Theatre of the Borderlands: Conflict, Violence, and Healing 9780739168660, 0739168665

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Theatre of the Borderlands: Conflict, Violence, and Healing
 9780739168660, 0739168665

Table of contents :
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 01. Invisible Journeys to the Land of the Free
Chapter 02. The Indigenous World: A Theatre of Resistance
Chapter 03. The Desert Voice that Clamors for Popular Saints and Miraculous Souls
Chapter 04. Narcoteatro: An Aesthetic of Fear
Chapter 05. The Ciudad Juárez Tragedy: Maquiladora Dreams and City Demons
Chapter 06. Tijuana: A Journey to Paradox
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
About the Author

Citation preview

Theatre of the Borderlands

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Theatre of the Borderlands Conflict, Violence, and Healing Iani del Rosario Moreno

LEXINGTON BOOKS

Lanham Boulder • New York • London •

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Published by Lexington Books An imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706 www.rowman.com Unit A, Whitacre Mews, 26-34 Stannary Street, London SE11 4AB Copyright © 2015 by Lexington Books All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote passages in a review. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information Available Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Moreno, Iani del Rosario. Theatre of the borderlands : conflict, violence, and healing / by Iani del Rosario Moreno. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-7391-6866-0 (hardback) — ISBN 978-0-7391-6867-7 (electronic) 1. Mexican drama—Mexican-American Border Region—History and criticism. 2. Mexican drama—20th century—History and criticism. 3. Mexican-American Border Region—In literature. 4. Violence in literature. I. Title. PQ7291.M46M68 2015 860.9'9721—dc23

2015011622

™ The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992. Printed in the United States of America

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This book is dedicated to Misha and Smyla, my loyal companions who spent entire nights and days by my side while I worked on this project

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Contents

Acknowledgments ix Introduction xi 1  Invisible Journeys to the Land of the Free

1

2  The Indigenous World: A Theatre of Resistance

35

3 The Desert Voice that Clamors for Popular Saints and Miraculous Souls

75

4  Narcoteatro: An Aesthetic of Fear

115

5 The Ciudad Juárez Tragedy: Maquiladora Dreams and City Demons

161

6  Tijuana: A Journey to Paradox

209

Conclusion 251 Bibliography 263 Index 281 About the Author

289

vii

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Acknowledgments

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the people who have supported me over the years in this journey and believed in this project’s potential. The Dramatists of the north of Mexico were very humble and giving. I wish to thank Hugo Salcedo, Enrique Mijares, Manuel Talavera Trejo, Medardo Treviño, Antonio Zúñiga, Demetrio Ávila, Larisa López, Leticia López Sánchez, Jorge Celaya, and Alejandro Román for welcoming me into their worlds and enlightening me about the Borderlands. Their plays not only fascinate me but also make me think, question, and dream. Now it is my turn to introduce the Border, its people, and surroundings to a new set of readers. In Mexico I wish to thank: Rocío Galicia, friend and fellow researcher of the Teatro del norte, for sharing her enthusiasm and materials and for opening her personal library to me. Francisco Félix Berumen of the COLEF and Armando Partida Tayzan of UNAM were very generous of their time and granted me interviews. Rodolfo Álvarez Leyva, General director of Centro Cultural Alborada of Tijuana, opened his space, his city, and enthusiasm for Teatro del norte and Border arts to me. I am forever indebted to Suffolk University and its students for having believed in and supported me on this project and to Lexington Books. I won the Summer Stipend Award in 2008, allowing me to travel to northern Mexico and Mexico City, to conduct thirteen interviews with the most important dramatists of Teatro del Norte and to acquire the primary material for this book. In the fall of 2010, I was given a one-course release allowing me time to write and further research the book. Additionally, I applied and was granted several research assistantship awards over the years. My research assistants openhandedly gave their time and enthusiasm to the project and were invaluable: Denitza Georgieva, Blair Balchunas, Janet Girardot, Brian Contreras, Susana Madrigal, and Kristen Adams worked tirelessly. ix

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x

Acknowledgments

In the United States I wish to acknowledge the help provided by many people who read chapters of my manuscript: Cynthia Goldzman, Elliot Gabriel, Daniel Judson, Carlos Humberto Moreno Pineda, Colleen Rua, Camille Weiss, James Weiss, Tom Illingworth, Stephen Thompson, thank you for paying attention to detail. My special thanks are extended to the staff of the Interlibrary Loan office at The Mildred F. Sawyer Library at Suffolk University, thank you ordering so many books and articles for me over the years, and to Bonnie Besdin and the rest of the staff at the Suffolk University Second Language Center. Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber helped me formulate initial ideas of the project. Chris Dakin formatted the entire manuscript. Lenin Tejeda created the painting for the cover page; it is beautiful. Thank you to Camille and James Weiss, Colleen Rua, and Stephen Thompson for suggestions for titles of the chapters as well as the book title. A special thank-you to Stuart Day, Kirsten Nigro, Gail Bulman, and Jacqueline Bixler for your support over the years and for promoting Latin American Theatre in the United States, and to my colleagues in the World Languages & Cultural Studies Department at Suffolk University. I wish to express my gratitude to the late George Woodyard. He was my mentor and friend. He educated and inspired my new love for Latin American Theatre. He was involved in this project from the beginning and gave me sound advice. I just wish he had been able to see this book completed. I want to thank my parents and sisters for supporting me over the years. I wish to include a special thanks to my husband Mark Rasmussen. He has been with me in every step of the project. Thank you for reading all the chapters, providing valuable suggestions and criticism, and for letting me talk about the world of the Borderlands for hours.

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Introduction

The culture and history of the Border region between the United States and Mexico and the work of Hugo Salcedo and other dramatists focusing on this topic have fueled my imagination and research over the years. Salcedo was the young Mexican dramatist who was internationally recognized for having just won Spain’s Tirso de Molina Award for best Spanish-language play of the year.1 In the mid-1990s, I met Salcedo and created an academic friendship that provided me unrestricted access to the author and his plays. I have had the privilege of analyzing, directing, and staging some of his works. Through Salcedo, I learned of the theatrical phenomenon described as Teatro del Norte and was introduced to other important dramatists of northern Mexico: Enrique Mijares, Manuel Talavera Trejo, Medardo Treviño, Antonio Zúñiga, and Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, among others. They live in different Border states of what is called the “Frontera Norte” and are actively writing, producing, staging, directing, publishing, and teaching theater. In the years 2000, 2006, 2008, and 2012, I received invitations to be the keynote speaker at conferences about theater in the Borderlands, organized in Northern Mexican states. These visits enlightened me to the relationship between the Borderlands and its dramatists on both sides of the Border and made their world come to life in front of my eyes. In the spring semester of 2007, I was asked to teach a senior seminar at Suffolk University. I proposed a course that would introduce undergraduate students to the United States-Mexican Border region and the most important Mexican dramatists living and writing about the Borderlands. My course was titled “The United States-Mexico Periphery: Border Theatre in the New Millennium.” The response from the students enrolled in the course was very enthusiastic. The students suggested that this course be required of all Spanish majors and minors. Encouraged by the positive student reactions, I offered xi

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the course again in the fall of 2009. Both courses and class discussions helped me plan how to expand my project into a book. The history of the Borderlands began with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, when the Border region was divided into the Southern Border and the Frontera Norte, making residents of the Southern Border U.S. citizens and those of the Frontera Norte Mexican citizens. The inhabitants of this region have more in common as a people than with the rest of their respective countries because of a shared geography, history, economy, and culture. Arguably, the approximate twenty-four million inhabitants of this region, which covers an area of 157,600 square miles and extends for 1,954 miles, comprise a society with a unique history and culture. The dramatists of La Frontera del Norte write about a theater that internalizes this unique history, with its inhospitable geography, expansive territories, and lack of communication and support from the rest of Mexico, which left the region to chart its own cultural and philosophical course. The dramatists evoke this isolation in their productions, particularly those dealing with the indigenous peoples, border crossings, heroes and folk saints, the Border metropolises of Tijuana and Juárez, and the violence of this communal strip. Individuals who reside in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands are accustomed to frequent crossings—both legal and illegal—of la franja “the ditch” for work, shopping, education, and business. This perception leads writers to ponder the frequency with which a person can cross a boundary line before losing the notion that there is one. For indeed there is no Border patrol station that can prevent Mexican customs, ideas, tastes, stories, songs, values, instincts, or attitudes from entering U.S. Border cities, such as San Diego and El Paso (Gibbs 38-39). This preoccupation makes writer Oscar Casares inquire in “Crossing the Border Without Losing Your Past” whether people can maintain an association with their Mexican heritage when living on the Border in a city such as Brownsville, Texas, located less than a mile away from Matamoros, Mexico. Living in this influx, individuals realize they can exist simultaneously in both worlds, and that their home is not in Mexico or the United States, but that the true meaning of home is achieved through the migration between the two (Casares A29). These “actual crossings” also prove that stronger familial bonds and networks have been created through time in the U.S.-Mexican Border region (Alvarez 463). There are many designations that apply to the Border between Mexico and the United States. In 2001 a new term gained popularity after being used in a special issue of Time magazine on June 11, 2001, Amexica. On the cover title it is written that “the border is vanishing before our eyes, creating a new world for all of us: Welcome to Amexica.” This special issue contained seven articles which described la nueva frontera “the new border.” The articles

