EL PASO — Hace unos días platicaba con un amigo sobre mis sentimientos de incertidumbre hacia el futuro fuera de la universidad. Le comentaba como, de cierta forma, me arrepentía de haber tomado cinco clases por semestre, clases de verano, cursos extras, y demás por lo cual me comentó, “Es carrera, no carreritas.” Me quedé boquiabierta y comprendí que tenía razón. Como quisiera haber escuchado tal refrán hace cuatro años. Entusiasmada por la vida universitaria, estudié más que nunca. Desde el primer día me dediqué a mis clases al cien por ciento, sentía que me podía comer el mundo entero.
EL PASO — The June 20 shooting deaths of a journalist, his wife, and their 21-year-old son in their home in Veracruz, México, underscore the assessment by a Washington human rights organization that México no longer has a free press. Freedom House dropped México’s ranking to a “partly free” country citing the innumerable threats to the country’s media independence in the current climate of drug-war violence. México was listed as “partly free” in large part because of the self-censorship, violent and deadly attacks on journalists, and a feeling of fear that has taken over the nation. The murders of Miguel Ángel López Velasco, 55, a columnist for the daily newspaper Notiver and his son Misael López, a photographer for Notiver are more atrocities in an unrelenting series of criminal actions against Mexican journalists. Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights estimates that in the past 10 years 83 Mexican journalists have been killed or have disappeared.
EL PASO — Immigration on the U.S.-Mexico borderland is portrayed in popular culture as criminal and illegal to audiences that are disconnected from the reality of immigrants who cross the border to save their families from poverty and widespread violence. “Would you risk everything to come to the Unites States?” Dr. Richard D. Pineda asked an audience at the University of Texas at El Paso. He followed this thought with the example of an immigration raid in northern Iowa. Workers at several meat-packing plants were apprehended and taken to deportation facilities. “Even though that force was essentially gutted on that day, they’ve been replaced,” he added, explaining that those plants now show record outputs, “and I can assure you those are not workers working in high level jobs, but workers working for a minimum amount of pay.”
The economic incentive for immigration is too high in the United States and a variety of tasks require a “disposable workforce,” one that comes in the form of undocumented immigrants, explained Pineda, an associate professor of communication at UTEP.
EL PASO – Después de una campaña por organizaciones no-gubernamentales y más de un mes de estadía en un refugio para niños inmigrantes en Houston, la pequeña Heidy Frayre ha sido devuelta a su familia. Mientras huían de la violencia en Ciudad Juárez, la pequeña junto con su tío Juan Manuel Frayre, quien permanece detenido en Chaparral, fueron aprehendidos tras buscar asilo político en los Estados Unidos. La inocente de tres años fue puesta en custodia del albergue en Houston. Organizaciones no-gubernamentales, entre ellas Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez, establecieron una campaña para que la pequeña fuese entregada por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos a sus familiares. Unidas, estas instituciones pidieron a los ciudadanos mexicanos que expresaran su inconformidad mediante cartas y correos electrónicos dirigidos a la embajada de Estados Unidos en México, exigiendo al presidente Felipe Calderón que interviniera ante las autoridades migratorias de los Estados Unidos para que Heidi fuera reunida con tu tío.
EL PASO – Memories flowed with the tears as the anthropology professor recalled the hardscrabble days when as a child she stooped to pick lettuce in the fields of New Mexico from early morning until dusk. “I picked everything I can possibly think of except for watermelon and grapes,” says Dr. Gina Núñez-Mchiri, 38, who teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso. She was only eight when she started working alongside her mom and dad and her four siblings. It was exhausting work, hard on her little body, dirty and sweaty. “Growing up with migrant farm working parents was very difficult, very challenging,” Núñez-Mchiri says.
EL PASO, Texas — In May, 2010, UTEP student Alejandro Ruiz Salazar, 19—also an employee of the Graduate School—was the first known UTEP student slain in Juarez since the beginning of the current drug war. The same day, former UTEP student Jorge Pedro Gonzalez Quintero, 21, was murdered. According to Steve McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the situation in Mexico is worse now than the Colombian drug war of the 1980s and 1990s ever was. “Colombia was never threatened like the government of Mexico is with the level of violence,” McCraw stated at a Capitol hearing. “At first, we all saw the violence and murders as something that would never happen to us but now so many families have been torn apart, and a once prosperous, to some extent happy city, has been destroyed,” Acosta commented.