– Are you forgetting something? – I wish.
“The Emigrant” Luis Felipe Lomelí
Shouting in unison: “We are not illegal, we are international workers”, thousands of immigrants, mainly from Honduras, and to a lesser extent from Nicaragua, Salvador and Guatemala, hit the road with the few belongings they could carry with them to lighten their footsteps. But, often taking with them: their children, siblings, grandparents, and the teddy bear. A heavy load. Because the migrant worker risks everything: leaving his family, home, friends, leaving the teddy bear, to pursue his dream. No, it is not the American dream, but his own dream: to escape the nightmare of unemployment, misery, discrimination, police repression, etc. And the maras [gangsters]! One of the most recent genres of capitalism.
Some have already sought refuge in Mexico but the others are still trying to stand up to Trump. The walk is hard, the plastic flip-flops that many wear and serve as daily shoes in their places of origin, are heated every minute, every hour, every day when the asphalt road surface is stepped on at temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius, burning the feet, producing painful sores that kindly hands heal with affection: the hands of solidarity of the Mexican working class, which has rushed to bring medicines, food, clothes, etc. Before, it was the Guatemalan workers who reached out and on the sides of the streets and highways, they also expressed their support. The first victims, two Honduran hikers, and one overturned bus, six dead and several wounded Guatemalans are known. But it is better to escape and face death along the way because there is a better chance of surviving than to stay and live one’s whole life in a panic of being treacherously shot twice in the back by gangsters, for not paying the protection (extortion). Capitalism kills.
Some are already tired, others sick, but are stilll intent on reaching the northern border. Coming out of a hell where they say life expectancy is supposedly 75 years, but many die sooner without the hope of getting medicine in hospitals. We’d better keep walking. The working class will provide. Support centers throughout Mexico are organizing to collect as much as possible. It is said that if they arrive in Mexico City they will be welcomed with open arms. Monterrey, Tijuana, Tamaulipas, and other border cities are on alert to receive them and help. The body needs to be able to withstand it. And that Peña Nieto’s threat to stop the caravan from continuing does not materialize. There are still more than 2,600 kilometers of heat, rain and perhaps the cold desert. The working class will provide.
While marchers continue their journey, in the United States it is election time, Democrats and Republicans are locked in a struggle to see who controls Congress and the Senate. On television, radio and social networks the preferred topic for attacking each other is immigration. Trump and the Republicans blaming the Democrats for having organized or at least manipulated the people who come in the caravan, on the other hand the Democrats blaming Trump for separating immigrant children from their parents. And at the height of Trump-style populism, former President Barack Obama asserting that he likes reggeaeton. Cheap arguments to convince and win the Latino vote, the immigrant vote. Let the Dogs Bark, The Caravan Continues.
More caravans have left and others are getting ready in the midst of threats not to let them leave Honduras and not to let them pass through Guatemala and Mexico. But hunger and misery have united workers from these countries. Mass migrations are nothing new, they have always existed since the beginning of humanity. In recent times they have been massive in Europe, with migrants coming from from the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe. We have seen pictures of drowned children, refugee camps turned into garbage dumps, the inhabitants beaten and killed by racists. For now this is becoming less and less news. European governments are meeting not to take measures to help these refugees, but to close their borders to prevent the flow of immigrants.
Now it is Central America’s turn, the human snake walking on the road has gained media attention and is being given its 15 minutes of fame, but as the days go by the coverage becomes less. Human drama does not sell, it does not generate the money generated by soccer, soap operas or show business gossip. The bosses and their governors have a crisis in their hands, every day more workers rebel against bad living conditions and this caravan is demonstrating that.
But thousands had to come together to let the world know that capitalism is unbearable. The Central American exodus takes the migration out of the shadows. The route that before was made in small groups and with coyotes [smugglers], is now traveled by thousands and in the light of day. How many will arrive or when they reach the border is an unknown. But one thing is certain, wherever they arrive, the evils of capitalism will be present. United States, Canada, Europe, all over the world, racism, unemployment, gangs, narco, everything the same, whether to a greater or lesser degree, but the same. Capitalism is an illusion that kills. We have to destroy it or it destroys us, wherever we are or wherever we go with our children, parents, grandparents. And the teddy bear.