Working on video

Sólo pa’ que sepan: ya estoy terminando el primer video que hice ayer aquí en Arizona. I think I’ll have it up and running later tonight.

Yesterday I had the chance to hang out with the super busy people from Puente and also met with good old Sonaí.

Image taken from the art campaign

It was a great meeting. The people from Puente laid out the plan for Saturday’s demonstration and it seems they will have tons of people coming from all corners in support of la lucha.

Sandra showed Sonaí and I around. It was good seeing both of them after almost a year of just promising that I’d come down. Fortunately—and unfortunately—I came for this. Bueno, ni modo. Hay que aprovechar las oportunidades.

En mi post más reciente I said I would talk about media. I couldn’t watch any news yesterday, but on Sunday I saw a very biased one-hour special on the local CBS station. It was called “Arizona’s Broken Border” and the word illegal seemed to be their favorite. They showed footage from drug and safe houses raids here and they constantly teamed up both the cartels and the immigrants.

It almost seemed to me they were saying that the immigration wave that makes its way through Arizona was devised by the narcos. It’s true that some traffickers take advantage of the people crossing the border, but is that the real root of the problem? I mean, are the cartels limiting opportunities and screwing poor people just to use them as burros to carry drugs across? What about governments? What about coke heads in the US? What about trade and foreign policy? Can somebody answer these questions please?

Later in the show they had sheriff Joe Arpaio who said that SB1070 is much needed and that he has trained his deputies to enforce immigration law for over three years already. He doesn’t care, it seems, that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (La Migra) has already said they wouldn’t process anybody arrested under this law in Arizona.

Arpaio also said that the Mexican president, Felipillo Calderas, I mean, Felipe Calderón—anybody knows how much longer till him and his party go away?—should take care of his own business and don’t mind what they’re doing in Arizona. What did you expect? This is a stubborn politician who has to say whatever is in accord with his agenda even though he has been making a fool of himself every time he opens his mouth, the other guy is Joe Arpaio.

The good thing is that Puente has a message for him: ¡Te vamos a sacar tarde o temprano! At least that’s what this cool dude Salvador Reza, an organizer with this group, told the people who showed up yesterday to hear what was the plan for this weekend.

Pero bueno, I have one more thing just to finish with Arpaio. The reporter had him there asking him TV tough questions. Arpaio gave his show and when the friendly chat ended, the reporter thanked him and he told her she was doing a great job. She said thank you. I don’t you, but when a figure like Arpaio slaps you in the back something is really wrong if you call yourself a critical thinker. I mean, you could have a fake tan and dyed blonde hair and still have some reasoning in you, but to be slapped in the back and be told “atta girl” by such a figure…

Anyways, the march is scheduled for Saturday morning. I’ll keep you guys posted with the latest news o lo que es lo mismo: ¡no le cambien de canal ni en los comerciales!


About Gustavo Martínez Contreras

was born in Texas, brewed in Mexico City, seasoned in the Mexico-United States border, aged walking the streets of Philadelphia. He had a short-lived stint eating grits, fried chicken, and peaches in Atlanta. He later became a béisbol writer for El Diario de Nueva York. He has written about immigrant communities in English, Spanish, and some Spanglish. Although he does not have a shelf full of awards, Gustavo has received thank you notes and hugs from people who have trusted him with their stories. His work has appeared in Voices of New York, El Diario/La Prensa, Dallas’ Al Día, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, Philadelphia Weekly, Radio Bilingüe, Latina Lista,, among others. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
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