As we traveled from Honduras to Guatemala, passing through the various formal stages of migration, I became very aware (and not a little bothered by) the dynamics of power and contro,. There is machinery in place. Lists must be checked. Names and numbers matched with photos, fingerprints and manifests. From the more invasive and intense (fingerprinting and carryon baggage searches) to the less and significantly more caring guidance of our group leaders, these checkpoints along the way were intended to ensure our safety and wellbeing as well as that of our fellow travelers.
And all of this makes me wonder:
Is such care offered to the person whose families sacrificed to put together the nearly $8,000 they need to pay a coyote to move them northward? Is such careful attention given to their safety and security?
Is anyone watching over the campesinos who have been forced off their land by natural disasters or by extortioners working for transnational Palm oil manufacturers and mining companies? Is there someone looking after them, making sure they have somewhere safe to live? Is anyone providing for their security?
I doubt it.
And again… Our privilege is unbelievable. And it’s part of the problem.