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Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

We toured Juárez, a city of 1.5 million people. Our tour included several industrial centers of maquiladoras from the USA and a few other countries. What was striking on the tour were the number of companies that have left Juárez, initially going to China for lower wages, and more recently the closure of other factories due to the economic crisis. The results: unemployment for thousands of people, deteriorating buildings, and abandobment of the city,

We also toured many neighborhoods, commercial areas, and land along the border. We viewed one area in the mountains where the people are being driven from their homes by a rich family who aim to develop the area for profit. The poor have no political or judicial recourse due to the collusion of the government with the rich families. Interesting to note was the reduced number of military presence on the streets.

Today was the memorial and celebration of the Day of the Dead, which has indigenous roots. We united at the border fence line on the Mexican side with the people of El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico to remember together all those who died crossing the Rio Grande into the United States. It was said that 5000 people have died in recent times, seeking a better life for their families or escaping from violence in their own countries. The photos show the release of balloons symbolizing persons who have lost their lives in both sides the border.

In this same spirit we visited one of municipal cemeteries where we found graves beautifully cared for and adorned with bright colored flowers as well as neglected and some vandalized graves.

The municipal government has the obligation maintain the cemeteries, roads, hospitals, schools but has failed in these responsibilities due to the great economic drain incurred to pay the military forces deployed in the city. It was clear to us today that security over rides all other human needs.

Berta, Jose, Renee, and Liz

1 comment:

  1. In the face of such huge systemic problems, I know I would feel very small, powerless and overwhelmed. God bless your efforts, and support you with grace and hope.