothed police officers are charging fees to migrants who are traveling by bus to the U.S.-Mexico border.



Juan Carlos (no last name) has been wandering through the Tijuana bus station for 16 years. A well-groomed man with graying hair, a white shirt and red tie, he is the ticket manager for the station. “Yes, it’s happened where they pull the driver off the bus and they use a little excess authority. That has happened, not much, but there is definitely something going on when the driver is coming and complaining … Anyway, we as a company can’t do anything about it.

“

Meanwhile, a driver who prefers to remain anonymous affirms, “A federal agent doesn’t stop you just to stop you. He stops you to see what you’ve got. To see what he can get from you. That’s why they stop you. They stop you to f— with you, that’s all.”

He recalls what happened to him at checkpoints along Highway 15, from Mexico City to Nogales, north to south and vice versa, where there are stop signs marked with the initials of the AFI, the Mexican police force.



The men who stop the bus aren’t in uniform, but you have to do what they say, he says. Whether they are members of the police force or organized crime, he can’t say, but he describes their operation. On the command, “Get out, everyone,” the review begins: Some passengers are separated and sheltered in a “room.” There are bus riders who are verbally and physically abused; others are robbed of their money and belongings.



”They make everyone get out and they put them in a f—ing room, filled with blankets and all kinds of sh-t, a room they have over there. Then they go one by one, right, and then they come out with, ‘Give us 200,’ ‘300,’ they even take 500 pesos from people. Damn it! It isn’t possible. It’s a robbery. So, what is our government doing? Nothing! Every day it gets worse and worse.”

After more than 30 years in the business, the driver says the transportation industry, instead of getting better, has deteriorated. 



“People see someone dressed as a policeman and they start shaking! They’re already afraid, people are already scared. Because, I’m telling you: If a federal agent gets on the bus, it’s to take your money; if an AFI (police) officer gets on, it’s to rob you.”


It can happen to anyone, be it an undocumented migrant from Central America or a Mexican citizen with papers. 



“Why are you going to pay police officers?” the driver asks. “If you are Mexican, and if you already paid for a bus ticket to go wherever you’re going, you have to pay the police, so that you can travel from here to there. Why? In other words, the gentleman should be getting a salary from the government, right? Why is he taking your money?”

“
In the last five years, he notes, this kind of extortion has become more common at checkpoints in the northern state of Sinaloa, in cities such as Escuinapa and Guasave, going in both directions.



It also occurs along the border, in the Sonora town of Sonoyta.



Meanwhile, Juan Manuel López, a bus driver on the Estrella Blanca (White Star) line, taking a break inside the Tijuana bus station before starting his return trip to Michoacán, responds to a brief question. When asked what is the greatest danger on the roads, he says it’s the police.



The stories of extortion and robbery described by bus drivers were confirmed by the manager of the Tijuana bus station, Ángel Camacho Martínez. “The risk you take going from here to Mexico City is big,” he said. “At all the checkpoints. More going from here to there, than from there to here. The men at the checkpoints often make all the migrants get off the bus, and then put them in a room and after a while they tell the bus driver: ‘Hey, they robbed me of 1,000 pesos.’ ‘They took 500 from me.’ ‘They took 200 from me.’ And the driver says, ‘What can we do?’ They’re jerks.”



Camacho estimates that there are between 20,000 and 22,000 passengers per month on the various transportation lines that arrive and depart from this central bus station, located at the last stop of the Latin American border — Tijuana.



Official Response



None of Mexico’s police or security institutions responded to allegations of abuses along the roads of Mexico.



The spokespeople for the Attorney General’s Office, Secretary of Public Security, President’s Public Security and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center passed the responsibility from one organization to the next. 



Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office, who said she “could not be considered as a source” said she did not know of “the crimes” mentioned and in order to follow up with these cases, there needed to be lawsuits filed by those who suffered the abuses.



Bus as one of the anonymous drivers said, many of the victims of extortion are migrants from Central America who are passing through Mexico, and they don’t report it.

 

Original Multimedia Piece

From the American dream to Mexican reality

Outstanding International Report winner of the New America Media Awards 2011/2012 [Series, first of three]

TIJUANA.– He doubts for a moment. Suddenly, Angel holds a conviction: his life has no future in Mexico.

It’s not so much because of the son that’s waiting for him crossing the border, over in Pittsburg, California. Or his wife, who also awaits his arrival. The bus ride through an arid road from Tijuana to Mexicali inspires him reflections beyond the desert he sees through the window, when he says haltingly, “Well, there is no future here, man, that’s the truth. It is very difficult… life here in Mexico. It’s very ugly. I do not like it here. So I’m going over there”.

That “over there” is the north for thousands of Mexicans, Central Americans, Asians, Hindues, dissatisfied european tourists. It is the nation of the United States. The land of dreams. The country with international debt over 14 trillion. But still, the great golden myth in this archaic American continent.

