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Follow The Money

How did we get here? Nobody’s sposed to be here. Don’t think Deborah Cox thought her song would end up in this article but when we went digging we didn’t anticipate a fruit company in the mix.

The 25th President of Guatemala Jacobo Arbenz took office March 15th, 1951. His policies put the United Fruit Company at risk of losing a massive amount of land and The UFC which had government stakeholders lobbied the US Government to have him overthrown citing communism. In 1954 he was removed from office with military force backed by the CIA. After the government was destabilized a civil war took place starting in 1962 and would not cease until 1996. The death toll surpassed 200,000 people.

In the 1970’s civil war broke out in El Salvador and The United States funded the conflict on the side of the military government to the tune of billions of dollars. The US also supplied weapons and provided military training in Honduras. Over 75,000 people died by the conflicts end in the early 1990’s.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s refugees from this area called The Northern Triangle fled the area and took exile in the U.S. According to “The Guardian” in the span of just two years from 2013 to 2015 300,000 people with criminal records were deported back to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Many were the offspring of refugees.

Fast forward to modern day conflict. According to “Amnesty International” over 39,000 kids dropped out of school in 2015 due to the threat of gang violence. The unstable region is riddled with extortion plots, kidnappings, human trafficking and some of the highest murder rates in the entire world.

Many families and unaccompanied minors traveled from Central America to the US on foot. Imagine walking for an entire month only to be separated at the border.

Print journalists picked up the story of unaccounted for children and refused to let the stories fade. Actors, writers, directors and influencers posted about the inhumane separation of parents and kids, and mainstream media did exposés.

Today Donald Trump stated he would sign an executive order to stop the separation of families at the border. However a reporter pointed out that the zero tolerance border policy has not been lifted and kids are not allowed to stay with their parents longer than 20 days.

Central American refugees are seeking asylum because of instability caused in large part by the United States Government for corporate and political gain. There are citizens from El Salvador and Honduras who are at risk of being deported after losing TPS (Temporary Protected Status) many have children who are American citizens.

There are many people saying this is not my America. From black slave auctions, to Japanese Internment Camps of mostly second and third generation Japanese-American citizens, to native residential schools, to separating families at the border, America has been traumatizing people of color for generations.

Nothing about this country surprises us anymore. Not even the fact that The United Fruit Company we spoke of above is now Chiquita Brands International. Makes us wonder what else comes over on those banana boats, but that’s a story for another day. It’s amazing what people will do for the love of money.

Update: The D.O.J. confirms kids will only remain with parents for up to 20 days. In 2017 for profit prison companies spent millions of dollars lobbying on capital hill to keep immigration policy geared towards detainment. The majority of detainees currently sit in for profit prison institutions.

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