Monday, June 23, 2008

Grim's Fairy Tales by Border Explorer

The Border Explorer began her story:
Once upon a time in a neighboring kingdom lived poor landless peasants without homes for their children. Desperate, they were willing to build cardboard huts in the most barren and remote lands of the kingdom where nobody else would ever live. According to the rule of their nation, after five years passed, that land belonged to them. It was called Lomas del Poleo. In the beginning there was no water, electricity, roads, schools or services. But the peasants only wanted to live: each on five acres with some goats, pigs, maybe cows, too.

But one day our kingdom passed a law making it possible to pass goods easily back and forth between the neighboring lands. Rumors of a new road which would pass through the barren Lomas del Poleo were whispered. The richest man in the country (who already owned more than all the people of the kingdom altogether) declared that Lomas del Poleo really belonged to him.

This cruel, rich man built a razor-wire fence around the town. He posted a goon on the only road into town to control who could enter the town and who was forbidden. Life became very difficult for the peasants. Their pig stys and their homes burned mysteriously while their animals and even their children perished in the flames! The rich man sent a goon to each house, telling people they are going to get evicted and will have nothing. “Hence, it is better sign over your rights to the land and go somewhere else to live,” said the goon. He lied to people saying that “so-and-so has already signed and most people are signing,” showing lists of names of people who are going to accept relocation—people to whom he hadn’t even spoken! One by one, families gave up and moved away from their poor, but cherished, homes. Then the goons came in and bulldozed them, one by one.

But some of the families rallied. They knew that if they banded together they could prove that their homes were theirs. They could stand up to the cruel, rich bully. They hired a lawyer and found friends to support them.

The Border Explorer received an email on Sunday, which read:

“Carlos Avitia, the lawyer who was representing most of the residents of Lomas de Poleo, was gunned down today in Chihuahua at 1:15 p.m. There were no details as to who the assassins may have been or why he was murdered. Lic. Avitia leaves behind, in addition to his wife, four young boys ranging in age from about 13 years old to 3 years old.”

We hope that that is not the end of the story.
To learn about human rights abuses in Lomas del Poleo:


dada said...

Thanks for writing this story, B.E. It's a story that's been plaguing me for several months now -- ever since attending that symposium on Lomas at UTEP earlier this year.

It's been such a struggle of recent in a story that goes back to the 70's and I find it interesting the peasant (or homesteaders as I prefer to think of them) are attempting to resolve their claims to their land (under Mexican law) via the legal processes of the state, whereas the monied interests are resorting to goons and terror to validate their "rightful" claim for this land.

And we know who usually wins. But there is still hope. Thank you for saying here what I didn't know how to.

Border Explorer said...

Dada, I appreciate your comment very much. I thought of you last night while composing this entry: how we both struggled with how to share the story. I hoped you would approve of my attempt. I'm hoping you'll write it up from your perspective sometime ("homesteaders"=right on). Thank you for thinking of me Sunday to tell me of the assassination. I've been troubled ever after: 1) will right prevail this time? 2) How can I help?

Several aspects of Juarez have been for me the rawest evil I've experienced in close range.

eProf2 said...

BE, thanks for the story and the updated reality. This was news to me, the kind the msm wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. The Mexican border areas are turning into anarchy no matter how much attention the federal and state governments try to do something about it. Unfortunately, officials have taken the low road, too, often being on the payrolls of the jefes along with the goons. I'm not sure how or when these situations will be resolved, if ever, as the border areas get more and more population crowding in on what was once sparsley populated regions. The "morbida" lives!

Border Explorer said...

eProf, you are so accurate in your comments about Lomas. This shows me how this Lomas event is one of many similar situations repeated all along the Border. You put it in the wider context for us, and, as they say, "the shoe fits."

DivaJood said...

This is, I'm sorry to say, the first I've heard of this travesty. And because they are poor Mexicans, the MSM will not touch it.

And it kills me how closely this parallels what happens in Gaza - how have both my countries become so hollow?

Border Explorer said...

Diva, good observation. Kinda goes along with what eProf noted about the Borderlands...this sort of thing is way more widespread than we know/are aware of.

Knowing you're battling pain, I'm sorry to burden you with the grief of the knowledge of Lomas. Take care: the next post is worse. But I'm on a roll, the levee broke and the story is spilling out.

Bless you!