My sister posted this photo of the young woman murdered by border patrol with the comment, "Looks really threatening, huh?" Maybe it's because I've been reading I, Rigoberta Menchú recently, but I can totally understand why a traditionally dressed young woman from Guatemala with a sober expression on her face is perceived as a threat by the violent patriarchy that rules the U.S.
Women in Central America, especially women from indigenous cultures, have mounted decades of serious resistance to right wing governments and the thieving corporations they enable.
So, the kleptocracy ascendant here in the USA rightly fears indigenous women.
Note that I am not in any way excusing the murder of Claudia Gómez by ICE.
The death, which her boyfriend waiting for her in the U.S. called "an assassination," was reported by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in the Los Angeles Times. The story includes an interview with a witness on the scene, amateur videographer Marta Martinez, who sees people running and hiding from ICE in her Texas neighborhood all the time.
Something interesting I learned today from sister activist Jessica Stewart:
ICE was only created in 2003, as part of the US's post-9/11 hyper-militarized, xenophobic frenzy.
We didn't have this department 16 years ago, we do not need it, and we should abolish it immediately.
I do not say this lightly: ICE is America's gestapo and we should treat them with that level of serious resistance.
|Ms. Gómez’s family in Guatemala City|
Her aunt had this to say about the death of her niece, as reported by Sofia Menchu for Reuters:
“To the government of the United States,
(I ask) that you do not treat us like this, like animals, just because you are a powerful and developed country,”
Dominga Vicente, Gómez’s aunt, told reporters in Guatemala City. The young woman from the Guatemalan highlands had left her home in search of work and education opportunities, Vicente said.
From the YouTube post of Martinez's video:
Gómez Gonzáles was a Maya-Mam indigenous woman and had reportedly graduated from a program in forensic accounting in 2016. She had hoped to further her education, her father, Gilberto Gómez, told the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre.
Lidia Gonzáles, the woman’s mother, told a local news channel that the family didn’t have enough money for her daughter to continue her studies. “She told me she wanted to keep studying at university but we don’t have the money,” Gonzáles said, according to a translation by The Guardian. “We’re poor and there are no jobs here. That’s why she traveled to the U.S. But they killed her. Immigration killed her.”
Did Nazi Germany as a "powerful and developed country" treat Jews, including young women and children, as animals? Unless you're a child yourself, you know full well that they did.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has achieved infamy by telling reporters for NPR that separating families is a effective deterrent to asylum seekers, and that it's not cruel because the minor children are “put into foster care or whatever.”
Did you think as you learned about the Holocaust: If I had been living in Europe at that time in history I would have resisted with all the resources I had available to me? Well, here we are now.
More from Jessica Stewart:
Who is following recent news about Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)? For those of us who are citizens, what if it were your kids or my kids? What would you or I want people to do?
1. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that for families seized by ICE, children will be separated from their parents in detention with no word on when they will be reuinted (more here: http://time.com/526…/jeff-sessions-illegal-border-separated/)
2. Of the 7,000+ children that ICE has captured from their families, 1,475 are unaccounted for. Gone. And this is only the first report, numbers may be much higher. (More here: http://time.com/5256734/government-missing-migrant-children/)
3. Documents obtained by the ACLU show massive horrific abuse of children in ICE custody, including kicking a child in the ribs, running over a 17 year old with a patrol car, sexually assaulting a 16 year old girl in a search, and detaining a 4 pound premature baby and her mother in an overcrowded and dirty cell full of sick people. (More here: https://www.aclusandiego.org/civil-rights-civil-liberties/)
4. ICE plans to destroy records of immigrant abuse, including sexual assault and deaths in custody (From an August 2017 report, more here: https://www.aclu.org/…/ice-plans-start-destroying-records-i…)
Here's reporting from Curt Prendergast and Perla Trevizo for the Arizona Daily Star:
Alma Jacinto covered her eyes with her hands as tears streamed down her cheeks.
The 36-year-old from Guatemala was led out of the federal courtroom without an answer to the question that brought her to tears: When would she see her boys again?
Jacinto wore a yellow bracelet on her left wrist, which defense lawyers said identifies parents who are arrested with their children and prosecuted in Operation Streamline, a fast-track program for illegal border crossers.
|Image: Facebook post by Jeanne Morales, an immigration attorney in Texas|
Anne Frank and her family were deemed illegal border crossers, forced to wear badges on their clothing identifying them as Jews and criminals.
One thing you can do: teach Holocaust history, which many young people in the U.S. are completely ignorant about.
|Photo by Henryk Ross "Children being transported to Chelmno nad Nerem (renamed Kulmhof) death camp."|
You can also join or donate to the ACLU to support the legal fight against ICE detention and separation of families. Or find other organizations to support that are battling ICE forces of evil.
You could write to the kleptocrats in Congress and the White House for all the good it will do (note that Obama's record on immigrant detentions and deportations was also abysmal).
You can also write letters to the editor, which are free and reach thousands of people daily.
Spread the news!!!