Stunted State of America: Why Did 7 Year Old Jakelin Caal Maquin and 8 Year old Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, Die?

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Above: 8 year old Felipe Alonzo Gomez Image: Catarina, featured in The Cut

The Fruit Company, Inc. reserved for itself the most succulent, the central coast of my own land, the delicate waist of America. It rechristened its territories as the ’Banana Republics’ and over the sleeping dead, over the restless heroes who brought about the greatness, the liberty and the flags, it established the comic opera…

The United Fruit Company was one of the main companies at the heart of what we now call banana republics at a time when America thought companies run by benevolent tyrants were all the world needed.
Somehow, in the post war period, we began to move on from that  -yet now in this spectral president’s desire for a wall between the nightmare his country and Europe  created in the 18th and 19th centuries in Mexico, Guatemala et al, he now wants to pretend the US is full of genetically superior beings who play golf, fly in and out of scenarios in helicopters and who have the right to build a wall against the inferior humans who want to breathe american air.
Yet this is no longer the land of planters and slaves: and what was possible when the country was first colonised should no longer be the way the united states conducts itself.
The recent death of two Guatemalan children travelling to a better future takes us all back to considering why there was a need for the kinder-transport during the nazi era. What Trump is doing is stunting the states, stunting economic diversity, stunting history.

Jakelin Caal Maqin died on 6th Dec, the day after Lord Dubs birthday.

Lord Dubs was one of 669 children rescued by Nicholas Winterton through the Kinder-transport.  Winterton was dubbed the British Schindler. Schindler was an industrialist member of the nazi party who employed and saved socially, economically and culturally persecuted jews during the second world war. People under threat. Schindler was the only nazi party member to be honoured by jews when he died in 1974.

As you notice, all of the people in this blog article have a wikipedia page. The children haven’t yet.

The rights of people who aren’t inside our system should not be defined by us, nor should the way they travel to seek a better life. Because we have success doesn’t mean we should take that right from others who use traditional migrant caravan means to seek a better future.

Instead of a connection to a meaningful history of what caravan was, is and can be,

The caravan and the caravanserai historically,  it seems to me, are really the part of human trade that’s missed but always aspired to by architects and planners. I think way back in history the caravan were groups of respected, learning and growing travellers, representatives of social, economic and cultural change who were tasked and tasked themselves with trading and creating and creating value by moving.

When they arrived at a caravanserai (sounds like a word containing all the best things that could be built into a city), they gifted knowledge, goods and humanity and were welcomed.

But consider the Trump, stunted view from down the barrel of a loaded gun. Guatemalan migrants aren’t humans with something to offer, to gift, to share, they’re objects, pawns, to be pinballed around the bright lights of Trump reality: surveillance, monitoring, chased out of their dreams, their hopes, their human right to exist.

Oh Shock and Awe. You have to be called to account.

Consider a view of history that isn’t just shock and awe, that isn’t just hostile, militaristic, imperial, isn’t just about alarming and harming and hurting and is about the things Trump said he’d do for the american people that he is unable to do.

Why can’t Trump build infrastructure, connect america, make it as green and diverse as, say, Guatemala? Why does he do things that simply interfere and arm and harm more people, more of the time?

Is Trump really a destroyer?

For the Guatamalan migrants their 1300 mile journey was a militarised negative trail to the immigration detention centre. Instead of to a welcome and questions about the beautiful but still divided and impoverished country Guatamala to the 7 year old girl and the 8 year old boy, the hostile journey, without hope, just crushed them and took their very breath away.

They were victims before they’d even set off on their journey which turned out to be a trail full of agents, helicopters, drones, surveillance. People paid to game them before they even realise that their lives have already been determined.

This kind of privatised surveillance has been normalised in the US, so rather than a human weighing and appreciation of the value of lives and then looking for the knowledge and experience of the people and the children who travel to improve their economic future as a first principle in America, there’s a sense that the playing out of scenarios from one media to another, has taken the place of any sense of accountability or social improvement.

There is a sense of limbo in america because of the filming of everything is really observing, holding and preventing but no remedial or rehabilitative action in the wider society.  There’s no sense of regular continuous reporting on infrastructure, on education, on work, on housing.

Observing without any positive sense of a good outcome harms the people who do the watching, the observing, the describing almost as much as the people it objectifies, humiliates and often, destroys. The reason we find it hard to know how and what to do is because these injustices are interconnected across the world by a machine looking that at once continuously harms and normalises harm for outsiders..