Angel has seen it all. Maddened with alcohol and drugs in Tijuana. United States made him better, he says. “There are many rules that one must respect (in US) and that makes you a better person. But not here, man (in Mexico). Here you could live however you want. Over there you have to work to eat, you have to pay rent, you have to do many things and that makes you better person, and therefore be more useful, you know what I mean?

“Here, the easiest thing to do is go have drugs and drink and all that, and one gets lost, that’s what happens. There are even white guys lost there [in Tijuana]. For me, that’s not life, so I don´t like that. I used to be like that, but I got better in the States. Here in Mexico you can’t do a thing with your life. Over there in the States, I have my job, my car, my money.”

A “coyote” paid to Angel that bus transport where he is travelling toward Mexicali. The ‘coyote’ will get him false papers, will get him to cross the border line. Angel will say hello to the immigration police. Maybe sing the American national anthem to prove his false citizenship and his loyalty to the red, white and blue. This is the third time Angel does this, after 10 years of living among strangers with a hidden identity, after paying taxes to the IRS, working as a butcher in a recognized signature stores in California. Having children.

When Angel arrives back home, in Pitsburg, he will pay $4.000 to the “coyote” who provided him with the false paperwork.”It’s people you can trust,” he says, “I already know him.”

On his way back to the States, Angel does not come alone. He is accompanied by his brother and cousin, both with similar stories, perhaps less fortunate and less emotional bonds.

Jose Luis, Angel’s brother, knows what they’re about to deal with. This is his eleventh attempt to escape from Mexico. On three occasions managed to evade the desert and their United States guardians. He worked for three years in Pittsburgh with his brother, doing everything. Now, he’s coming for more. “It’s nice over there,” he admits.

His story differs from that of his brother, by the various occasions that he was hit by “la migra”. This time won’t be easy, he knows that, but is willing to take the risk. He has his convictions: “It’s a change for me, something good. In Ensenada (Baja California) there is no work and money is never enough. Over there you put your life in everything to make what is yours. Over here is tough, almost impossible to do anything”.

When the bus arrives in Mexicali, the two brothers and cousin are drained in the corridors of the small trucking station. Out of sight. Their fate is cast on the other side.

Here and there

Every day there is someone trying to conquer the American desert mountains to dig into a McDonald’s in California or Texas, Arizona or New Mexico. And every day there are people being deported.

In the Mexicali-Calexico border, the Albergue del Desierto organization has a module for migrants who are returned through this door. They receive them, rehydrate them, provide instant soups, coffee, and let’s go, to keep trying to cross the border.

“This is like a routine for those who want get over there,” said Jesus Avila, a man almost 40 years, from Minatitlan, Veracruz, in the south east of Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security has just deported Jesus and now he has just finished the instantly made noodle soup and coffee provided by the mexican hostel Albergue del Desierto in the borderline area.

That last night of early June, he and more than 20 Mexicans entered the United States through a mountain desert area known as La Rumorosa in Baja California. They walked a couple of nights, being careful of not being spotted by the Border Patrol, until “they caught us, nothing more,” says Avila.

From time to time, this man borned in a coastal town in southeastern Mexico, is launching an explanation of why “sometimes you have to take risks”. A profound statement said in such a light way that seems like a story he has been repeating countless times: “Money is good over there. It’s fucked up here in Mexico. That’s why we go over there. What I have, I’ve made it in the United States. Here in Mexico I can’t do anything. What I have, thank God, I’ve done it over there. That’s why we take the risk.”

He continues: “Here in Mexico, the Mexican authorities… the political race are the ones eating the money.” And repeats again, reaffirming his position: “That’s why we go over there.”

More than half of Mexicans live in poverty, according to the specialist Julio Boltvinik, from el Colegio de México. Jesus Avila recognize himself in that vast majority of 80 million Mexicans, when he says: “I’m not saying there is no well-paying jobs [in Mexico], there are well-paying jobs, what happens is that they are the minority and those who are the majority, nothing. You earn 150 pesos 200 pesos a day, that does not helps you at all. It’s worthless. Prices have gone up, things have gone rather expensive. What do you do? Well, let’s better go over there, to United States to make some money.”

Border in numbers

This spirit is not isolated. Neither belongs only to those 25 men recently deported by the Border Patrol, with dusty faces that look dry and consumed in the borderline hostel.

Only in 2010, Homeland Security deported 387.000 immigrants. Were from Mexico (73%), Guatemala (8%), Honduras (6%) and El Salvador (5%).

Also detained 517.000 foreigners, of whom 83% were native Mexicans.

In total, in 2010, Homeland Security deported to their original countries 476.000 people.

With these numbers, the administration of President Barack Obama has become the federal organization that has deported more immigrants in the history of the United States.

