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A Meditation on the Unspoken Causes of Child Migration

As is so often true, it is what is not being said about the current migration of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children to the U.S. that is the most important.
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As is so often true, it is what is not being said about the current migration of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children to the U.S. that is the most important.

The vast majority of these children, we are told by the UN High Commission for Refugees, are coming from four countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

However, in this nation of forgetfulness called the United States, there is not a whisper about what the U.S. has done to those countries, and their children, over the past decades to cause such a migration.

Where is there talk, for example, of the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador, in which U.S.-trained and backed troops of the Atlacatl Battalion slaughtered 800 to 1,000 peasants, hundreds of them children, in cold blood in 1981 as part of President Reagan's ostensible "war on communism"?

Where is the mention of the 75,000 civilians in all killed in El Salvador as part of Reagan's war?

Where is the meditation upon the murder of Archbishop Romero of San Salvador -- now track for sainthood -- who was killed while saying Mass by the forces the U.S. was backing to protect us all, we were told, by the "God-less reds?"

Where do we hear of the murder of the six Jesuits in El Salvador, again by U.S.-backed soldiers, in 1989 -- one month after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War?

Where is there talk, amidst all of the opportunistic hand-wringing by the Republicans and Democrats, about the slaughter of Mayan Indians during Reagan's Holy War in what the Guatemalan Truth Commission concluded was calculated genocide?

Why don't we hear of the Rio Negro massacres in which approximately 444 Mayan Indians were slaughtered in in 1982?

Where do we hear the mourning of the 200,000 innocents slaughtered in Guatemala in the 1980s - 93 percent by U.S.-backed forces -- as part of Reagan's offensive in Central America?

Why is there silence about the 23 religious, mostly Roman Catholic, murdered in Guatemala in the 1980s?

Why are we not told about the 2009 coup in Honduras by U.S.-trained Generals, and the continued military support the U.S. gives to the thugs who now rule Honduras with an iron fist, killing more journalists than in any other country on earth?

Where is there mention of NAFTA which destroyed the lives of two million small farmers in Mexico, and sent them migrating North?

Why can't the media bear to point out that there is no migration of children from Nicaragua because of the social policies and the benevolence of the Sandinistas -- the group that survived Reagan's brutal and illegal war of terror known as the Contra War?

Lest this all sound like bygone history, Alex Main, in a wonderful article in NACLA, explains how the U.S. continues to back repressive military forces in Central America -- many of these which were involved in the unmentionable atrocities described above, and which continue to carry out atrocities. The U.S. does so under the guise of the "war on drugs," but, as Main relates, does so also in order to prevent the spread of 21st Century Socialism begun by Hugo Chavez. But we don't hear about that either.

Of course, how could this be otherwise? If one were to contemplate these truths, how would one not conclude that we deserve all of the migrants that Central America and Mexico can send? That we indeed owe them for the crimes we have committed against them? That these children who come to our door demand compassion, and love and justice, and that we are bound because of our sins to give this to them?

The immensity of these truths, and of our collective crimes, are nearly too great to bear.

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