Uniting 31 musicians, artists, and activists to chronicle the struggles faced by border communities, the album "Border Songs" has raised over $50,000 of direct humanitarian aid. Producer Robert Neustadt considers it one of the most eclectic albums in the world.
By 2008, one in ten Mexicans, some 11.4 million people, resided in the United States. However, the global financial crisis, combined with the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border and the numerous costs and perils associated with emigrating to the United States from Mexico and Central America, have dissuaded increasing numbers from taking the risk.
Imagine the sort of metal police barricades you see at protests. These are unevenly lined up like so many crooked teeth on the Dominican Republic’s side of the river that acts as its border with Haiti. Like dazed versions of U.S. Border Patrol agents, the armed Dominican border guards sit at their assigned posts, staring at the opposite shore.
On Friday Global Voices aired their online hangout session “Dreams of U.S. Immigration Reform” as part of the NACLA-Global Voices collaboration “Migrant Journeys.” The hangout included activists and experts—including NACLA’s own Alfonso Gonzales—in the movement for immigration reform who discussed what the proposed reform could mean for the daily lives of millions of immigrants.
In recent years, Honduras has become a chief transit point for drugs bound for Mexico and the United States. Local gangs, like the Mara Salvatrucha, often collaborate with Mexican drug cartels and have far more power and authority in most parts of Honduras than police. The combined lawlessness has caused Honduras to become the country with the world’s highest murder rate.
Each year, Francisco Morelos leaves the small community in Mexico’s Querétaro state, and enters the United States to seek work. Many like him dream of starting their own business and do so by laboring in the United States as undocumented workers and sending their earnings back home.
A recent tragedy in the waters separating the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico led to dozens of migrant fatalities. In comparison to the intense reporting on the sinking of the luxury cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off of Italy's coast in January, media coverage of the deaths of Dominican migrants was poor at best. The disparity exemplifies who counts and who doesn't in a world of great inequality.
In the late 1990s, Oaxacan artist Alejandro Santiago set to repopulate his town with 2,500 individual human sculptures, each representing a person who had left San Pedro Teococuilco to migrate elsewhere. Right now these sculptures are alive in the streets of Oaxaca city, documenting a strong sense of pain that rarely makes it into comprehensive immigration debates in the United States.