Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two arrests: Vigil and direct action on U.S.-Mexico border protest militarization, oppression

Udu-Gama (left) and Bourgeois (center front) under arrest at border.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Nico Udu-Gama of the School of the Americas Watch delegation were arrested today for entering the U.S. without inspection. The SOAW delegation and and local activists challenged the policies of militarization and oppression during a vigil at the U.S.-Mexico fence at Sunland Park, New Mexico and Anapra, Chihuahua that concluded with a street drama. The arrests climaxed a week of solidarity between SOAW activists and border human rights activists during a ten-day delegation that included three days in Juarez.

SOAW delegates revealed this weekduring their visit that Julian Leyzaola Perez, the controversial Chief of Police in Ciudad Juarez, is himself a graduate of the School of the Americas. The School of the Ameicas, now renamed WHINSEC, is a U.S. military school located in Ft. Benning, GA specifically to train Latin American military leaders. Activists have evidence that the U.S. taxpayer-funded school trains its graduates in torture techniques which they then use against their own citizens.

At least a third of the original Zeta cartel, the most notorious of all criminal organizations, were trained at the SOA, as have thousands of Latin American soldiers, including 4,000 Mexican military. Policies of militarization and oppression continue ot lead to the deaths of thousands of Latin Americans, as the death count nears 10,000 in Ciudad Juarez alone during the last five years.

Vigilers met at the Anapra fence in Sunland Park, New Mexico this morning at 10 AM and walked to the end of the fence, near the base of Mount Cristo Rey. There SOAW delegates performed a street drama in which Bourgeois and Udu-Gama crossed into Mexico, later reappearing and reentering the United States side of the border. It is an infraction to enter the U.S. other than at a designated port of entry.

Fickr set: Images of the vigil and action

The protest highlighted U.S. military and police aid that continues to flow into Mexico and the continued expenditure of millions more on walls, fences and the militarization of the border. Meanwhile thousands flee violence in Mexico and Latin American countries, a flight that results in death for untold numbers.

Officials arrested the two activists as the event ended. This short video documents their apprehension:


fan of Gaia said...

Makes me wonder who is making money on these ill advised policies.

One Fly said...

Hi Billie, I saw the arrest video on your You Tube channel. It's powerful it really is with the music. Did you film that??

Billie Greenwood said...

Amen, amen...fofG! That point was clearly made at the site. Today I posted video of the statements the men gave upon their "illegal" entry of the U.S.

One Fly, yes it's my vid. Thank you and I'm so glad you liked it. The scene occurred in almost complete silence...with just the wind rustling the microphone. But YouTube lets you swap out the soundtrack for a music audio.