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Gerardo was arrested at the Swift & Company meat-packing plant as part of a national raid when Immigration Custom Enforcement officers arrested 1,300 suspected undocumented immigrants at various Swift meat-packing plants throughout the United States..
More than 300 slaughterhouse workers were arrested on anti-terrorist charges of “aggravated identity theft.” Most were Mayans from Guatemala who could not read and did not even know what a Social Security Number was.
Examining such subjects as Julio Cortázar and Frida Kahlo and such topics as folk art and cinema, the volume brings together for the first time the views of scholars who are currently engaging the task of cultural studies from the standpoint of primitivism.
These varied contributions include analyses of Latin American art in relation to social issues, popular culture, and official cultural policy; essays in cultural criticism touching on ethnic identity, racial politics, women's issues, and conflictive modernity; and analytical studies of primitivism's impact on narrative theory and practice, film, theater, and poetry.
Then they were denied their constitutional right to reasonable bail because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued an immigration detainer against them, thus forcing the magistrates to comply. “A day I don’t work is a day my children don’t eat,” one man told me.
Essay By Erik Camayd
I interpreted for them their 15-page plea agreement, which coerced them into pleading guilty to Social Security fraud with six months in prison, instead of two to 10 years for aggravated identity theft. I later learned that one of his five children, a 13-year-old boy, had hanged himself back in Guatemala out of desperation while his father was in prison.As we recently posted, following the ICE raid at the meat-packing plant in Postville, Iowa, immigrant workers were herded into kangaroo style hearings where they were railroaded into pleading guilty to criminal offenses.A courageous interpreter, Erik Camayd-Freixas, came forward and exposed the lack of any semblance of due process in these summary proceedings. Camayd-Freixas account: On Monday, May 12, 2008, at a.m., in an operation involving some 900 agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a raid of agriprocessors Inc, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant located in the town of Postville, Iowa. District Court had contracted the interpreters a month ahead, but was not at liberty to tell us the whole truth, lest the impending raid be compromised.The raid –officials boasted– was “the largest single-site operation of its kind in American history.” At that same hour, 26 federally certified interpreters from all over the country were en route to the small neighboring city of Waterloo, Iowa, having no idea what their mission was about. The operation was led by ICE, which belongs to the executive branch, whereas the U. District Court, belonging to the judicial branch, had to formulate its own official reason for participating.The investigation had started more than a year earlier. Accordingly, the Court had to move for two weeks to a remote location as part of a “Continuity of Operation exercise” in case they were ever disrupted by an emergency, which in Iowa is likely to be a tornado or flood.That is what we were told, but, frankly, I was not prepared for a disaster of such a different kind, one which was entirely man-made.Echoing what I think was the general feeling, one of my fellow interpreters would later xclaim: “When I saw what it was really about, my heart sank…” Then began the saddest procession I have ever witnessed, which the public would never see, because cameras were not allowed past the perimeter of the compound (only a few journalists came to court the following days, notepad in hand).Although primitivism has received renewed attention in recent years, studies linking it with Latin America have been rare.This volume examines primitivism and its implications for contemporary debates on Latin American culture, literature, and arts, showing how Latin American subjects employ a Western construct to "return the gaze" of the outside world and redefine themselves in relation to modernity.Finally, I witnessed how that plea agreement bound the judges’ hands so they had no discretion at sentencing.The Bush-Cheney executive branch agencies, ICE, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) forced the hand of the judiciary.