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Introduction xiii

covered a variety of topics such as illegal immigration, music, politics, drugs, commercial bridges, and the retirement of older Americans in Mexico. In “A Whole New World,” Nancy Gibbs emphasizes the arbitrariness of the boundary line and the rebelliousness of the Rio Grande water passage which could lead, as the author suggests, to the complete disappearance of the boundary line in the near future. Veteran British journalist Ed Vulliamy also identifies the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands as Amexica for its distinct geography, history, and culture, as much as for the violence that is ripping it apart: “Now, because of the tide of narcotics running through and along it, Amexica is a battlefield, but a battlefield wrapped in everyday life. And for all its inquietude, the border is every bit as charismatic, complex, and irresistible as it is fearful and terrifying” (6). As defined in the Double-Tongued Dictionary, the word “Amexica” refers to the region where the United States and Mexico share a border, culture, language, and economic conditions (“Amexica”). The Border is not where the United States ends and Mexico begins, but rather, it is the place where the United States meets with Mexico. Both borders have had a distant and peripheral relationship with the centers of power in their respective countries. The residents of the Border have little confidence that their central governments will help them solve their most pressing problems. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why so many treaties have been signed bi-nationally and why many consider the Border a territory at the margins of both Mexico and the United States.2 National borders are arbitrary lines separating countries. Borders tend to be paradoxical because they simultaneously create divisions and unite: “For it is here that cultures, ideologies, and individuals clash and challenge our disciplinary perspectives on social harmony and equilibrium” (Alvarez 449). Borders have become places that divide the haves and the have-nots (Baud and Van Schendel 220). The U.S.-Mexican Border is a place where the first world meets the third: “No other border in the world exhibits the inequality of power, economics, and the human condition as does this one” (Alvarez 451) and it is “a perfect laboratory in which to view the coming together of, clashing of, and interface between cultures” (Alvarez 454). The struggle for hegemony is another dynamic observed in the Borderlands where different groups tussle for power; the elites and local residents, as well as the peripheries and the center, want to be equally recognized. For researcher Rocío Galicia, “It is natural to associate all that relates to peripheries, confinements or limits as a synonym of ‘frontera/ border’” (“La dramaturgia actual”). Therefore, the Border is understood as an organic and independent space in turmoil and constant motion. In an effort to affect awareness of their commonality and forge cultural unity, a group of committed northern Mexican playwrights became known

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as La Dramaturgia del Norte or Teatro del Norte “Dramaturgy of the north of Mexico” in the mid-1980s for the express purpose of demonstrating the ties that bound them together geographically, historically, socio-politically, and economically against a background of instant and mechanical mediaproduced superficiality. At the core of their endeavors was the search for and cultivation of a truly original voice, an aesthetic representation of who and what they represented. La Primera Muestra Nacional del Noreste “First Theater Festival of the Northeast of Mexico,” held in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in 1984, compelled directors, actors, and dramatists of the region to see the thematic and aesthetic similarities in their works. What arose from this meeting was the term and concept of Teatro del Norte. However, many of these playwrights continue to work independently in what Enrique Mijares describes as “personal islands,” coming together only at national and international conferences and theatre festivals.3 Old traditions and ways of thinking are hard to break, yet these obstacles have not prevented their works from being published in theatre collections such as Teatro de Frontera “Frontier Theatre,” Teatro del Norte, Dramaturgia del Norte, Dramaturgia en Contexto “Dramaturgy in Context,” and an array of specialized magazines both in the United States and Mexico, such as Latin American Theatre Review, Gestos, Tramoya, Paso de Gato, and Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea “Journal for Contemporary Mexican Literature.” Furthermore, they have garnered several prizes and awards; most notably both Hugo Salcedo and Enrique Mijares have received the coveted Tirso de Molina award in 1989 and 1997 respectively. However, this award has not given these artists the full recognition because of where they live and work—in two northern Mexican Border states. El Teatro del Norte has experienced considerable and widespread development, enjoys firm support, and has clearly crossed borders, but to date no book has been written about these artists and their plays have not been widely disseminated in English. I consider this a glaring oversight. Towards that end, this work will bring to light several works from Teatro del Norte along with an in-depth analysis of the cultural, linguistic, and historical forces that have shaped this group of dramatists and charted its present and future course. Currently, the principal studies in Spanish by Mexican critics have been written by Enrique Mijares, Armando Partida Tayzan, Rocío Galicia, and José Ramón Alcántara Mejía, along with American scholars Kirsten Nigro, Stuart Day, the late George Woodyard, Laurietz Seda, and Jacqueline Bixler. Of this group, only Mijares has published a collection of his articles on the Teatro del Norte in a fulllength book entitled La Realidad Virtual del Teatro Mexicano “Virtual Reality of Mexican Theatre” (1999). Bixler and Day have edited a collection of essays on the dramaturgy of Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, El Teatro de Rascón

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Banda: voces en el umbral “The Theatre of Rascón Banda: Voices on the Threshold” (2005), whose plays include sections pertaining to the Borderlands. English scholar Peter Beardsell has published articles on the dramatic works of Hugo Salcedo and Enrique Mijares in English and Spanish, such as “Crossing the Border in Three Plays by Hugo Salcedo,” “Prometheus at the Crossroads: Hugo Salcedo’s Bulevar,” and “Some Thoughts on Quantum Mechanics and the Treatment of the Past in Mexican Theatre.” In his book, Europe and Latin America: Returning the Gaze (2000), Beardsell devotes one chapter to the discussion of the Borderlands and the theatre of Salcedo. Dissertations that examine Border theater include Jose Francisco Moreno Herrera’s “Teatro mexicano de (la) frontera” “Theatre from the Mexican Border” (2003) and Linda Saborio’s 2006 work, “Staging Race Latina/o and Mexican Transborder Theatre.” The philosophical implications of the Border are examined in Jungwon Park’s “Imaginar sin frontera: Visiones errantes de nación y cosmopolitismo desde la periferia” “To Imagine Without a Border: National Wondering Visions from the Periphery and Cosmopolitanism” (2008) and Hector Alberto Reyes Zaga’s “Migración y derechos humanos: un encuentro multidisciplinario en la narrativa mexicana contemporánea” “Migration and Human Rights: A Multidisciplinary Meeting in Contemporary Mexican Narrative.” Park discusses some of the topics covered in my book, although he approaches it from the perspective of narrative and not theater. Although Saborio’s approach focuses more on the theatre genre, she emphasizes performance and trans-Border theater written mostly by U.S. Latinos. My emphasis will be on the theatre written by Mexican dramatists of the Frontera Norte “Northern Mexican Border” and those topics which concern them while living in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands. Most plays discussed in this book were written from the late 1980s to the present, and represent the work of the most important playwrights of the Frontera Norte, including the northern Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, Durango, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and the states of Sinaloa and Michoacán.4 My book presents the major themes and authors of the Teatro del Norte movement within the context of the socio-political, economic and historical ethos of the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands. My hope for this work is that its interdisciplinary structure will provide a glimpse of past and present life in the Borderlands through a myriad of academic curricula in cultural studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies, Theatre and Dramatic Arts, History, Political Science, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. Chapter 1, Invisible Journeys to the Land of the Free, portrays the mythical journeys immigrants engage in every day as they search for a better life, and it presents the sacrifices made by those left behind. The plays El viaje de los cantores “The Journey of the Singers” (1989) and Invierno

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“Winter” (2002) by Hugo Salcedo, Cartas al pie de un árbol “Letters by the Foot of a Tree” (2003) by Angel Norzagaray, Arizona Cruising (2006) by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo, Canción de Cuchillo Parado “Song to Cuchillo Parado” (2004) by Manuel Talavera Trejo, and Border Santo (2000) by Virginia Hernández depict thousands of anonymous actors in heroic, treacherous, and tragic journeys across some of the most unwelcoming topography of the two nations. Chapter 2, The Indigenous World: A Theatre of Resistance discusses the treatment of indigenous peoples of the Borderlands. The plays, Bárbara Gandiaga: Crimen y condena en la misión de Santo Tomás “Barbara Gandiaga: Crime and Punishment in the Mission of Saint Thomas” (1999) by Hugo Salcedo, Venado viejo…Venado joven “Old Deer… Young Deer” (2003) by Jorge Celaya, and Apaches (2004) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, belong to a new revisionist tendency in the treatment of different indigenous leaders and tribes in what are now Northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. The plays stem from the premise that the Border has been and continues to be a scene of multiple conquests started primarily by Spanish conquerors and continued by the new independent nations of Mexico and the United States. The plays also examine the cycles of resistance led by most native American tribes of the Borderlands, particularly the Apaches and Yaqui. Chapter 3, The Desert Voice that Clamors for Popular Saints and Miraculous Souls, examines one of the Border constants: veneration of popular religious figures. In addition to the “official” saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, there are an enormous number of folk saints, called by many santones “folk saints” or almas milagrosas “miraculous souls.” These are common women and men from the Border who after their deaths (which were often tragic) were believed to grant miracles to the local people in many towns, as in the case of Jesús Malverde, Juan Olivera El Tiradito “The Little Castaway,” Juan Soldado, or the miraculous healers, Teresa Urrea “La Santa de Cábora” and “El Niño” Fidencio. El niño del diamante en la cabeza: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino “The Boy with the Diamond in his Head: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino” (1999) by Enrique Mijares, Border Santo (2001) by Virginia Hernández, and El Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador “El Tiradito: Chronicle of a Sinner Saint” (2002) by Antonio Zúñiga are plays that introduce folk saints and their followers. Entrusting themselves to a santón unites these anonymous men and women of the Borderlands who wish for a better life on “the other side,” the U.S. side of the Border, or “request” a miracle of the santón, on the Mexican side of the Border. Chapter 4, Narcoteatro: An Aesthetic of Fear, examines another contemporary Border occurrence: violence and the resulting fear. Over 121,000

