What is happening on the US-MX Border, what is likely to happen and how you can help? A response

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Victor Interiano, aka Dichos de un Bicho is a Salvadoran artist and creator from Los Angeles. He created Homenaje a Oscar y Valeria, the art that illustrates this blog. The following is a response to Gabriella Sanchez’s blog What is happening on the US-MX Border, published in this same space yesterday.

I really appreciate the thorough and sober way the blog discusses the present situation at the border. If you don’t mind, there are a couple points I would like to add that hardly ever get discussed:

  • 1. Given that the majority of migrants crossing through Mexico are of Central American origin, very few journalists and media outlets ever bother to mention how United States foreign policy and military interventionism directly impacted the unstable political landscape of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Even after the civil war period, economic interventionism from the U.S. has never ceased. This has unfortunately stifled and stunted any chance for positive economic growth, particularly for countries in the region often referred to as “The Northern Triangle.” In 2009, the democratically-elected and left-leaning president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a military coup that was eventually supported by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The new militaristic regime launched a campaign of terror against its own population, in particular, environmental activists–Berta Cáceres being one if its most prominent victims. And we are not even talking about all the money that the U.S. has been putting into beefing up Mexico’s security apparatus to specifically stop Central American migration, which oddly enough goes back to the Obama administration.
  • 2. There is another issue that hardly ever gets touched upon, if at all. Just like the present overt xenophobia exhibited by white Americans toward immigrants did not suddenly appear with the advent of Donald Trump, Mexican xenophobia toward Central American migrants has been simmering for decades, and all it needed was a catalyst to overflow. There is an unfortunate tendency in the U.S. to lump Latin American peoples into a homogenized demographic, which obfuscates but does not eliminate the unspoken national hierarchies which have existed between nation-states since their respective independence movements. In case you’ve never seen it, a Mexican and Central American troupe mounted a satirical, fake campaign around Mexican xenophobia toward Central Americans. The final product was so dead-on and on point that it failed as satire. But the troupe made a video you should check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwuR2KLtF64


The Migration Policy Centre is grateful to the artist for allowing us to share the image. You can see more of his work here.


The EUI, RSCAS and MPC are not responsible for the opinion expressed by the author(s). Furthermore, the views expressed in this publication cannot in any circumstances be regarded as the official position of the European Union.