Sunday, January 27, 2008

Missing – 15 year old

From Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez:

"Please help publicize the disappearance of 15 year old Adriana Sarmiento Enriquez. She is a friend of one of our Amigos. She disappeared on her way home from school on Friday, January 18th. She is fifteen, 55 kilos, 155 cm, has hazel eyes and long brown hair. She was last seen by her friend when they departed from a bus stop on their way home from eating after school. Adriana disappeared sometime on her walk from the bus stop to her home.

Her mother, Tina Enriquez can be contacted in Juarez at 0115265666327463. She has a daughter, Veronica, who lives in El Paso and can be contacted at 915-564-5206.

Most recent murders
The level of violence in Juarez has escalated Since January 1, 2008, there have been 29 murders in Cuidad Juarez. Three of these were women. The latest murders are:

Jan. 18th, Maria Guadalupe Esparza Zavala died of stab wound to the heart. Her 12 year old daughter told police she and her stepfather had been arguing.

Jan. 20th, Mirna Yeremia Munoz Ledo Marin was found nude inside her house, stabbed several times.

Jan. 21st, Ericka Sonora Trejo, 38 and 8 months pregnant was found in the bathroom of her house. Police said her father-in-law allegedly bludgeoned her with an axe.

United Nations and EU meetings
Some members of Amigos will accompany members of Justicia para Nuestras Hijas and Centro de Derechos Humanos de Mujeres de Chihuahua to Mexico City and meet with delegations from the UN and EU. Both groups have been involved in a bringing the continued injustices to the attention of these international bodies."

Friday, January 25, 2008

a bit of live performance (above) often more interesting than the perfect studio recording

here's the studio version

Monday, January 21, 2008

today i'm reminded of many things, but i also recall my early distaste for writing in an imposed genre when it came to writing expectations from teachers. in my ninth grade english class, we were required to write an essay about martin luther king, jr. that my teacher planned to submit to a county-wide essay contest if she thought it good enough (or maybe she submitted everyone's--who's to know). i did not want to write an essay, i wanted to write a poem, even though i knew that i would not be following the rules of the assignment and would not receive a good grade, if any. this was the first time i did something like this -- i never had precocious ideas about writing or remotely thought of myself as a poet. i was not the highest achiever (though i hoped for good grades), nor did i feel the need to impress my teacher because by that point i already felt quite disenfranchised and was more interested in owning a pair of pink boots than i was in attending english class to discuss great expectations. i was not silliman discovering william carlos williams in his local library nor was i j. spahr discovering gertrude stein and writing papers about tender buttons. i didn't know what to read for pleasure -- the year or two before, i mostly read used 10 cent romance novels my friend and i bought at the bookmobile during middle school. i don't recall returning to any semblance of a library (though i'm sure i had to at some point) until college. i can't even remember what my high school library looks like. i used to love reading as a child (well before the awful romance novels) when i loved school then high school happened.

this mlk jr. assignment was the first time i remember waking up in h.s. english class. i knew i had to write a poem instead of an essay if i were going to attempt to be genuine about my feelings regarding civil rights and what little, precious information we had learned about the movement in elementary and middle school (even now in writing this, the journal-entry-with-hints-of-essay-conventions feels somewhat false). and so i wrote my poem, that rhymed because i had few experiences ever writing or reading poems. and i was happy because it felt real.

Friday, January 18, 2008

margo tamez, indigenous rights, border wall, poetry

Some links to articles about poet/scholar/activist Margo Tamez, the border wall, and eminent domain abuse in South Texas. Tamez is the author of the poetry collections Naked Wanting and Raven Eye (her newest collection, nominated for the Pulitzer), published by the University of Arizona Press.


"My mother and elders of El Calaboz, since July [2007] have been the targets of numerous threats and harassments by the Border Patrol, Army Corps of Engineers, NSA, and the U.S. related to the proposed building of a fence on their levee.

Since July, they have been the targets of numerous telephone calls, unexpected and uninvited visits on their lands, informing them that they will have to relinquish parts of their land grant holdings to the border fence buildup. The NSA demands that elders give up their lands to build the levee, and further, that they travel a distance of 3 miles, to go through checkpoints, to walk, recreate, and to farm and herd goats and cattle, ON THEIR OWN LANDS.

This threat against indigenous people, life ways and lands has been very very serious and stress inducing to local leaders, such as Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez, who has been in isolation from the larger indigenous rights community due to the invisibility of indigenous people of South Texas and Northern Tamaulipas to the larger social justice conversation regarding the border issues."


from "Apaches Rise to Defend Homelands from Homeland Security":

"The Texas communities along the international boundary zone are largely made up of Native Americans and of land grant heirs who have resided on inherited properties for hundreds of years. Homeland Security plans to complete the Texas portions of the fence before the end of the 2008calendar year."


from "In Praise of Margo and Eloisa Tamez":

"Along the zone, the security barrier is obstructing Native American access to traditional ceremonial pilgrimage pathways, and will cut off access to water rights and agricultural fields. Whether we value human cultures or healthy wildlife habitat, we must heed the indigenous peoples’ voices for the U.S.-Mexico international boundary zone.

Margo Tamez has recently submitted testimony to the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well as comments for the Environmental Impact Statement being conducted for the border fence by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Some of Tamez’ main points address Texas’ historical institutional structures negating indigenous status and rights, the devastating effects of centuries of border imposition and development on local indigenous communities, corporate contracting on the border, and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights according to international law."


from an interview with Margo Tamez on La Bloga (from last year):

"... poetry for me is and always has to be connected to the material. I spent too much time in ‘poetry workshops’ and was violated by the student loan indentured slave system for too long [paying for my MFA] to allow what I write to be relegated to ‘poetry for poetry’s sake’. What is that? There’s no oxygen for that, period. I come from the most hypermilitarized spaces in the North American continent, outside of Chiapas. Poetry has to be connected on the ground to communities, period."

"Privatization of scholars of color, indigenous scholars, is an ongoing site of struggle. Indigenous scholars who are women, doing anti-racist, anti-heterosexism, anti-capitalism, and anti-militarization from within an academic space are going to meet with attempts to silence, side-track, repress their voices. They’ll be dangled like a charm on a ‘diversity’ bracelet, and simultaneously underfunded, defunded, and refused entry into sectors which are necessary pathways for indigenous people’s ongoing disruption of state and colonial oppression of our people, lands, communities and livelihoods. My position in relation to my home, my community and the academy is that I’m here to do the work my communities assigned and asked to me to do in the ongoing struggle against U.S. empire."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

andrés montoya poetry prize

Latin@ poets! Don't forget to submit your poetry manuscript to the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (for a first book). Postmark deadline, Jan 15th, 2008. No entry fee!

Martín Espada is the final judge for the third edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Publication by University of Notre Dame Press.

Please read all of the prize guidelines on the Letras Latinas website for more information.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008