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murders have occurred in Mexico since 2006 due to the turf wars of rival drug cartels and the military counteroffensive. The plays Yamaha 300 (2006) by Cutberto López, Rompe-cabeza “Head-breaker” (Crossword Puzzle) (2007) by Antonio Zúñiga, Cielo rojo “Red Sky” (2006) and Malverde, Día de la santa cruz “Malverde, Day of the Holy Cross” (2008) both by Alejandro Román, and Música de balas “Music of Bullets” (2011) by Hugo Salcedo address the drug war stretching from Tijuana to Juárez and the Gulf of Mexico and penetrating all aspects of Mexican society. It also presents a new theatrical phenomenon that some have called narcoteatro “narco-theatre” or estética narco or “narco-esthetics theatre.” Chapter 5, The Ciudad Juárez Tragedy: Maquiladora Dreams and City Demons, focuses on sexual violence towards women in Border towns. The plays draw attention to the collective memory of what makes a society hurt and hide its wounds. Estrellas enterradas “Buried Stars” (2001) by Antonio Zúñiga, Hotel Juárez (2003) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, Lomas de Poleo (2003) by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo, Sirenas del río “River Mermaids” (2008) by Demetrio Ávila, Jauría “Pack of Wild Dogs” (2008) by Enrique Mijares, and La ciudad de las moscas “City of Flies” (2008) by Virgina Hernández tackle the wicked crimes committed against women, los feminicidios “femicides,” since the early 1990s in the Border city of Juárez. These plays examine the social and economic disparities and injustices stemming from neoliberal policies of free trade. The plays’ characters are either participants or victims of los feminicidios. These fearless dramatists try to find answers and justice for the women of Juárez who have disappeared. Chapter 6, Tijuana: A Journey to Paradox examines the late 1990s group of Border writers who use literature and art simultaneously to fight stereotypes in Tijuana in order to celebrate the many opportunities that exist in such an artistic oasis. The dramas Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur “The Desert Burns with the Winds that come from the South” (1991), Bulevar (1995), La ley del ranchero “The Farmer’s Law” (2005), Agua Caliente “Casino Agua Caliente” (2005) by Hugo Salcedo, and Expreso Norte “Northern Express” (2003) by Virginia Hernández present Tijuana as the protagonist of their plays, which rewrite history, myths, and tragedies of the area. The plays end with a changed reality defining Tijuana as its cultural center. The Conclusion summarizes this study’s findings and suggests the universality and regionalism of Teatro del norte. It also introduces some of the future goals of these dramatists. The uniqueness of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands lends itself to further study of what it means to be a Hispanic living in the Borderlands. For additional information, please visit www.TheatreoftheBorderlands.com.

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NOTES 1.  The Spanish International Agency for Cooperation and Development calls for submissions from dramatists throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The award is given to stimulate the creativity of Spanish and Latin American dramatists, strengthening ties between Spain and its ex-colonies. In 2014 the winner also received 18,000 Euros. 2.  In “The Distant Centre: Perpectives of Mexico’s Teatro del Norte” Peter Beardsell traces the historical, cultural, financial, and artistic significance and hegemony of the Central Valley of Mexico, which later became Tenochtitlán and finally Mexico City or the center and “core” of the country (427–28). Therefore, the territories in the north of the country have had great difficulty receiving autonomy and recognition from the center of the country. Peter Beardsell, “The Distant Centre: Perspectives of Mexico’s Teatro del Norte,” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 82.3 (2005): 427–43. 3.  Rocío Galicia has indicated that other dramatists and researchers view the work of dramatist Oscar Liera from the state of Sinaloa in the 1980s as the starting point for Dramaturgia del Norte. Others view Los desarraigados (1962) by J. Humberto Robles as the predecessor play of Border theater of the north of Mexico, and his play was published in Mexico City by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1962. Rocío Galicia, “Dramaturgia actual del Norte de México,” Tramoya 1, 15 Jan. 2009, Facultad de Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, 10 Aug. 2010, http:// tramoyam1.blogspot.com/2009/01/teatro-roco-galicia-la-dramaturgia.html. 4. Enrique Mijares has written in “Dramaturgia en Contexto I: Una conquista memorable” that the first step to forge a Teatro del norte was to limit the geographical area. For this task he decided to draw an imaginary line (the same way that General Pancho Villa had done it during the Mexican Revolution) declaring that the territories north of Zacatecas were part of northern Mexico. This is the same perimeter that made up the northern part of the viceroyalty of New Spain and covered the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Nuevo León, and Nueva Viscaya (340). Enrique Mijares, “Dramaturgia en Contexto I: Una conquista memorable,” Assaig de teatre: Revista de l’associació d’investigació i experimentació teatral, 62–64 (2008): 339–43. http:// www.raco.cat/index.php/AssaigTeatre/article/view/181136.

WORKS CITED Alvarez, Jr. Robert R. “The Mexican-US Border: The Making of an Anthropology of Borderlands.” Annual Review of Anthropology. 24 (1995): 447–70. “Amexica.” Double-Tongued Dictionary. http://web.archive.org/web/20040909065 628/http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/amexica/. Baud, Michael and Willem Van Schendel. “Toward a Comparative History of Borderlands.” Journal of World History. 8.2 (Fall 1997): 221–42. Casares, Oscar. “Crossing the Border Without Losing Your Past.” The New York Times. OP-ED. Tuesday, September 16, 2006. A29. National Edition.

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Galicia, Rocío. “La dramaturgia actual del Norte de México.” Tramoya 1 January 15, 2009. http://tramoyam1.blogspot.com/2009/01/teatro-roco-galicia-la-dramaturgia .html, March 11, 2012. Gibbs, Nancy. “A Whole New World Along the U.S.-Mexican Border, where Hearts and Minds and Money and Culture merge, the Century of the Americans is born.” Time. June 11, 2001. 36–45. Vulliamy, Ed. Amexica: War Along the Borderline. New York: Picador, 2011.

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Chapter One

Invisible Journeys to the Land of the Free

“We are migrating not because we want to but because we have to,” said Mario. “My family at home depends on me. I’m already dead in Mexico, and getting to the U.S. gives me hope of living, even though I may die.” “Dying to Live: Migration, and the Mission of Reconciliation” by Daniel Groody1

The era of refugees and migrants, encompassing most of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, is characterized by displaced and transient human masses. According to the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations, there are currently some 232 million estimated international migrants traversing the world. Of these, 10 to 15 percent are considered “unauthorized” (International Organization of Migration; UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs). The migrants come crowded in boats, trains, trucks, cars, on foot, or even swimming through bodies of water. Some travel alone, while others travel with their families, or in groups. This is an experience few would have chosen, but due to forces beyond their control—poverty, repression, war—they have become emigrants, refugees, or exiles. Noted writers Salman Rushdie and Enrique Mijares consider migrants emblematic: “the migrant, the man without frontiers, is the archetypal figure of our age” (Rushdie 53), and a figure that represents the problematic of the “other” (Mijares 95). Artists and writers sense these human dramas and challenge politicians, policy makers, and world leaders to look at the range of problems and find solutions. The Northern Mexican playwrights, Rascón Banda, Salcedo, Galindo, Talavera, Hernández, and Norzagaray, name these faceless characters: Chayo, el Miqui, Chema, Álvaro, David, Asunción Razo, or simply La mujer “The woman,” Pollo 1 “Illegal 1,” or el Desconocido “the Unknown.” Their stories come alive on the stage. 1

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2

Chapter One

Current politics of globalization and increasing economic disparities have led the richest countries of the West to build big walls to keep out all who don’t belong, typically the poor from underdeveloped nations. Yet in spite of the latest security systems some individuals ultimately cross. These new borders are porous and constantly changing shape. Migrant-exporting nations such as Mexico have few incentives to implement policies to curb and/or prevent the emigration of its citizens to countries such as the United States, because this out migration reduces political pressure that would be applied to the Mexican government. Out migration also provides the remittances that allow the Mexican government to function—in 2013 Mexico received US$22 billion in remittances or 2 percent of its GDP—needed for the country to function.2 The plays discussed in this chapter portray the mythical journeys that thousands of migrants undertake in search of a better life and present the sacrifices made by those left behind. Even though more people are starting to make the journey from many Central and South American countries—and many Mexican playwrights are starting to notice their plight—this chapter will focus on journeys across the U.S.-Mexico Border made every day by people from Mexico. El viaje de los cantores (1989) “The Journey of the Singers” and Invierno “Winter” (2002) by Hugo Salcedo, Cartas al pie de un árbol “Letters by the Foot of a Tree” (2003) by Ángel Norzagaray, Arizona Cruising (2006) by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo, Border Santo (2000) by Virginia Hernández, and Canción de Cuchillo Parado “Song to Cuchillo Parado” (2004) by Manuel Talavera Trejo are representative of thousands of anonymous actors in heroic, treacherous, and tragic journeys across the most unwelcoming topography of the U.S.Mexico Border. At the end of their journeys the characters have transcended and crossed physical and symbolic borders to arrive in a new place that may either be a new home or a final resting place. Concepts and policies dealing with a globalized world and the militarized U.S.-Mexico Border are frequently noted in the plays of Teatro del Norte. Globalization and interconnectedness generally have made emigration to faraway places much easier for people from different countries. But the less fortunate illegal migrants coming from Mexico, Latin America, and certain European, Asian, and African countries are unwelcome and chased out of the more desirable economic areas and countries. For these migrants traversing international borders remains a very dangerous enterprise. Borders and migrants that unite people from one country and culture can wither or transform both the communities of those who receive the migrants and the ones left behind. Along the U.S.-Mexico Borderline, a massive project has been under way for decades in order to fortify and secure the U.S. side of the Border with a barrier separating the two nations. Current Border Theory puts an emphasis