Guatamala Cantata (1954) Miguel Ángel Asturias

Homeland of perfect lights, 


Naive, agrarian and melodious,

party fields that cover arms of crosses

Homeland of perfect lakes, 
mirror so your elongated hand approaches the sky

God sees so much havoc

Homeland of perfect mountains, tails
of green magnetize curved auroras,

Like jail they give you your horizons

Homeland of perfect days, 


of birds, of flowers, of silence

that now, oh pain, they are agonies

Homeland of the perfect skies, 
owner of golden evenings 

and nights of stars,

dawn and sunset today dress your duels

Homeland of perfect valleys, tending

from volcano to volcano green hammocks
who hear crying houses and streets

Homeland of the perfect fruits, 
pulp of paradise in shell of lights,

bittersweet now for your mourning!

Homeland of armadillo 
and firefly
of bluebird emerald bird,
for whom cricket cries incessantly

Homeland of monkeys, of monkeys,

atel colilargo, deer,
tapirs, yellow bird

and real cenzontles, 

fire in feathers
of the light hummingbird, 

game in voices
the protest of your animals!

Parrots of green scream at your ear
not green gold 
not that ambition
those whose freedom, 
Homeland, take away.

Macaws are your surplus value
plumage of gold, sky and blood,
proclaiming you follow his screaming ...

Homeland of the perfect birds, free
the quetzal lives and the prisoner dies,

Life is freedom, 


you know it


of the perfect seas, 
yours of depth and rich coasts,
More salubrious today for sorrows

Homeland of the perfect harvest, 

before that people's joy, 
people with whom you grow in sorrow

Homeland of the perfect joys, 
facts of sound, colour, taste, aroma,
for those who are not atrocious.

Homeland of the perfect honey, 
crying salty, weeping cups of bitterness,
do not separate it from me 
do not disgrace me.

Homeland of the perfect sowings, 
They fit hungry for corn bare feet,
those who flee today, 
your males, females (and their children)


Patria de las perfectas luces, tuya

la ingenua, agraria y melodiosa fiesta,
campos que cubren hoy brazos de cruces!

¡Patria de los perfectos lagos, altos
espejos que tu mano acerca al cielo
para que vea Dios tantos estragos!

¡Patria de los perfectos montes, cauda
de verdes curvas imantando auroras,
hoy por cárcel te dan tus horizontes!

¡Patria de los perfectos días, horas
de pájaros, de flores, de silencio
que ahora, ¡oh dolor!, son agonías!

¡Patria de los perfectos cielos, dueña
de tardes de oro y noches de luceros,
alba y poniente que hoy visten tus duelos!

¡Patria de los perfectos valles, tienden
de volcán a volcán verdes hamacas
que escuchan hoy llorar casas y calles!

¡Patria de los perfectos frutos, pulpa
de paraíso en cáscara de luces,
agridulces ahora por tus lutos!

¡Patria del armadillo y la luciérnaga
del pavoazul y el pájaro esmeralda,
por la que llora sin cesar el grillo!

¡Patria del monaguillo de los monos,
el atel colilargo, los venados,
los tapires, el pájaro amarillo

y los cenzontles reales, fuego en plumas
del colibrí ligero, juego en voces
de la protesta de tus animales!

Loros de verde que a tu oído gritan
no ser del oro verde que ambicionan
los que la libertad, Patria, te quitan.

Guacamayas que son tu plusvalía
por el plumaje de oro, cielo y sangre,
proclamándote va su gritería…

¡Patria de las perfectas aves, libre
vive el quetzal y encarcelado muere,
la vida es libertad, Patria, lo sabes!

¡Patria de los perfectos mares, tuyos
de tu profundidad y ricas costas,
más salóbregos hoy por tus pesares!

¡Patria de las perfectas mieses, antes
que tuyas, júbilo del pueblo, gente
con la que ahora en el pesar te creces!

¡Patria de los perfectos goces, hechos
de sonido, color, sabor, aroma,
que ahora para quién no son atroces!

¡Patria de las perfectas mieles, llanto
salado hoy, llanto en copa de amargura,
no la apartes de mí, no me consueles!

¡Patria de las perfectas siembras, calzan
con hambre de maíz sus pies desnudos,
los que huyen hoy, tus machos y tus hembras!