Sunday, June 04, 2006

The coyote who became a mayor

The Washington Post has a recent story about Narciso Chicho Ramirez, the former "coyote" or immigrant smuggler who won election to the post of mayor in Cara Sucia, El Salvador. Here is an excerpt:

The exact role Ramírez played in helping people reach the United States could not be determined through interviews. Still, his election in the municipality of San Francisco Menendez, which includes Cara Sucia, underscores the respect accorded here to reliable members of a profession generally considered callous and criminal in the United States. To many in Cara Sucia, Ramírez also serves as a reminder of a gentler, simpler time before the debate over immigration in the United States reached a fever pitch -- when the trip north was less dangerous and expensive, and trustworthy coyotes were easier to find.(more).

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