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on the symbolic and literal “borderlands” as subaltern spaces where hybrid identities and cultures subsist and thrive. Critics of Border Theory, such as Hillary Cunningham, Josiah Heyman, Pablo Villa, Eduardo Barrera, and María Socorro Tabuenca, suggest that the crossing border analogy “has neglected how borders reinforce and, in some cases, prevent crossings” (Cunningham 335). For these critics it is a mistaken belief to assume that permeability and fluidity of borders equals more mobility and connection between nations and peoples. As Cunningham argues it is erroneous to describe border crossings as porous and fluid because flows may also impede movement: “Perhaps one of the central fallacies of the turn to a porous world and an emphasis on cultural flows has been the assumption that flow connotes mobility and, consequently, fluid, unpredictable interconnection. Flows, of course, can equally connote boundedness, exclusion and the systematic regulation of movement” (Cunningham 334). A major problematic of Border Theory centers in its usage of “crossing” as a metaphor, and as a way to denote transnational and hybrid communities as the norm, while ignoring that the majority of border spaces separate people, impede crossings, and intensify differences between two nations (Cunningham 333–335). Many dramatic works of the Teatro del Norte show how traversing international borders for the undocumented is hard and dangerous, and possibly deadly. Latin American scholar Hermann Herlinghaüs studies the relationship between globalization and the body. For him globalization takes advantage of the poor worker that has no other option but to try to risk his/her life (body) in order to reach the dream of becoming a full world citizen. Due to the porosity of borders and the increase in mobility, the journeys partaken by the new migrants have: “turned into networks of despair, and new forms of control, as well as of violence” (Herlinghaüs 62). The interconnectedness of the world due to the openness of markets and the propagandistic desire to sell today’s modern way of life to whomever desires it have created a new category of people that I define as “the modern-day nomad.” The itinerant migrants work in the fields and cities of the great world economic powers where countries have grown accustomed to these masses, as explained by Herlinghaüs: The transnational realm of exchange and flexible imperial regulations across the north-south divide is relying on an increasing number of “non-sovereign” citizens, millions of human beings who are the particular, corporal, and situational agents of labor and communication, succumbing to the de-territorializing and “informal” pressures of a neoliberal labor market… (59)

Additionally, these new nomads are also encouraged by the sometimes exaggerated and romantic stories told by those who left before them about life and opportunities in the capitalist havens, most specifically in the U.S.

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4

Chapter One

Upon studying the characters of the plays under discussion we are able to see their innermost feelings and fears. By using theology, cross-cultural anthropology, and mythology, we also can understand the reasons why these immigrants must partake in such dangerous journeys, and recognize their dreams and fantasies as an extension of those of their loves ones and communities. For Father Daniel Groody, his theology of immigration was born out of the stories that many migrants told him during his fifteen years of work on the U.S.-Mexico Border: “The stories have helped me see that the journey of an undocumented immigrant is a descent into the vast expanses of hell; they journey toward a ‘promised land’ through what author Luis Alberto Urrea calls ‘The devil’s highway’” (Groody, “A Theology of Immigration”). The theology of immigration argues for the church’s obligation to protect and fight for the rights of the voiceless and the poor. This theology challenges people to put their guard down and see new migrants as similar to them and not as the criminal and distant “other.” Central to Father Groody’s argument is the notion that “crossing borders is at the heart of human life,” and that much like to the new migrants, Jesus Christ was a refugee. Therefore this theology “supplies a way of thinking about migration that keeps the human issues at the center of the debate and reminds us that our own existence as a pilgrim people is migratory in nature” (Groody, “Dying to Live” 34). Cultural anthropology also provides a useful perspective on topics of migration and death. The plays analyzed in this chapter consider death and the temporary nature of life. Western societies are uncomfortable with death as part of the life cycle and are slowly beginning to grapple with the topic. In ancient and preindustrial societies death was viewed as an everyday occurrence and people were better prepared to face the end of life and had strong belief in its continuation in another form. The Mexican cultural tradition of death is observed during “El día de los muertos” “The Day of the Dead” and “El día de la Santa Cruz” “The Day of the Holy Cross” and is rooted and widely observed in ancient religious and cultural practices. In the initial epigraph of this chapter it is possible to see how death for Mario, and characters in many of these plays, is also part of daily life and that by initiating the journey across the U.S.-Mexico Border Mario seeks to live. If he fails in his attempt, he and his support group are prepared to accept his ultimate demise. This view of death and religion in Mexico has led Luis León to conclude that a cyclical model of mythical history exists in Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands among Chicanos and Mexicans as opposed to a linear model of American history that exists for the Anglo-American citizens of the United States (567). Using Octavio Paz’ writings on the return of the dead and temporal cycles, León shows how Mexicans remap space and time until they are transformed “to a mythical past or a total present” (564). He adds that: “border crossings,

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Invisible Journeys to the Land of the Free 5

ceremony, memory, and the resultant transformations are necessary for people who suffer the effects of colonialism, or postcolonialism” (565). Journeys across the border are the expected outcome for a people or a culture that has endured the ravages of colonial powers. A. THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER FENCE: HISTORICAL ACCOUNT The 1,954-mile Border between the United States and Mexico touches four American states to the north (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) and six Mexican states to the south (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas). This line crisscrosses different terrains and topographies starting at the Pacific Ocean in Border Field Park in San Diego (San Ysidro)/Tijuana and ending in Brownsville/Matamoros at the Gulf of Mexico. It traverses rivers such as the Rio Grande, the Sonoran desert (the hottest desert in North America), mountains, and urban areas divided into a series of bi-national “twin cities” such as San Diego/Tijuana, Calexico/Mexicali, Nogales/Nogales, Douglas/Agua Prieta, El Paso/Ciudad Juárez, Laredo/Nuevo Laredo, Brownsville/Matamoros, just to name a few. As of February 10, 2012 there had been 651 miles of border fence built: 352 miles of pedestrian fence and 299 miles of vehicle barrier fence (“US-Mexico Border Fence”). The U.S.-Mexico Border is currently managed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), commonly known as the Border Patrol. CPB is a division of the Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of surveillance of ports of entry, desert, water, and air. Many different tactics and tools are used to prevent entry: fencing of distinctive types (primary, secondary, vehicle barrier, pedestrian, welded steel, chain-link, or cement, picket style), varied technological tools (camera towers, mobile surveillance systems, unmanned aerial systems, underground censors activated by movement, night vision goggles, thermo-cameras, high definition thermal cameras used to detect ground heat, forward looking infrared cameras used in aircraft to detect thermal energy), and natural geographic barriers. The U.S.-Mexico Border reached its current extension after the Treaties of Guadalupe Hidalgo and Gadsden were signed in 1848 and 1853. For many years, it was minimally guarded and widely open to whomever wanted to come and go—Native Americans, the filibustering expeditions of William Walker, Henry Crabb, and Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, robbers, and even Mexican workers. The Texas Rangers and Arizona Rangers were in charge of patrolling certain regions but most of the “border enforcement and the passage of goods were carried out by mounted officers of U.S. Customs”

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Chapter One

(Ellingwood 19). In the latter part of the nineteenth century, after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was past, inspection stations were set up in an effort to stop immigration into the U.S. from Asia. During the Mexican Revolution, many Mexicans decided to move to the United States where they remained since workers were needed during the First World War. In 1924 the Border Patrol was created. During the Depression years, many Mexicans were expelled or left the U.S. Ironically, there was a shortage of workers during World War II and “Mexicans were given permission to cross the border for temporary jobs as laborers or braceros, a word rooted in brazo, Spanish for ‘arm’” in what became known as the Bracero Program (1942–1964) (Ellingwood 22). This program had an unanticipated outcome. As Ken Ellingwood observes: “Once they worked in U.S. fields and on American railroads, many Mexican workers were hooked. . . . Rather than go back to rural towns deep inside Mexico’s interior, they stayed at the border between their work stints in the United States” (22). Many of them did not even bother getting the necessary permits to cross or work legally. Eventually the illegal braceros would be sent back to Mexico and immediately would come back to the U.S. until the number of illegal crossers grew too massive to ignore. On June 9, 1954 the government officially started what became known as Operation Wetback to curtail illegal movement at the Border and protect the country from cold war attacks. Overall some 4 to 5 million undocumented Mexicans were deported, and this effort was deemed successful when in 1955 the government officially declared that the Border had been secured and sealed. B. ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS CROSSINGS The number of illegal crossings began to soar in the 1960s and 1970s. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made it unlawful to hire undocumented workers and fined employers who knowingly hired them. By the 1990s new laws were enacted to recreate the success of Operation Wetback (1954–1955), which were called Operation Gatekeeper in California (1994), and Operation Hold the Line and Rio Grande in Texas and New Mexico (1993). They were passed with the hope of sealing the Border for good by using the concept of “prevention through deterrence.” These plans called for the creation of double and triple layer fences in the most often used smuggling routes and for an increase in Border Patrol agents. But rather than deter illegal immigration to the U.S., they raised the cost that human smugglers, the coyotes, charged per trip and made the crossings even more perilous. As a result of these policies the deaths of illegal migrants started increasing. One

