Aug 30, 2010
On August 24, Mexican authorities found 72 people killed on a ranch 100 miles from the U.S. border. According to the lone survivor, they were all from Central and South America. They had been walking toward the U.S. border when gunmen stopped them and demanded money. When they refused, they were shot, men and women alike.
This is not the first big massacre of migrants. Last May, 55 bodies were found in an abandoned mine. In July, 51 bodies were found in a field in northeast Mexico.
Human rights groups say almost 20,000 migrants were kidnapped last year, usually for ransom. Besides kidnapping, migrants face thieves, rapists and corrupt Mexican cops.
If they manage to cross the border, they confront a second set of gangs, the various U.S. anti-immigrant militias: the so-called “Minutemen,” the National Socialist Movement, an openly Nazi group, the “Patriot’s” Coalition and the American Border Patrol. These paramilitary groups, armed with assault rifles and other weapons, roam the border in all-terrain vehicles, on horseback or in small planes, hunting down immigrants like animals.
But worst of all, is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). In late August, ICE carried out a three-day raid in seven states in the Midwest, arresting 370. The ICE claimed those arrested were criminals and publicized a few drug dealers. But most of those grabbed were simply people here without legal papers.
This is only the latest attack on immigrants by the Obama Administration. In 2009, it deported 390,000 people, up 20,000 from Bush’s final year. Such attacks only encourage the right-wing nuts to step up their attacks.
The people who try to come here are quite aware of the dangers they face. Only the incredible poverty of Mexico’s farming towns and cities with vast shanty towns and hungry people drive them to take their chances and leave for the United States.
That poverty, in great measure, has been imposed on Mexico by U.S. companies, which go to Mexico to pay slave-labor wages and U.S. banks, which wring every bit of wealth they can out of Mexico through crooked loans.
Stop ALL attacks on immigrants.