Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Telling Their Stories, One-by-One

...until these deaths are no more than a gut-wrenching memory.

Juan Cruz-Torralva crossed the Arizona desert with his daughter last week because he wanted a better life for her.

His daughter, 12-year-old Lourdes Cruz-Morales, will return to Mexico in a casket.

Near the last leg of their three-day journey, a U.S. Border Patrol agent ran over Cruz-Torralva and his daughter with his truck near Dateland.

The agent had spotted a dozen illegal immigrants and was following them in the truck, according to a report by the Yuma County Attorney's Office.

When the agent got out of the truck, he heard moaning and discovered that he had run over Cruz-Torralva and his daughter. At no time did he see the two, according to the report.

Yuma County sheriff's detectives ruled the incident an accident.

Shortly after his daughter's death, sheriff's deputies arrested Cruz-Torralva on charges of endangerment.

Sheriff's authorities argued that by bringing his daughter with him through the desert, Cruz-Torralva placed her within "risk of imminent death" and eventually caused her death.

My heart breaks every time I read these tales of desperation and injustice. My eyes well up with the tears of my people who are no longer able to release the pain and anger they hold due to a broken society. They are the silent victims of an ongoing war that has been waged in the southwestern United States for the past 158 years.

In the halls of power across the globe and especially in Washington, D.C., the suits and pearls play chess with the lives of people instead of commiserating on a better way to create a balanced system of cooperation and peace.

No wonder we often feel defeated and depleted. Hatred and divisiveness have been given the platform and throne. It has lead us to widespread death, destruction and distrust.

We are diminished as a human race because of it.

As liberals, we must see the brokenness for what it is, not the illusions that are spread by the screens and speakers of the corrupt Age of Technology. The uphill battle against the forces of war and greed often appears hopeless, but it is a necessary fight and we are called to carry on.

How do we find the right direction to peace and change?

It's simple, really. It is a path that has fared well over history. To create Movements requires the telling of the Truth. Through our stories we are able to ignite an inner-fire that keeps us moving forward, motivated with resolve, to keep working towards a better world.

There is a recognition of honor in the simple act of recognizing the humanity of a person regardless of color, race or creed. To take that small step, allows Peace to make a giant leap. That is why these stories must be told.

Part of the Una Identidad Sin Fronteras series, crossposted at BooMan Tribune and Migra Matters

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