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of the first highly publicized deadly crossings took place on July 3, 1987 in Sierra Blanca, Texas where eighteen illegal migrants suffocated to death in a hermetically sealed freight train boxcar, an incident which Hugo Salcedo brought to the stage in his award winning play El viaje de los cantores. On May 25, 2001 the world was again shocked and saddened by the gruesome discovery of twenty-six migrants (known as “The Wellton 26” or “Yuma 14”) who were left out in the Arizona desert by their smugglers. When the Border Patrol realized the scope of the tragedy, at least fourteen people had perished and twenty-six people had barely survived extreme desert conditions in an area known as the “Devil’s Highway” near Yuma, Arizona. Similar deaths due to hyperthermia and hypothermia have continued to occur in the Arizona desert and are presented in the plays Arizona Cruising and Invierno. On May 15, 2003 another unspeakable tragedy happened in Victoria, Texas where sixty to one hundred people were packed in a trailer and eighteen of them died of heat exhaustion. The movies Victoria para Chino “Victory for Chino” (2004) and La tragedia de Macario “Macario’s Tragedy” (2005) retell this story. On any given day 800,000 people cross from Mexico into the United States legally and some 4,600 (1 in 4) illegal crossers are arrested and deported (Cunningham 338). Since Operation Gatekeeper started in 1994 more than 6,000 persons have died crossing the Border (Cubbisson; Hing), and it was recently reported that over the past fifteen years the Border Patrol has found the bodies of some 2,700 illegal crossers in the Arizona desert (Robbinns; United States Border Patrol). But how do undocumented persons cross the Border? The migrants coming from the South who decide to cross the U.S.Mexico Border illegally do it by riding inside freight trains, hiding in the dashboard or seats of automobiles, walking in the most inhospitable and dangerous areas in North America, and swimming in dangerous irrigation canals and rivers. The individuals being smuggled, called pollos “chicks,” pay coyotes or human smugglers between $1,500 and $2,000 on average and as much as $4,000 to be guided on these treacherous journeys. It is the job of the Border Patrol agents, la migra, to stop these illegal crossers and return them to Mexico where this unending cat and mouse game will start again as soon as they are returned to Mexican territory. Cartas al pie de un árbol, by Angel Norzagaray, illustrates many of the ways in which people cross the Border illegally. Short vignettes with similar themes—people waiting to cross the Border illegally, relatives looking for missing family who left for the U.S., migrants trying to get back home after their failed attempts, and los zahurinos or border prophets deciphering the difficult immigration problems—are interspersed throughout this twenty-six scene play. In the second scene: Hay que esperar “We have to wait” and fourth scene: Te estábamos esperando “We were waiting for you,” the word

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8

esperanza “hope” and the verb esperar “to hope” are mentioned often and made to rhyme. The stage directions suggest that each time they are enunciated the actors must move “con una reacción eléctrica” “with an electric reaction” as if receiving small electric shocks (Norzagaray 261). In those two scenes travelers are seen preparing to embark in multiple journeys across the Border, getting instructions from their coyotes, or paying their quotas. Hombre 3 and his friends are preparing to cross the Border via the desert: “¿Qué pasó? ¿Dónde estaban? Los estuve esperando. Quedamos hace media hora… tenemos que llenar un galón con agua. Nos van a cruzar por el desierto…” “What happened? Where were you? I was waiting for you. We said we would meet here half an hour ago…we have to fill a gallon with water. They will cross us through the desert…” (Norzagaray 263). Other situations, the sixth scene: Vámonos “Let’s go” and fourteenth scene: Vámonos II “Let’s go II” present the car crash of four smuggled people minutes before it happens and all except one die. The same frightening scene is repeated but seen from different angles: POLLO 3. Si nos acomodamos, a huevo que cabemos. POLLO 1. Pues, sí, verdad. Cuando nos íbamos a plantar tomate, bien que nos acomodábamos. POLLO 2. Pero íbamos en un camión de redilas, no en la cajuela de un carro. TODOS. ¡Vámonos! POLLO 1. Acomódense bien. POLLO 2. Esto va muy rápido. POLLO 1. Me están pegando. POLLO 3. No sean llorones. POLLO 1. ¿Cuáles llorones? Vamos a chocar. POLLO 2. Esto se va voltear. POLLO 3. Ya no chillen, díganle que se pare. POLLO 2. N’hombre, no nos van a oír. POLLO 1. Oiga, bájele. POLLO 3. Nos vamos a matar. POLLO 4. ¡Auxilio! POLLO 1. Vamos a chocar, vamos a chocar, vamos a chocar… (Norzagaray, Cartas al pie de un árbol 227) “POLLO 3. If we arrange ourselves, for sure we will fit.

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POLLO 1. Well, yes, true. When we went to plant tomatoes, we sure did arrange ourselves. POLLO 2. But we went on a pick-up truck with racks, not in the trunk of a car. TODOS. Let’s go! POLLO 1. Arrange yourselves well. POLLO 2. This is going too fast. POLLO 1. They are hitting me. POLLO 3. Stop being crybabies. POLLO 1. What crybabies? We are about to crash. POLLO 2. This will turn over. POLLO 3. Stop whining already, tell him to stop. POLLO 2. No, man, they won’t hear us. POLLO 1. Hey, slow down. POLLO 3. We are going to be killed. POLLO 4. Help! POLLO 1. We are going to crash, we are going to crash, we are going to crash...”

This horrific accident has one lone survivor, Pollo 4, whose real name is Crisóforo Pineda from Oaxaca. All scenes illustrate how easy it is to die while crossing the Border illegally. Some of the common causes of death for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border are: heatstroke, freezing, asphyxiation, dehydration, drowning, and as can be seen in the scenes from Cartas al pie de un árbol, automobile crashes.

C. THE CYCLICAL MYTHICAL JOURNEYS OF MEXICAN MIGRANTS According to many researchers the first Mexican play to present the topic of migrants and of migration is Los que vuelven “The Ones Who Come Back” (1933) by Juan Bustillo Oro (Schidhuber de la Mora 7). In this play, Bustillo Oro focuses on characters who emigrated to the neighboring country during the Mexican Revolution to find a better life. In the final scene of the play Chema, the protagonist, is deported and repatriated to Mexico during the Depression era in the United States. In the 1950s and 1960s the plays Braceros (1948) by Rosa de Castaño and Los desarraigados “The Uprooted” (1962)

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by José Humberto Robles dealt with the topic of temporary migrants. But it would not be until the early 1980s that the play Los ilegales “The Illegals” (1979) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda would openly discuss illegal Border crossings by undocumented Mexican migrants and gain popularity with audiences and critics alike. The Rascón Banda play differs from the other plays to be discussed in this chapter because of its very moralistic Brechtian model. It focuses on three cases of illegal migrants who are planning to cross the U.S.Mexico Border in the first act. Once they have managed to cross they are exploited by unscrupulous bosses and almost killed by xenophobic farmers in the U.S. in the second act. El viaje de los cantores, Cartas al pie de un árbol, Arizona Cruising, Border Santo, and Canción de Cuchillo Parado present characters that embark on journeys where the sorrows of their lives and deaths are remembered and interpreted. All of the plays are partially based and inspired by real life events. Salcedo himself has described his theater as one that focuses on the murky zones that engulf human beings, presenting the problems that concern them as individuals but set up in a social context. A similar sensibility is felt in the plays of the other dramatists discussed in this study (Salcedo, “Dramaturgia Mexicana” 131). The journeys that the characters make toward the geographical and cultural region of the U.S.-Mexico Border represent a double march: one to a physical space and the other one to a mythical world. The plays evoke problems that are embedded deep within the Mexican psyche and the characters possess qualities that are both individual and universal. The initial epigraph of El viaje de los cantores, written by Jacques Lacan, transports us into the cyclical journey embarked on by every illegal migrant that crosses the U.S.-Mexico Border: En el momento en que nos acercamos, en el sueño, a lo que es verdaderamente real entre nosotros, en ese momento nos despertamos porque nos da miedo, y nos despertamos para seguir durmiendo. (Salcedo, El viaje 7) “In the moment in which we draw near, while sleeping, to what is real between us, in that moment we awake because we are frightened, and we awake to continue dreaming.”

The epigraph forces us to face the reality of every illegal migrant, realizing that each decision made could lead to death in the pursuit of their dream, with death preferable over not fulfilling the dream. The epigraph also describes the shared dreams of a people living in ambiguous situations, between life and death, between waking and sleeping, and between reality and myths. The mythical journey as a theme is an instrument for individual and social

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Figure 1.1.  Source: Archivo INBA, CITRU. © Christa Cowrie. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. Teatro Sergio Magaña, Mexico City, August 2008. Dir. Claudia Ríos. Reprinted by permission of Archivo INBA, CITRU. © Christa Cowrie. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. Teatro Sergio Magaña, Mexico City, August 2008. Dir. Claudia Ríos.