Migraciones salvajes

El paso por México es un destierro salvaje para miles de migrantes que intentan llegar a Estados Unidos montados en “la Bestia”.

Justo ahora hay una crisis humanitaria en el sureste mexicano por la pausa que ha hecho aquel tren por las vías ferroviarias, lo que ha dejado a centroamericanos y mexicanos varados en los territorios de Chiapas, Tabasco y Veracruz.

Apenas reportó la colega de La Opinión, Gardenia Mendoza, desde Tultitlán, Estado de México, el deterioro civil: “Desde el domingo no nos dejan: primero se paran, se echan para atrás y agarran toda la velocidad y vuelven a parar, si no nos bajamos nos agarran a garrotazos; ayer me dieron uno en el pecho que me dejó loco”: dijo un migrante respecto a los responsables de la seguridad en el tren a cargo de la compañía Kansas City Southern.

En mejor momento no pudo llegar el reconocimiento que hará New America Media a la serie periodística que realicé para impreMedia en la frontera de México y Estados Unidos, entre las ciudades de Tijuana y Mexicali, llamado Del sueño americano a la realidad mexicana.

El trabajo mereció el primer lugar en la categoría Reporte Internacional Sobresaliente, el cual, con humildad y honestidad puedo decir que me embriaga de orgullo, por ser yo mismo migrante y descendiente de padres inmigrantes que cruzaron aquella frontera las veces que fueran necesarias para subsistir al olvido y cinismo de los gobiernos mexicanos.

Aunque New America Media no abrió categorías de video, comparto aquí tres producciones que realicé luego de aquel viaje al lugar de la separación y el desgarro: la frontera amurallada de Estados Unidos.

Quien quiera unirse al festejo, la ceremonia de premiación será el 19 de julio en las instalaciones de KQED, en San Francisco.

De aquí a entonces, iré posteando aquí mismo en el blog de El Macehual, las crónicas Del sueño americano a la realidad mexicana, traducidas al inglés.

DEL SUEÑO AMERICANO A LA REALIDAD MEXICANA

CRIMINALES Y CARRETERAS DE MÉXICO

UN LIMBO LLAMADO TIJUANA

En México ganó el dinero

Ya lo he dicho antes: El fraude en la democracia mexicana y de otras naciones es el sistema político sustentado en el capital.

Obtendrá el gobierno aquel candidato que más recursos económicos distribuya en su campaña –y al tomar posesión, según acuerdos o promesas previas–, el que más consensos logre con la élite dominante de una región, grande o pequeña, como puede ser la ciudad de Guadalajara o Norteamérica.

De ahí que el triunfo del PRI no es para tomarnos de sorpresa. Muchos lo esperábamos. Los gobiernos de hoy son administrados como una empresa. Las naciones del planeta están sostenidos por mandos corporativos que ven en los recursos naturales una riqueza explotable –a la venta al mejor postor– , con ciudadanos disponibles como meros recursos humanos, regidos bajo la regla del salario mínimo, según el nivel de servidumbre.

Que los ciudadanos sigan apoyando la campaña postelectoral de López Obrador es seguirle el juego a los partidos políticos, el diseño de la partidocracia enredosa que no nos conducirá al autentico gobierno de la gente, es decir, la democracia.

Los tres candidatos a la presidencia de México han cumplido con su labor en el teatro electoral: tanto López Obrador, como Vázquez Mota, como Quadri. Todos han hecho lo que les corresponde para mantener y distribuirse el poder de gobernarnos. En la cabeza quedará el que más dinero repartió, Enrique Peña Nieto, el descendiente del régimen priista de Atlacomulco, que ahora reinstaura en México la “Atlacomulcracia”, la ley del dinero que pervierte y compra voluntades.

El 2 de julio el pueblo de Cherán, en Michoacán, salió a sus calles para darnos a los ciudadanos mexicanos un mensaje: “No más partidos políticos”, y apenas este 10 de julio aparecieron dos comuneros asesinados por el supuesto “crimen organizado”.

En este tiempo, los ciudadanos, más que defender de nuevo el agotador “voto por voto, casilla por casilla” del 2006, necesitamos fortalecer la organización social, el tejido comunitario, como lo hace el pueblo purépecha de Cherán. Reunirnos en asambleas locales, integradas por tres, cinco, diez o cincuenta integrantes para comenzar a imaginar y a soñar las ciudades que queremos y necesitamos como entidades colectivas, como lo propone también el pueblo de San Salvador Atenco para los días 14 y 15 de julio, y como han replicado por varias ciudades mexicanas y naciones del planeta, los colectivos del #Yosoy132.

El camino es la organización civil, apartidista. Tomar los medios, como lo hicieron jóvenes en Oaxaca al utilizar la presencia de Televisa para emitir un mensaje; aprovechar las cámaras. Recordarles a esos falsos líderes nuestro descontento, nuestra indignación.

 

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