Shattered Dreams in Guatemala


The Forward reports on the impact of the Agriprocessors raid on San Jose Calderas, a small Guatemalan town. An estimated two-thirds of the undocumented workers at Agriprocessors deported to Guatemala came from San Andres Iztapa, the municipality which includes San Jose Calderas.

For more than a decade, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, acted as this dusty village’s guardian, patron and largest employer, but in the months since a May immigration raid and the arrest of Tulio and nearly 300 other undocumented Guatemalan workers, the kosher meat company now is proving to be the undoing of San José Calderas.

“This is what deportation has done,” said Tulio, who was deported October 12 with more than 100 other Agriprocessors workers, all handcuffed at the wrists and ankles for the plane ride to Guatemala City. “It’s a disaster for the village. It’s gone down since the raid. All the houses people were building have stopped, so there are these unfinished houses everywhere. How can you live like that?”

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