by Jacqueline Stevens, The Nation
December 17, 2009
Guatemalans in the Boston area are seeing spies infiltrating factories, buses with tinted windows taking away unidentifiable co-workers, and men with guns grabbing their neighbors. For these survivors of state violence, it's a traumatic reminder of the very thing they thought they had left behind. Twenty-six-year-old Julia, arrested in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid, said, "If they are taking children away and everything, then for me, that's a second war." She told her story in interviews with Professors Brinton Lykes and Dan Kanstroom of Boston College's Post-Deportation Human Rights Project.
Thirteen of the fifteen Guatemalans in the town of Chimaltenango who had organized a group on behalf of loved ones picked up by ICE in the US could not locate them. These Guatemalans, in meetings with Lykes and Kanstroom, also spontaneously brought up the decades-long civil war that ended in 1996, during which 200,000 were killed and thousands vanished. A woman who lost her son and husband in the war and who was desperate to find her grandson asked the two professors, "Are they being disappeared?" [...]
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See also the same author's "America's Secret ICE Castles," and read the comment from a former detainee.