"Everybody Knows"--the song electrified me. How have I never before heard it? But then again, would I have even listened to it before last year? An optimist and an idealist by both nature and nurture, I would perhaps have dismissed Cohan as an intellectual cynic.
What changed me?
About a year ago, I visited a tiny impoverished community on the very outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico--our sister city. I had heard about Lomas del Poleo and visited their website Paso del Sur. The once worthless desert wasteland on which these poorest people squatted until they earned their lot for huts [built of warehouse pallets covered with cardboard] now lay smack in the path of proposed international economic development interests. Big Money!
The richest family in all Northern Mexico--billionaires, I've heard--decided that Lomas del Poleo was really theirs. And to drive out the residents they launched an aggressive campaign:
- Enclosing the area in barbed wire,
- Requiring residents to pass a paramilitary gate-keeper to get to their property
- Lying to residents about who turned over their land's deed, for how much money
- Removing electricity from Lomas--uprooting the concrete poles, yanking meters & cable
- Setting fire to a Lomas home and, in the process, burning two little children to death
- Bulldozing their little church/chapel
- Digging a trench around the federal public grade school, so it's hard for the kids to attend
- Kidnapping and beatings of residents; home destructions
- Using stalling tactics to postpone a Mexican court decision on the case
"Everybody Knows" this is how the world works...it took me almost all my life to catch on. In fact, I still refuse to believe it. Were it not for international attention, Lomas del Poleo would be toast by now.
Amnesty International issued a public action appeal on behalf of Lomas last month. This is HUGE! With their help...with YOUR help, perhaps some justice can triumph.
I cling to ideals, but they are slipping from my grasp. Please help.
Click this AI link, scroll to the end and choose just ONE person to write or fax. [You can choose them all, but "Everybody Knows" I'll be pretty lucky if you choose even one!]
Directions are clear: what to say and how to send or fax it.
Email a copy to Foro Lomas del Poleo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or don't do anything... And settle for the world that "Everybody Knows."