Immigrant rights advocates bring protest, Aztec dance, prayer to free detainee in El Paso

El Paso – Alexi Cruz may not have realized he had friends in this border community until he was on the verge of being deported. Cruz, 24, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who has lived in the U.S. since he was 14 years old, was detained in early November by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after his car broke down on the way to Arizona. He was on his way from his home in San Antonio to see his mother in Arizona because authorities had apprehended his sister. His wife, Anayanse Garza, said that Cruz sought help after his car broke down in New Mexico near the Arizona border and was questioned by law enforcement officers about his residential status. The Border Patrol was called to pick him up.

El Paso marchers join global protest against kidnapping of Mexican students in Ayotzinapa

EL PASO—With their fists raised in mid-air, more than 80 persons including students, and teachers, marched through downtown streets shouting out against the kidnapping and suspected killing of Mexican students in Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero. They started the march Friday, November 21,at the University of Texas at El Paso, ending at the main doors of the Mexican consulate. “Who has the leadership, the students or the government that killed them!” they shouted. Photo gallery: El Paso march, vigil demands justice for Mexican students
En español: Marcha en El Paso da grito de apoyo a Ayotzinapa
Voces / Commentary: Condenan en El Paso la muerte de los estudiantes y la corrupción en México

Different groups gathered in this march. The students came from the organizations Ayotzinapa Sin Fronteras and the Master of Social Work Student Organization.

Marcha en El Paso da grito de apoyo a Ayotzinapa

EL PASO — Con los puños en el aire, más de 80 personas — un combinado de estudiantes, maestros y gente local — caminaban por las calles del centro de la ciudad pegando gritos de protesta, desde la Universidad de Texas en El Paso hasta las puertas del consulado mexicano. “Haber, haber, ¿quién tiene la batuta? ¡Los estudiantes o el gobierno que ejecuta!”, gritaban. Fueron varios los grupos y facciones que se juntaron en esta marcha fronteriza. Por el lado estudiantil, Ayotzinapa Sin Fronteras y la Organización Estudiantil de Trabajo Social tomaron las riendas de reunir a alumnos de la universidad.

At 80, El Paso folklorico pioneer Rosa Guerrero still lets faith guide her steps

EL PASO – Dressed in a bright orange jacket adorned with a necklace and a crucifix pendant, Rosa Guerrero flashes a warm smile, projecting the trademark youthful spirit and upbeat stamina that belie her approaching 80th birthday. “Age is just a matter of the mind,” Guerrero said as she sipped her cranberry and orange juice drink, a mix she concocted herself. “If you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.”

Guerrero’s long resume in the professional dance world has not weighed her down. An avid dancer in all types of genres, a dance teacher of students that range in age from two-year- olds to 100-year-olds, and an ambassador for Mexican folkloric dance, her love for dance is evident in the rhythm of her hand gestures and expressive nature. “I started dancing in my mother’s womb,” Guerrero exclaimed as she sculpted a simple dance move with her hands.

New marijuana laws in U.S. violate international treaties

By  Kara Mason,

WASHINGTON – Marijuana’s legalization in Colorado and Washington has put the U.S. in violation of multiple international treaties for the past two years. And with Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., possibly following suit, it could be bad news for the U.S. on the international stage, says a new Brookings Institution report. The U.S. government has been a strong supporter of three treaties that outlaw marijuana until 2012, Wells Bennett, a fellow in national security law at the Brookings Institution Governance Studies program, said at a recent forum in Washington, D.C.

But the Obama administration has been relatively quiet about the federal and international laws the two states are breaking. The federal government has taken no action in Colorado or Washington regarding legalization. “It’s a problem because we’re straining the limits of an international drug control regime that most participants, including the United States, have long understood to be quite strict,” Bennett said in a blog post on the Brookings Institution website.

Song inspires writer to search for nameless victims in ‘Deportees’ plane crash

EL PASO — Folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote a poem In 1948 about a plane crash that year in which 32 people lost their lives near Los Gatos Creek in the Diablo mountain range of California. The flight was carrying 28 migrant farmworkers who were being deported back to Mexico. Guthrie was disturbed by press accounts at the time that didn’t include the names of the passengers. The poem was eventually set to music and was popularized by Pete Seeger as “Deportees,” which included the haunting line: “to fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil, and be called by no name except “deportees.” Sixty-six years later, writer Tim Z. Hernandez has made it his mission to remember those whose lives were lost by finding out their names.

New Fox TV show “Bordertown” treats Latinos with respect, cartoonist says


By Ramon Renteria – El Paso Times

Award-winning Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz describes the new Fox network comedy “Bordertown” as a historic step for Latinos in American television. “This is the first time that Latinos are going to play at least half the characters on a primetime animated show,” Alcaraz said recently before speaking to students at the University of Texas at El Paso. “We finally have an actual mainstream show that treats Latinos with respect.” Alcaraz, a nationally syndicated cartoonist and political satirist, is among five Latino writers on the 13-episode series which is scheduled to air next spring. The writing team also includes Gustavo Arellano, a newspaper editor who writes the nationally syndicated column “¡Ask a Mexican!”

Dolores Huerta sees end-game strategy in Obama’s delay on immigration

By Griselda Nevarez

Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta is standing by President Barack Obama on his decision to delay executive action on immigration and is asking the immigrant community to have patience. “We have to look at the big picture and don’t get caught up in saying we want it now,” she said, referring to action on immigration. “We’ve been waiting—we are a community that can wait. And we have to have faith in our president, because the Republicans have shown their hand. We know what they want to do.”


Many Latinos have been critical of Obama’s move to delay executive action to reform portions of the nation’s immigration system until after the November elections, but not Huerta.

Border writer Charles Bowden remembered for his passion for the truth

By Dylan Smith –

Reporter and author Charles Bowden — he eschewed the term “journalist” — is

dead. The longtime Southern Arizonan recently moved to New Mexico and focused

his work on the dangerous turmoil of Ciudad Juarez. Bowden was a dogged investigative reporter and brilliant storyteller with a passion

for the truth. A finalist for a 1984 Pulitzer Prize, he won numerous other awards and

the respect of reporters everywhere with his gritty yet painstaking work. “People felt that so much of his work dwelt in the dark side and was mired in