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self-discovery. It works as a metaphor for the psychological need to know oneself. Peter Beardsell indicates that “crossing over to the other side” has physical and psychological connotations of the actual journey, the voyage of self-discovery, and the one that each human being must make upon departing this earth. Joseph Campbell called this voyage alluded to by Lacan and Salcedo “the journey inward” to the depths of our culture and being. Others have called it “the journey to the ever after” or “the journey to the other world” where the exploration of lives already lived in our subconscious take place (Leeming 103). Campbell believed that human beings are always looking inside their own souls for a way to experience a divine presence, which hides the mysterious force that surrounds this world (Leeming 103). Arizona Cruising by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo, first titled Arizona en llamas “Arizona Burning,” is a one-act play that simultaneously presents three different moments that are dispersed throughout the drama. The play explains the reasons why crossing the Border illegally in the Arizona desert has become more prevalent in the last decades and how the cyclical mythical journeys continue. The main characters, Chema, Álvaro, and David, are three poor fishermen from Tantoyuca, Veracruz. In one of the scenes Chema and his girlfriend Rosa are shown in the bedroom about to have sex. Chema starts experiencing extreme thirst and a tremble that becomes more intense as it goes from his legs, to his hands and mouth: ROSA. ¡José María…! ¡Con un demonio… ¡ ¿Qué te pasa? CHEMA. ¿No ves que se me están cayendo los labios a pedazos por esta maldita sed…? ¿No sientes cómo se me pega la lengua por dentro…? ¡Mírame la pinche boca! ¡Ya ni saliva tengo, Rosa! ¡Hasta la voz me sabe a lumbre y las palabras se me incendian…! (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 143) “ROSA. ¡José María…! What the hell…! What’s wrong with you? CHEMA. Don’t you see that my lips are falling into pieces for this damn thirst? Don’t you feel how my tongue sticks from the inside? Look at my fucking mouth! I don’t even have saliva, Rosa! Even my voice tastes like fire and my words burn up!”

This is premonition of what will happen to Chema in the very near future, a dreadfully painful death as he tries to cross the Sonoran desert to reach the U.S. In Galindo’s play the characters are optimistic as they embark on a journey of hope for a better life by crossing the Border, but they will end up a year later completing the mythical cycle when the caskets with the bodies of Chema and Álvaro return to their hometown. In the introduction to Arizona Cruising the author explains how ironic and fantastic the dreams of the undocumented can be, and how harsh their reality is in contrast to their

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optimism for a better life in the promised land of the United States (Galindo 131). In Arizona Cruising the three main characters appear to be already dead before they even embark on their epic journey across the Border. In spite of the dangers entailed in crossing the Border, people are not deterred and feel that they will be the lucky ones who cross successfully, and that their fate and obligation is to leave Mexico in order to improve their lives. In the first scene of El viaje de los cantores, several young men discuss the dangers and opportunities of crossing the Border even though they are aware of the tragedy of Sierra Blanca, Texas and others like it. They have come to Ciudad Juárez in the hopes of crossing the Border in a few days and their sentiments are similar to those of many Mexicans: RIGO. Allá a todos en algún momento, nos da por pasarnos al otro lado. MARTÍN. ¿A quién no? Mejor vivir de pobres con los gringos, que ricos en México. LAURO. Eso sí. MARTÍN. Nomás uno crece y emprende su propio camino. (Salcedo, El viaje 18) “RIGO. Everyone at some time will feel like crossing to the other side. MARTÍN. And who wouldn’t? Better to live as a poor person with the gringos, than as a rich person in Mexico. LAURO. That’s true. MARTÍN. As soon as one grows up and sets off on his own path.”

In this conversation the men explain with resignation that this is the destiny of many people like them. Linda Saborío believes that this last phrase “define[s] a particular type of Mexican who is raised with the belief that he/ she will eventually undertake a crossing of the border” (Saborío 115). The men’s words also refer back to the initial epigraph of El viaje de los cantores in that they appear to be in a liminal situation where the reader/spectator cannot determine if this is a premonition of something yet to happen or if they are already dead: RIGO. ¿Y si ya estamos tronados? LAURO. ¿Qué traes, tú? RIGO. Si ya, desde el otro día, al querer pasar la línea nos balacearon, y aqui estamos como pagando las culpas… LAURO. No juegues con eso.

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RIGO. Todo puede ser posible. A lo mejor ya hasta me enterraron en Aguascalientes y yo aquí, creyéndomela que todavía estoy vivo. (Salcedo, El viaje 19) “RIGO. And if we’re already dead? LAURO. What’s up with you? RIGO. Ever since the other day, when we tried to cross the border, they shot us, and here we are as if paying for our sins… LAURO. Don’t play with that. RIGO. Everything is possible. Maybe they’ve even buried me in Aguascalientes and I am here, thinking I’m still alive.”

In the same conversation the group discusses the many dangers that illegal migrants might encounter when crossing the Border: RIGO. A mí me entró miedo. A veces amanecen unos como nosotros flotando en el río, por el rumbo de Reynosa. A otros los balacean por San Luis. Toda la frontera está bien cuidada. Y más ahora. MARTÍN. No te vas a rajar… RIGO. ¿Y si nos toca a nosotros? LAURO. Mejor piensa que los gringos nos van a poner casa y hasta trabajo nos van a dar, como a tu amigo, a ese que dices que le dicen el Gallo. Piensa en eso. (Salcedo, El viaje 18–19) “RIGO. I got scared. Sometimes at day break some like us appear floating in the river, by Reynosa. Others are shot near San Luis. The whole border is very secured. And even more now. MARTÍN. You are not going to give up… RIGO. And what if it’s our turn? LAURO. You better think that the gringos are going to give us a house and will even give us jobs, like your friend, that one you say they call the Rooster. Think on that.”

The men’s conversation illustrates the main problems that the undocumented encounter while trying to cross the Border. Even though they are scared, their dreams of living a better life trump the more obvious risks. Other dangers that can be added to this list are: police corruption and brutality, beatings, rapes, torture, highway accidents, theft, and incarceration. These risks can make the victims feel lonely, afraid, exhausted, embarrassed, cold, hot, thirsty, and hungry (Urrea 12; Rose; Martínez et al.). The duality of the Border is observed in these conversations. It is a place where many will be able to fulfill

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their dreams. But is it also a place of danger that may even lead to death for those who intend to cross it illegally.

D. CROSSING THE DESERT Arizona Cruising is partially inspired by the real life events of a mother from a small town in Veracruz who lost a son in the Arizona desert. The play presents the stark reality of what it means to cross the Border and die in the Sonoran desert. In a harsh terrain with jagged rocks, poisonous snakes and spiders, 110º to 120º Fahrenheit days, illegal migrants must walk at least fifty miles with little water and food to get to their destination. The first and last scenes of the play show a Border Patrol helicopter rescuing two men in agony in the desert near Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Sonora. Interspersed throughout the play Chema, Álvaro, and David are presented slowly dying for ten days in a dream-like state not knowing if they are alive or dead. The three men try to cling to life, reality, and their dreams for a better future. At first, they fight amongst themselves when they realize they are lost: DAVID. (Avienta la mochila) ¡Pinche desierto! ¡Parece que no tiene sur! ¡Parece que no tiene norte! ¡Que no tiene lados! ¡Parece que caminamos una y otra vez en el mismo lugar! ALVARO. ¿Qué ganas con desesperarte? DAVID. Quien sabe cuántos días llevamos caminando y no nos lo acabamos. ¡Pinche coyote hijo de su puta madre! ALVARO. Ya estamos aquí. . . . Ni modo de regresarnos. (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 144) “DAVID. (Throwing his backpack) Fucking desert! It seems to have no south! It seems to have no north! It has no sides! It seems that we are walking over and over again in the same place! ALVARO. What do you win by getting all worked up? DAVID. Who knows how many days we have been walking and we don’t reach the end. Fucking coyote son of a bitch! ALVARO. We are already here. . . . No way we go back.”

As the days go by they come to accept their fate and even think that they must be already dead: ALVARO. ¿Oye . . . ey . . . ya te dormiste? ¿Sabes que estoy pensando?

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DAVID. ¿Qué? ALVARO. Que a lo mejor ya estamos muertos. (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 151) “ALVARO. Hey are you already asleep? Do you know what I was thinking? DAVID. What? ALVARO. We might as well already be dead.”

The men have finally realized that their journey, so difficult and futile, was supposed to be their last chance at life. There are six stages of hyperthermia that people lost in the Sonoran desert have experienced: Heat stress, heat fatigue, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. People get tired, dizzy, and have swollen extremities. Because of the extreme temperatures, the ground burns their feet giving them blisters. People must breathe harder and they eventually get second-degree burns. As this stage progresses, people will suffer from fever. Their skin gets cold and acquires a pale look. When the end is near, it is hard to speak. People are dizzy, disoriented, and confused until they start suffering from muscle cramps that make them tumble and fall. They are nauseous, have headaches, and their fever increases until they faint (Ellingwood 180–85). When rescuers finally reached the “Wellton 26,” temperatures had reached 117º F that day and the victims were so severely dehydrated that they were no longer capable of sweating and had body odor. All of them showed skin and lip burns and a sunken and dark look around their eyes making them look like mummies (Urrea 120–22). The Sonoran desert can be lethal in the wintertime because temperatures can drastically drop to 40º Fahrenheit. Such extreme drops in temperature can be dangerous to the human body and can cause hypothermia (Deadly Crossing). The play Invierno by Hugo Salcedo shows another heartbreaking situation involving Esteban, his wife (La mujer) and baby who are lost in an unwelcoming, cold, desert-like place. Their small baby is dying, and they are at the mercy of nature in this desolate location. As the play progresses the characters speak of crossing the Border illegally, waiting for hours to be picked up to be taken to a nearby city. Esteban and La mujer are constantly moving in the hopes of getting to a safe place. Finally big reflectors appear to blind them. Voices in English threaten to shoot if they continue moving towards them: “We have a gun. Don’t move!” (Salcedo, Invierno 67). It is ironic that at the end of the play the woman dies because she does not stop and follow the Border Patrol’s instructions. The voice speaks to her in a language she does not understand: “Don’t move. Take it easy! Please. Stay in your place! Don’t run!” (Salcedo, Invierno 678) but instead she runs towards them to ask for help for her moribund baby and is shot.

