Rebeldia, Vol. 5, No. 60, 2008 (Original in Spanish)
Tijuana is loaded with struggles and stories of denunciation. If you begin with the wall, you see migration, police abuse toward migrants, separation of families and the Border Patrol. You can follow the wall to the barrios where it stops them from growing any farther. In the heart of the barrio is resistance. In the distance are the maquiladoras and their world: 47 industrial parks with 200,000 workers who, in shifts sometimes from three to eight, sometimes two shifts of twelve hours, continue production 24 hours a day.
It’s a maquilapolis, like the title of the documentary that narrates the geography of a city that, more and more, lives and grows for the maquiladoras. In the neighborhoods is the demand for housing, water, electricity; the organizing of the residents. And closer in to the center of the city the organizations: a graphic rebellion, a feminist collective, labor organizations. The stories of Tijuana are found, their struggles, many led by women, accompany and strengthen each other.
Tijuana: The Mexican Dream?
“OUTSIDE: OTAY INDUSTRIAL PARK, TIJUANA – LATE AFTERNOON
Images with buses, streets, the exodus of workers from their workplaces, where they spend 8 to 10 hours daily, from Monday to Saturday. Images of maquiladoras, of bridges, of streets full of lights and dust, of conglomerations of people who board buses or taxis, of people who ride standing up in the buses and disappear in the sea of vehicles of public transportation. Images of advertisements they see every day. Images of men and women who arrive tired to their homes, the fatigue evident. Images of men and women who are received by their children with hugs…” FADE OUT
(FRAGMENT OF A SCRIPT WRITTEN BY A FEMALE MAQUILADORA WORKER)
Mago: I’m from Puebla.
Manuel: I come from Chiapas.
Carmen: I was born in Tapachula.
Rogelio: I’m from Michoacan.
All work or worked for many years in the maquiladoras and form part of the Information Center for Working Women and Men (CITTAC), a collective affiliated with the Zapatista Other Campaign in Tijuana.
Another Manuel: I’m from Tlaxcala.
Another Rogelio: From Motozintla, Chiapas.
Hugo: From Acapulco.
They tell how them came here, to the northernmost part of the country, attracted by the stories that are told of Tijuana: “that here they don’t bother to pick up dropped dollars from the floor, that here there’s an abundance of well paid work,” says Mago. Manuel, the one from Tlaxcala, adds, “They tell us that here one can get a good car for almost nothing, that one will have work, a house, everything. It was the ‘American dream,’ only without the risks of crossing to the other side, the American dream in Mexico.”
Rogelio, not the one from Michoacan, but the one from Chiapas, tells how they were brought up here by people from the maquiladoras: “Buses arrived to Motozintla and we were invited to work at the northern border, they told is we’d earn a lot. I was earning 30 to 40 pesos farming in Chiapas, and that’s why I came. The bus I got on was brought from a maquiladora, by a woman, and that’s how 40 of us from where I’m from came, also my in-laws came. They have both ends of the business, because the woman of the bus also was renting apartments in Tijuana for those of us who came from far away.”