Friday, February 03, 2006

Finally Back

Well, I'm back from several trips, including an amazing visit to Tijuana. The only thing I can say is that NAFTA, the WTO and the Mexican-U.S. elite are without souls. We visited several slums, but also met with labor leaders, as well as the U.S.-Friendly Tijuana Economic Development Council (not sure if that's the exact title. That last meeting was incredible. They were giving us a lecture on how great the average salary of 15 dollars per day was for mexican workers and U.S. industrialists looking for cheap labor. When confronted with the question of abuse in the factories (Maquiladoras), the business group (independent but housed in the city hall) stated: "Unfortunately, Mexican workers have too many rights." It got pretty tense after that.

Anyway, posted above is a picture of two girls living in squatter community on a dump. I'll write more about this later, but the amazing thing here is that, though the living conditions are litterally deadly (toxic smoke from underground fires, risk of electrocution from rigged electrical hookups, etc.), there is a real sense of safety and freedom because there is community. People know each other. Anyway, I'll blog more on this later now that I'm back. Here are a few more pictures.