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E. OTHER DANGERS OF THE JOURNEY Some of the plays show the irony of the illegal migrants who have successfully crossed the Border only to be stopped by xenophobic farmers or vigilante groups.3 In Arizona Cruising while his two friends lie dying somewhere in the desert, David decides to seek help. After a few hours he has still not returned: ALVARO. ¿Y David? ¿Dónde está David? CHEMA. Fue por ayuda. ¿Te recuerdas que dijo que si no llegaba a ningún lado en dos horas se devolvía? ¿Te recuerdas? (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 161) “ALVARO. And David? Where is David? CHEMA. He left to get help. Remember that he said that if he didn’t get anywhere in two hours he would return?”

Álvaro and Chema are not aware that David managed to reach a town but encountered an intolerant farmer. In a later scene the local news tells the story of a farmer from Rifle County Arizona who shot and killed an illegal Mexican migrant. The farmer allegedly claimed that he thought he had shot a wild boar. In the last scene of the play David’s death is shown. The stage directions describe an Anglo farmer holding a rifle observing David as he gets closer to his property: DAVID. ¡Ey . . . ! ¡Ey . . . ¡ ¡Ayuda, por favor! ¡Ayuda. . . ! ¡Ey . . . señor! ¡Por favor, ayúdeme! Hay dos amigos míos tirados, muriéndose! ¡Necesito ayuda. . . ! GRANJERO. (Quita el seguro y corta cartucho) Are you a mexican? DAVID. ¡No sé inglés! GRANJERO. (Lo encañona) Are you a wet back, ha? Son of a bitch! DAVID. (Lo encañona) ¡No sé hablar inglés! ¡No sé inglés, señor! ¡No sé lo que dice! ¡Pero necesito ayuda! (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 167) “DAVID. Hey. . . ! Hey. . . ! Help, please! Help. . . ! Hey . . . mister! Please, help me! Two friends of mine are lying on the ground, they’re dying! I need help. . . ! GRANJERO. (Removes the trigger’s security and gets ready to shoot) Are you a Mexican? DAVID. I don’t know English! GRANJERO. (He points at him) Are you a wetback, ha? Son of a bitch! DAVID. (He loads his gun) I don’t know how to speak English! I don’t know English, mister! I don’t know what you are saying! But I need help!”

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In Canción de Cuchillo Parado one of the characters, Cardenche, also crosses the Border. An intolerant Border militiaman finds him. As Cardenche struggles to take the gun away, he accidentally kills the man. It was an accident committed in self-defense, but a jury sentences him to death. A letter reaches his beloved Golondrina and his mother, Tundata, as he is in a Texas prison waiting to die. Consuelo, the schoolteacher, serves as the narrator and explains how it all happened: CONSUELO. Mató a un cazador de ilegales. Eso es lo que dicen. Aseguran los testigos que lo vieron cuando huyó. Escucharon gritos de auxilio y luego unos disparos. Eso fue lo que los atrajo; cuando llegaron el ranchero ya estaba muerto y junto a él había una pistola. Vieron al Cardenche correr y perderse entre los árboles. Dicen que fueron tras él; pero le perdieron la pista. Se les escapó (Talavera, Canción de Cuchillo Parado 145) “CONSUELO. He killed a hunter of illegals. That is what they say. Witnesses assure that they saw when he fled. They heard cries for help and then some shots. This is what attracted them; when they arrived the rancher was already dead and next to him there was a gun. They saw Cardenche run and get lost in the trees. They said they went after him; but they lost track of him. He got away.”

The last fifteen years have seen a rise in the proliferation of anti-immigrant militia groups in the U.S.-Mexico Border whose goal is to hunt down people who come across the Border illegally. The play gives a clear example of a situation in which an undocumented man kills his attacker in self-defense and his punishment is the death penalty. Other potential dangers of these illegal journeys can be the perpetration of violent acts by criminals, drug gangs, the minutemen, other militant civilians, and Border Patrol agents. When the play ends Tundata prays for her long lost son: “Mi hijo . . . murió . . . en la soledad. . . . Perdónalo, Señor . . . y acógelo en tu seno” “My son . . . died . . . alone. . . . Forgive him, Lord . . . and accept him into your womb” (Talavera 155). Los ilegales by Rascón Banda dramatizes the atrocious hate crime perpetrated by the Hanigan brothers and their father against two undocumented Mexican immigrants in Arizona in 1976. Since Los ilegales, Northern Mexican playwrights have been presenting similar scenes to shed light onto these kinds of crimes. On December 2009 the Associated Press reported that the body of a man believed to be an illegal migrant had been found in the desert near Tucson. There was evidence that he had been shot (“Border Crosser’s Body”). In other plays like Border Santo the coyotes are presented mistreating the migrants who have entrusted their lives and safe passage to them. The coyotes explain the rules of the transaction, and they don’t hesitate to leave them behind even if they get lost or are exposed to the desert’s elements. When

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Asunción Razo and other pollos suggest to El Coyote that they should sit down for a little while to give Hombre 1 the opportunity to rest, his reaction is inhuman and violent: ASUNCIÓN. El hombre viene malo. Nada le hace que esperemos un rato a que se componga y la mera verdad yo no veo muy claro a dónde vamos, ya hemos caminado mucho y de la alambrada ni sus luces. A mí se me hace que ya nos perdimos. EL COYOTE. (Impositivo) Mire, amigo, yo estoy aquí pa pasarlos pal otro lado, no pa que me anden levantando falsos. Ni soy pilmama de nadie pa estarlos consecuentando. Ora que si no le cuadran mis modos, es libre de largarse por donde vino. Y ya saben, al que no le guste, a la chingada y cada quien por su lado. (Reanudan la marcha, el Hombre 1 intenta el paso) No, amigo, tú hasta aquí llegaste. (Saca su cuchillo y lo apuñala). HOMBRE 2. ¿Qué está haciendo? EL COYOTE. ¡El que se cansa se chinga! Y si alguien quiere acompañarlo, nomás diga… (Hernández, Border Santo 189–90) “ASUNCIÓN. The man is sick. It won’t do us any harm if we wait a while so he can get better, and to be honest I can’t really see where we are going, we have already walked a lot and we see no wire fence or its lights. It seems to me that we must be lost. EL COYOTE. (Domineering) Look, pal, I am here to pass you to the other side, so don’t you spreading any lies. I am nobody’s nanny to be babying you. Now if you do not like my ways, you are free to go back where you came from. And you already know, whoever doesn’t like it, can fuck off and to each their own. (They resume their march, Hombre 1 tries to walk) No, pal, this is as far as you go. (Takes out his knife and stabs him) HOMBRE 2. What are you doing? EL COYOTE. Whoever gets tired is fucked! And if someone wants to join him, just say so…”

Even if the illegal migrants beg not to be abandoned in the desert when one of them is sick or too tired, the coyote is oblivious to their problems and ruthless. El Coyote repeats multiple times in the play the phrase, “¡Pendejos! Sin desconfiar del santo, les dije” or “Dumbasses! Without mistrusting the saint, I told you” to make the undocumented he is guiding believe that if they don’t have enough faith, they won’t cross the Border (Hernández 165; 194). Ironically, in the play there is a suggestion that the Border Patrol is also working in conjunction with the human smugglers. The stage directions indicate that as the migrants try to cross the Border the light changes, becoming more intense and red while the

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violent sound of machine guns, airplanes, and police sirens can be heard. But El Coyote is the only one that remains hidden in the brush and survives the attacks (Hernández 164–65). One possible conclusion to Border Santo disregards faith and religion as the vehicle that miraculously allows the undocumented to cross the Border, instead poses the question that human smuggling organizations, represented by El Coyote, work in tandem with the Migra, represented by El Frontera, to permit the safe passage of the Border for a hefty fee. Another dimension of illegal human smuggling involves new alliances with Mexican drug cartels. This topic is introduced in Border Santo where the need for a better life far outweighs the fear of perishing while crossing the Border. Tragically for 72 undocumented migrants (58 men and 14 women) from Central and South America, their fates were sealed when in August of 2010 they encountered members of the Zetas Drug cartel just 100 miles from the U.S. Border but refused to work for them.4 An increase in the number of undocumented women migrants has seen a rise in violence against women. Hugo Salcedo is cognizant of these very real new threats. On September 2013 he was urged by the members of the Centro Dramático de Michoacán (CEDRAM) to include more recent references in El viaje de los cantores to match the problematic presently lived in Mexico. During the dramatic workshop that Salcedo had with CEDRAM, he wrote a new scene for the play. Scene XI takes place years later and involves the characters of La embarazada “the Pregnant one,” Enamorada “the one in love,” and soltera “the single one” as they are forced to become sex slaves and/or victims of drug trafficking and organized crime. History repeats itself as new undocumented migrants keep on trying to cross the Border. They do not seem to have learned from past tragedies. They use the same reasoning for wanting to leave Mexico for the U.S. as it is portrayed by the plays’ characters in Teatro del Norte and repeated daily by thousands of Mexicans waiting to cross. In an interview given to National Geographic, José Luis Macedo, a Mexican who was planning to cross the Border illegally with his wife, stated his reasons for wanting to leave Mexico. His words are similar to those found in the dialogues of the plays: “I have the blood of the Mexican. Mexico is where I was born, where I lived, where I have suffered but also laughed,” Macedo said. He paused. “But I am disappointed.” “All of a sudden the rent shot up, transportation went up, everything went up. But our salary didn’t go up.” That’s when they began talking about the United States and came to Tijuana. “I’ll work at anything to subsist at first, then do something else. Life there is easier. You don’t want to always live in a mediocre manner; you want to get ahead” (Parfit 105)

