I don’t want to write about Molly Molloy.
But I have to.
First, though, here’s her picture.
You can see she’s standing next to border trash. She understands that just like everything else on the US-Mexico border, it means many things. It says many things. It provokes outrage, sorrow, curiosity.
It is part of an undocumented region.
Which brings us back to Molly Molloy, a fifty-four year-old-librarian, historian, journalist and writer. She grew up in the American South, graduated from college, worked odd jobs, and then lived for almost two years in Latin America, where she became fluent in Spanish. (She’s really good at Spanish, so good that she’s served as a translator for a guy I think is one of the most clear thinking, talented, and honest writers in the Southwest– Charles Bowden.) In 1992, Molly Molloy became a librarian at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces sits close to the Mexican border, near the Rio Grande River. And it’s less than an hour’s drive from El Paso, Texas, which is just across the river from Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Where, according to Molly Molloy’s most recent dispatch, thirteen high school kids were massacred early this morning.
You see, Molly opens our eyes to such things via her Google group. It is called “Frontera List.” If you join this group, you will know what is happening at the U.S. Mexican Border from multiple perspectives. In English. In Spanish. From journalists, scholars, writers, victims, activists, migrants, Americans, Mexicans, and citizens of the world. Here’s the link: http://groups.google.com/group/frontera-list?hl=en
Here’s a dispatch that Molly sent today. First she writes:
These stories were posted this morning at about 10 am, but I was on my way out toplay music at a church in Las Cruces. The sermon and scripture today was all about LOVE–St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 1-13… Look it up. Many of you probably know it by heart like I do. I am certain I was the only person in the room to feel the power of the irony here. It took the El Paso Times till about noon to post a link to the Reuters article. See below. The massacre happened just after midnight, according to El Diario and Lapolaka. I encourage you to look at the photos. Rivers of blood in the street outside of the house where the events took place. Follows my translation of the Diario article, the original, Reuters in English, and Lapolaka… The photos are at the links. Also below, two other killings reported from late last night that are not included in the total for yesterday. So, if it was 205 this morning, then it is now at least 220. Note that of the injured in this automatic weapons fire, more will probably not survive and their deaths will probably not be reported. molly
Students massacred in Villas de Salvarcar
Thirteen were killed and 8 injured in an armed attack carried out by a
group of individuals who arrived in 7 vehicles in the Villas de
The majority of the victims are minors, students at two different
The attack occurred in the early hours of Sunday at the intersection
of Vista del Portal and Portal de Salvarcar, where a party was being
Two other people died at the scene who were not part of the group and
had arrived on a motorcycle to buy sodas at a store next door to the
house where the massacre took place.
The injured were taken in private vehicles to social security clinic
66 located a few minutes from the scene. Of the 11 injured in all, 2
died inside the hospital and another outside–the last was semi-nude
as he had gone outside of the house when he heard the first shots.
Among the victims also is an adolescent who, it is said, was a witness
to a multiple homicide that occurred in the El Campanario neighborhood
a few days ago.
It is worth mentioning that the residents of the area nearly lynched
the soldiers and police who arrived at the scene of the crimes, as
they seemed to only hold up the investigations and also trampled on
the evidence at the crime scene.
The informants said that the attackers arrived in 7 vehicles, that
they used the vehicles to block the street, others kept guard while
others carried out the attack.
[Then Molly posts links to the stories that document this horror.]
Masacran a estudiantes en Villas de Salvárcar
Gunmen kill 13 students at party in Mexico
ABERRANTE MASACRE ESTUDIANTIL..!
Descargado de Lapolaka.com © 2010
Asesinan a dos en distintos hechos
OK, now you see why I didn’t want to write about Molly and her work. She is a treasure trove of story ideas for journalists covering the border.
But her work should be shared with the world, because many more than just selfish journalists yearn to know about the border – the deaths, the boondoggles, the drug cartels, the politics, the economics, the personal stories.
The varied experiences of life and death on the border are being erased faster than they can become known, studied and understood.
Molly wrote this on behalf of New Mexico State University Library to see if in this ongoing recession someone, somehow, someplace, can fund an archive at the library where a record of what is happening on the border can be preserved, studied, and perhaps understood.
Because I can’t understand it now.
I can’t understand why thirteen high schoolers were gunned down in Juárez, right across the river from El Paso.
And if it weren’t for Molly Molloy, I wouldn’t even know it happened.