Saturday 25 June 2022

[OP-ED] Taking Care of Your Backyard?

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24 June 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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[OP-ED] In America, there was once a television program called, “This is the Week that Was” and the world, including Costa Rica should be a part of that program from July 13 to July 20, 2014.

Sadly, last week we had the shoot down of Malaysian Airline MH 17, the invasion of Israel into the Palestinian Gaza, the continued incursion of ISIL radical Muslims into Iraq ordering the people of Mosul to either adopt the Muslin sect, pay a tax for professing Christianity or, “die by the word.” Even the self righteous Christians in the Sudan are taking land, raping, pilfering and indiscriminately killing men, women and children…just to do it.

Good news? Hard to find.

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We live in Costa Rica, almost isolated, a blessed land of limited yet still violent in a different way and seemingly unscathed by global conflict. (The word conflict is such an easy word to describe what is happening, yet so inappropriate.)

All, and I mean 100% of our national news limits information where perhaps millions of people could end up in a disjointed World War III. Please, never tell me how Costa Rica much gives a S#*% about being a globally involved nation. It is not!

Perhaps we should just stick to Central America with a focus on the homeland and not to pretend to be much more? We are uneducated of world affairs, but happy folks and worry more about the next mega-hotel development and political scandal than much else.

The United States of America? Even worst!

Reportedly 57,000 Central American youths and children have risked their lives and all of their very limited resources to reach that country while running away from the poverty, violence and “gang” controlled countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. This is not new. The spike began in 2012 for parents to give up their kids in order to allow them to escape the appalling conditions of America’s own back yard.

I have read the news responses of which most Americans, or at least the most vocal, are in favor of sending these kids back to crime and gang slavery; to their likely death. It is a sad testimony that so many Americans feel this way but are yet willing to focus massive resources into Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Yemen; but not Central America.

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U.S., you deported the MS-13 and 18 Street gangs among others to Central America and dropped them off to rid yourself of the brutal and uncontrolled violence they have easily assimilated here. So now, you should pay the price of those in need. As the saying goes, it is coming back to “bite you in the ass.”

I am appalled by some of the amazingly stupid, uneducated, partisan responses by congressional people, local authorities and a few governors of the most impacted states. One governor asked how these kids could economically afford the trip north? They must be sponsored by drug runners.

“No,” the truth is governor that these young people have been sent in desperation by their families and if you ever have the chance to visit El Salvador, Guatemala and the murder capital of the world Honduras, you might understand the sense of crisis and why families are sacrificing their children.

The United States has long ignored the many ways it should have and can still help Central America from its massive violence as well as the massive evacuation of its youth to avoid the assured life of violence. Everything from money to flat out police training, providing sophisticated law enforcement equipment, building recreation centers to viable education has all but been abandoned by America. And there is a price to be paid for that.

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Poverty + Hunger = Violence and if I personally, after deep consideration and had no other option, sadly my kids would be on top of a train headed north where even the worst conditions are far better than what I now have in the barrios.

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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