Click to play video Terry Greene Sterling on the people in her book 'Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone'


Recent Blog Entries

Apr 09 DIVERSE AND SMART: SOUTH CENTRAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Thanks, South Central, for celebrating diversity, for uniting us instead of dividing us.
Apr 01 CLIMATE CHANGE TOURISM NORTH OF ARCTIC CIRCLE
Up now on The Daily Beast, a travel story about my trip north of the Arctic Circle this January, to see things before they change.  
Mar 23 Arizona Immigration-Law Backer Woos Mexico
Many American Hispanics and Mexicans in Mexico see Arizona as a racist state, thanks to SB 1070.
Mar 18 Pew: Crossing border illegally more than once drives uptick in federal immigration crime
In 1992, 12 percent of sentenced federal offenders were unauthorized immigrants, the Pew Center reports today. Ten years later, 48 percent of sentenced federal offenders were unauthorized immigrants. The reason for the uptick:  more unauthorized immigrants who were caught crossing the border more than once have been sentenced to hard time – two years on […]
Dec 06 Luis Gutierrez, Immigration Reform and the Demographic Tsunami
Rep. Luis Gutierrez on 2014 immigration reform: “It will not be perfect, and it may not even be pretty.”
Nov 22 Shattered Dreams: Jan Brewer’s Arizona fails to investigate 6000 cases of child abuse
I’m not saying Juana could have prevented the massive CPS negligence, but with her education, heart and work ethic, she would have improved the culture at CPS, and would have helped the fragile, abused children who crossed her path.
NMSU librarian shares news of Juárez deaths, drug cartels on U.S. Mexico border
NMSU librarian shares news of Juárez deaths, drug cartels on U.S. Mexico border

I don’t want to write about Molly Molloy.

But I have to.

First, though, here’s her picture.

mm jan2006 fence 1024x689 NMSU librarian shares news of Juárez deaths, drug cartels on U.S. Mexico border

Molly Molloy's photo by Richard Barron

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

[Next, Molly translates some of the story from the Mexican newspaper of record, El Diario.]

http://www.diario.com.mx/nota.php?notaid=3eefbef53ec9362ca0516f9081ddf6a1
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
Salvarcar neighborhood.
The majority of the victims are minors, students at two different
schools.
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
held.
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.]

http://www.diario.com.mx/nota.php?notaid=3eefbef53ec9362ca0516f9081ddf6a1
Masacran a estudiantes en Villas de Salvárcar

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE60U1CQ20100131
Gunmen kill 13 students at party in Mexico

http://lapolaka.com/2010/01/31/aberrante-masacre-estudiantil/
ABERRANTE MASACRE ESTUDIANTIL..!
http://lapolaka.com/2010/01/31/aberrante-masacre-estudiantil/
Descargado de Lapolaka.com © 2010

http://www.diario.com.mx/nota.php?notaid=7e327d360fdee704e8ad877ece1e0704
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.