A personal essay (Spanish) of my journey in the past year near the southern Mexican border, my criticism of Mexican civil society organizations working on migrants rights and the hypocrisy of advocacy efforts on both sides of the Mexico-US border.
¿K’uxi elan avo’onton? es una expresión que se usa para saludar dentro de las comunidades indígenas tsotsiles en Chiapas. Me explicaron que su traducción literal es “¿Cómo está tu corazón?” Ha sido una de las más lindas expresiones que he escuchado y que no llegué a pronunciar correctamente, pero me llenaba de felicidad cuando me respondían, “Lek oy”, “muy bien”. Lo que sí aprendí es que es más que una expresión. Representa otra manera de pensar. Desde este saludo se combate la superficialidad a la que nos hemos acostumbrado cuando nos preguntan: “¿Cómo estás?”, al cual la mayoría respondemos “bien”, de manera robótica, aunque en realidad no lo estemos.
La pregunta ¿K’uxi elan avo’onton? también es una invitación a la reflexión desde el corazón, porque no solo desde ahí se siente, también se piensa. Para yo poder responderla, tendría que volver a mirar hacia esa parte dentro mí que había hecho a un lado por mucho tiempo, porque era mejor no sentir el dolor causado por las rupturas que he sufrido a lo largo de mi vida como migrante. Pronto me di cuenta que no tenía certeza de en qué condición estaba mi corazón, ni si lo tenía intacto. ¿Habrá estado conmigo en los últimos 7 años que he estado en México o parte de él se habrá quedado en Los Ángeles, donde viví 20 años de mi vida antes de ser deportada?
In the past three years, I have spoken to several media outlets who have taken an interest in my deportation story. I have lost count. But recently, I was outreached by Aljazeera’s The Stream to join other deportees and this was certainly a new experience. I ended up being a part of a unique platform that connected many voices, expanding beyond the Mexican deportee experience – from El Salvador to Cambodia.
Thirty-five minutes are hardly enough to engage in an in-depth conversation about a complex experience, but we do what we can in the allotted space. I was particularly interested in hearing from perspectives from El Salvador, but I was quickly disappointed by Eddie. Not only does he feed into the criminalization discourse that justifies our deportation – that being undocumented should make you a criminal. The worst part is hearing this from someone who himself has experienced removal. But then again, he hardly represents the stories of many from his country who are fleeing violence and looking for a dignified life somewhere else. Thank goodness for Hector Barajas from Deported Veterans, whose story demonstrates the cruelty of deportation policies – he will not be able to go back to the U.S. until he dies, when he will brought back in a casket to receive a proper U.S. burial in a national cemetery. I really hope he is able to return to his family before that happens.
I will say no more, you know my views. Now on to let you have your own opinions about it.
On a final note, I also would like to invite you (assuming your not a hater) to post your comment on the show’s Youtube link. It is disheartening to have to read comments that are mostly hateful and ignorant. I know that is not what the majority in the US think about us – they are just a loud minority that don’t have anything better than to propagate hate and xenophobia. Till next time!
I am sharing a post from a friend of mine with a bit of inspiration and a call for action in this post-US election mess. It is time for those of us post-deportation/return to figure out what we will do, because a Trump presidency will also affect those of us south of the border.
I’m calling on those of you who want to bring collective efforts together across borders. Part of what Azul says is that we need to stop thinking small, and that applies to how far movements reach.
From a Mexico perspective, we need to pressure for a government that stands for its people who will be affected by an police state with immigration policy. We already see it in the Mexico-Guatemala border which has been known to be the extension of the US-Mexico border approach.
Remember when the world let Hitler happen? Well, let’s learn from the past and let’s have urgency. Our lives, communities, countries and regions are at stake.
Y’all, what a time. Trump actually won the presidency. I cannot believe I typed that, but in this shitshow year of our Lord 2016, anything seems possible (provided it is the worst possible outcome). We can blame a lot of people- third party voters, people who weren’t fully on board, people who didn’t go for the lesser of two evils. This list could be long as hell, really, but that’s not the point.
The point is that people of color have been saying this has been such a racist place for such a long fucking time and now that most people’s humanities are being questioned (at the expense of so many lives) now y’all are listening. It has been this bad for a long ass time. Welcome to the fucking tragedy that is America. There are millions of people who voted for Trump and who would have voted for him…