They are striking for three baby girls who were kidnapped from their Guatemalan mothers and subsequently "legally" adopted by US citizens. The girls names are Heidy, Anyeli and Arlene, and they were all stolen in 2006 for the lucrative international adoption business. The mothers want their daughters back, but they have found no support, no justice, and are essentially powerless due to issues of impunity, lack of equal rights, and financial and social status.
I support their endeavor and the work of the strike organizer Norma Cruz and Fundacion Sobrevivientes in the search for justice. My own government in the US seems frozen to act morally or judicially, perhaps even covering up their role in the immigration of these girls —and maybe hundreds of others— through a corrupt DNA testing system employed as a method to prevent such fraud. Meanwhile, the Guatemalan mothers are starving themselves to be heard.
Imagine if the girls stolen were American (and white). Imagine the difference in response.
To continue the work of the strikers, there is another hunger strike being planned, this one based in the US but stretching around the world. The dates are September 1, 2, and 3.
One of the strikers is am=n American in solidarity with the women out of her belief she is they doing the true work of Christianity and Jesus. Whether you agree with their personal motivation or not, please read what her husband says and thinks about social justice:
"...While the U.S. Adoptions community debates the rights of the adoptive parents to privacy, the rest of the world lumps all Americans together, and believes we condone stealing babies from their mothers.
"I just left my wife, Shyrel, in the middle of Guatemala city, and drove away with more than a lump in my throat, past prostitutes and pimps, and drunks, and all sorts of night people. ...Three of them are mothers whose children were stolen. They have not eaten since Tuesday, and will not until the judges respond to their request for a review of the cases of their stolen children.... She is sleeping in a small tent in front of the Supreme Court of Guatemala. She and a small number of women have engaged in what the press is calling a hunger strike. The participants say it is fasting and praying. They are seeking justice. They are so vulnerable there in that tent tonight. The “Palace of Justice” towering above them is locked tight, with a high tech security system. They look so helpless during the day too. Among the hustle and bustle of the high court litigants and supplicants, they maintain a humble stance, and a broken hearted vigil. ..
"Shyrel’s determination to do this has moved our theological discussions from theory to reality. ...What would you do if someone stole your child? What would you do if you knew where your stolen child was? ...I would go to my police, the FBI, or Interpol if needed, and they would for sure hear my case, or my congressman and Senator would be all over them. I would have my child back. When something bad happens to us who are privileged, we have resources. We will get justice.
"Now, try to imagine you are a poor Kachikel woman in Guatemala. The last thing you remember is that you were offered a cool drink on a hot day by a woman who offered to help you walk from your bus stop to the bus stop that would take you to a relative’s house. ...But you know people who have adopted from Guatemala. And isn’t adoption a good thing? You heard for years that there were rumors of “corruption”. You relegated those rumors, if true, to be simply that of government officials accepting bribes. You didn’t ask why there would be a need for bribes if everything was above board. Let it lie, you say. Focus on the good. Ignore the bad...
"Now, with at least 3 cases proven of stolen children having been processed for adoption, these helpless, hopeless, vulnerable women make them feel very uncomfortable. This may be only the tip of a sordid ice berg. So they do not want justice. They want it all to go away."
Please pass this on to all concerned with social justice and human rights and stay tuned here for more news about the September Solidarity with Guatemala Social Action.
Also, be sure to see video at this link.