Friday, February 12, 2016

A day in the life of Central Americans crossing Mexico

Over the years, I have spoken with Central Americans who’ve made the dangerous journey from, say Guatemala  to Texas.   
Yes, it is extremely dangerous. Young women have told me that they fear rape more than anything else. They run into wild animals, deadly snakes, and mosquitoes. There are no real friends once you start this trip to the U.S.
It starts by walking through jungles or deserts to avoid the Mexican authorities, as Azam Ahmed reported in the New York Times:
The police truck appeared suddenly, a glint of metal and glass. The migrants broke into a sprint, tripping over cracked pavement as an older woman sweeping her stoop urged them to hurry.
The 10 men rounded the corner and hid behind a row of low-slung trees. Four days into their journey from Central America, the new reality on Mexico’s southern border was setting in: Under pressure from the United States, the Mexican authorities were cracking down.
It begs the question: Are thing really that bad in Central America that people would run this risk to get to the U.S.?  
It’s a complicated situation, as we would expect.
It’s true that cartel and gang violence is tearing up small countries in Central America. Cartels have weapons and money whereas many of these countries just can’t keep up.   
I think that they come for two reasons:
First, many families need to send their young men to the U.S. to send back money. El Salvador receives about $ 4 billion in remittances or “remesas”. It’s probably the strongest safety net in the country. My guess is that other countries have similar numbers.
Second, the Obama administration refuses to speak clearly and defend U.S. sovereignty. Also, we indirectly invite people to come north when we offer legalization to anyone who crosses over.   
The attitude in Central America is simple: get to the U.S. and you are likely to stay.
On one hand, we appreciate a young man who wants to cut our grass and support his mom back home. At the same time, we shouldn’t encourage people to come with vague enforcement language.
It breaks your heart, but we are a nation of laws. Finally, I’m proof that you come legally to the U.S.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Venezuela, Brazil and other US-Latin America stories of the week

Tags: Brazil and the zika virus, Venezuela 2016, The Pope in Mexico  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

A prison riot in Mexico leaves 52 dead

Another day and more dead in Mexico.    It was a prison riot near Monterrey, the industrial city in the north of Mexico.    

According to news reports, it was a clash between two gangs that set off the fire and the killings.   One of the groups was allegedly associated with Los Zetas.    

This is the latest prison incident.   A recent study found that Mexican prisons are plagued with violence, corruption and inmates running the show.

Can you say El Chapo escaping twice from prison?

By the way, Pope Francis is going down to Mexico soon.   He will visit the border, as Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz pointed out.    It would be more useful for Pope Francis to call for legal rather than immigration reform for Mexicans.

We spoke about this in Thursday's Latin America show:

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