Friday, September 03, 2010

Los desaparecidos de hoy

Violence on the Homefront
The last week brought a wave of notable stories related to violence on the homefront.  The tragic killing of a Jamaican-born hustler and hip hop record executive Jewish convert brought a good New York Times article on the black orthodox Jewish community of (where else) Brooklyn.  The Baltimore Sun highlighted the return of a long time teacher to kindergarden classroom for the first time since a former pupil murdered her son.  And several random attacks on Central Americans in Baltimore, including the beating death of a 51 year-old Honduran by a 19 mentally ill man who reportedly "hated Hispanics," and the shooting of two Hondurans (one fatally) by a 14-year-old girl in East Baltimore.

Desaparecidos: Ahora y Entonces
In Mexico, the bodies of 72 South and Central American migrants were found stacked in a shed, after one survivor managed to alert police after being shot in the throat.  This mass grave is one of a string of recent findings of mass graves in abandoned mine shafts, ranches, and shallow pits.  Most of the recent mass graves are thought to be where rival drug gangs are burying the bodies of their slain rivals, many of them showing signs of torture.

This new find raises questions to me about that narrative.

The bodies of a couple hundred forgotten migrants already litter the deserts of the USAmerican Southwest every summer.  Countless more Cubans and Haitians have disappeared in the Straights of Florida heading North.

Los Dasaparecidos, also a song by Rubèn Blades, refers to those left-wing, community and/or labor activists kidnapped off of the streets and imprisoned, tortured, exiled, murdered and sometimes thrown into the sea.  Originally coined in Argentina, where the torturers became known by their green Ford Falcon, the phenomenon was common in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay and other places around the world.

It strikes me that the disappeared of our world may not be always much the community organizer that political power hopes to silence (though they are certainly at risk in today's world), but also the poor people that private or corporate power (such as the cartel) find disposable (as perhaps the powerful so often do).

No comments :