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Like Mr. Macedo, the characters of Arizona Cruising are presented in the play explaining to their loved ones why they must leave Tantoyuca, Veracruz. For Chema it is a matter of feeding their families: “En todos lados es igual. Pinche México, ya no alcanza para todos” “Everywhere it’s the same. Fucking Mexico, it is not enough for everyone” (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 134). Álvaro tells his grandmother that he does not want to wait to see how the whole town dies: ALVARO. ¿A qué nos quedamos? ¿A mirar cómo cierran la última fabriquita que hay? ¿A mirar cómo se seca la tierra? ¿A esperar qué nos manda Dios? ¿No misma usté no dice que a Dios rogando y con el mazo dando, eh? Ya verá que dentro de un año o menos… ya estamos aquí de regreso, con billetes en la bolsa, y me la lleve a usté y a los que se quieran ir… (Galindo, Arizona Cruising 138) “ALVARO. What do we stay for? To see how they close the last little factory there is? To see how the earth dries up? To wait to see what God sends us? Don’t you yourself say God helps those who help themselves, huh? You will see that in about a year or less… we’ll be back already, with money in our pockets, and I will take you and those who want to go with me…”

This is the harsh reality for many Mexican peasants from isolated towns that “seem clinging to life at the end of the earth” (Thompson, “Village Mourns”). Just as the characters are presented in many of the plays, and in the “Yuma 14” tragedy, the dead come from rural central Mexico and the Gulf, such as the states of Veracruz, Zacatecas, and Aguascalientes. F. THE ONES LEFT BEHIND All six plays in this chapter discuss the other side of the immigration issue, the people left behind. There are many small towns in Mexico that have been left with only women, children and the elderly in what Ginger Thompson has described as a “desperate torrent that carries floods of migrants to the United States” (Thompson, “Migrant Exodus”). First the men leave and are followed by their wives and even their children. Lately this treacherous journey has seen an increase of unaccompanied minors as presented in the documentary Which Way Home (2009) by Rebecca Cammisa or in newspapers and magazine articles. People come from small towns all over Mexico such as Chuchillo Parado, Chihuahua, portrayed by Manuel Talavera in his play, a place believed by many to be cradle of the Mexican Revolution. In Canción de Cuchillo Parado the main characters realize that everyone has left their town, even the kids: “Nos estamos quedando sin niños y van a cerrar esta escuela…” “There

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are no children that remain and they have to close the school…” (Talavera 153). People do not want to wait for their town to become a lonely ghost town, so they leave for the U.S. or for the bigger cities in search of a better life. The people that leave, says the mayor of a small town in Veracruz, “[They] go with visions of resolving the biggest problem in this country: poverty” (Thompson, “Village Mourns”). Many of these new visionaries never return home. These plays also present women waiting to receive news from their loved ones. They are of all ages and have sons, husbands, or relatives who decided to make the journey to the U.S. Sometimes these women are left pregnant. Other times they are so old and sick that people think they have become crazy or blind. It appears that all of them suffer a communal and symbolic blindness and insanity because they want to believe the irrational stories of success rather than admit that their men have died along their path to the U.S. In El viaje de los cantores La abuela has a monologue in scene VII where she talks about her grandson, El Mosco, one of the coyotes who died with the group of men in Sierra Blanca, Texas. La abuela is the only one that addresses Mujer 5, who has been ostracized by the other women for having a child out of wedlock with El Chayo. She is also the only one capable of saying the truth about their pitiful situations: LA ABUELA. Me llaman loca. Y si estoy loca, ellas están más porque no aguantan quedarse solas en este pueblo. Me dicen ciega. Debajo del rebozo se aguantan las ganas de gritarme que estoy ciega. Pero ellas están más, porque despiden a sus hijos con la esperanza de volverlos a ver, cuando ellos ya no van a regresar nunca. (Salcedo, El viaje 38) “LA ABUELA. They call me crazy. And if I am crazy, they are even crazier because they can’t stand staying alone in this town. They call me blind. Down deep inside they want to yell at me that I am blind. But they are more, because they say good-bye to their children with the hope of seeing them again, when in reality they will never return again.”

José Ramón Alcántara Mejía equates the character of La abuela with that of Tiresias, the prophet/clairvoyant of Thebes because of her capacity to reveal the truth as ugly or harsh as it may be (Alcántara 125). For Linda Saborío La abuela “Recounts the lives of these ‘subaltern experiences’ and becomes a voice for expressing their bitter hope that borders on insanity” (Saborío 117). La abuela expresses the doubts and fears of the marginalized from many societies that are left behind and their loved ones who have to embark on these silent journeys. The women await the news in the forms of letters which sometimes take years to arrive and when the bodies of their loved ones are finally returned to them, if they are found, the women will be the ones expected to mourn out

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Figure 1.2.  Source: Paula Castellano Moyano. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. Real Academia de Arte Dramático, Madrid, Spain, July 2014. Dir. Raúl Rodríquez. Reprinted by permission of Paula Castellano Moyano. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. Real Academia de Arte Dramático, Madrid, Spain, July 2014. Dir. Raúl Rodríquez.

loud their loss and that of the whole town. Alcántara Mejía sees in El viaje de los cantores the abandonment of the women and the journey that their loved ones will take to Hades transformed from a gossiping exchange between neighbors to a litany of the dead to the cry of the Llorona (Alcántara 126). The litany song they sing resembles a sad cradle song that they must sing forever to remember all the sons they have lost: MUJER 4. (Igual) De ese hijo que tenía, De ese hijo que quedaba Ese se murió en el tren, Ya nomás me quedé sola, Sola, sola, sola MUJER 5. (Igual) ¡Ay, mi Chayo! ¡Ay, pobre de mí! ¡Ay, pobre de mi hijo! CORO DE MUJERES. ¡Pobres de nosotras, tan viejas, Pobres de nosotras, tan solas,

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Tan solas y tan viejas! (Salcedo, El viaje 46) “MUJER 4. (Same) That son I had That son that was left That one died on the train Now I was really left alone Alone, alone, alone MUJER 5. (Same) Oh, my Chayo! Oh, poor me! Oh, my poor son! WOMEN’S CHOIR. Poor us, so old, Poor us, so alone, So alone and so old!”

Regan Postma sees the use of poetic song as a way for the women to be transported to the “site where their sons died in their journeys to the North” through music (54). The mythical cycle is completed and the people from Ojo Caliente and other Mexican towns are expected to continue making these trips ad infinitum until the situation in their country improves. G. THE FAITH OF THE MIGRANTS AND THEIR FAMILIES Religion is the foundation that empowers most Mexican emigrants to make such an uncertain journey to the U.S. In all the plays discussed, the women left behind are seen praying for the safe passage of their loved ones, mourning the dead, and feeling their loss. The migrants making the journeys are oftentimes observed praying to their santos and santones for protection. Jacqueline Hagan indicates that most migrants planning to cross the Border illegally tend to “turn to that which they hold sacred-their religious icons-and those they know and trust-their families and local clergy” (Hagan 4–5, 13). Before leaving, most migrants, even if not very religious, visit a saint in a site or shrine to ask for protection of those left behind and a safe passage or ask to be blessed by their local clergy. During their journey they leave religious objects (rosaries, prayer cards and books, pictures of saints, and candles) behind along migrant trails in makeshift shrines in places like Sasabe and Aravica, Arizona. These transformations of the desert landscape, says photographer Michael Hyatt, might be a way of presenting the “collective identity for a people made invisible by U.S. immigration policy” (Hyatt).

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In Border Santo by Virginia Hernández, awarded the Special Mention of the María Teresa León First International Prize for Female Dramatists in 2000, several emigrants are presented trying to cross the Border, believing that their determination and faith in God and the Border Santo (who appears to be a mixture a many folk saints such as Juan Soldado and Jesús Malverde) will allow them to do it safely. The play criticizes the growing number of popular saints idolized by the local population and the individuals without scruples who create them for their own financial benefit. With anguish and distress and hopes for a better life on the other side of the Border, people cling to these pseudo-religious images to protect them and give them the physical and religious strength to make the long arduous journeys to the other side. These icons also give them the power to leave their loved ones back home in Mexico. In a scene reminiscent of El viaje de los cantores, several men are shown as they await their chance to cross chatting by a bonfire and several women are seen praying for a safe journey: CORO. A ti clamamos . . . EL FRONTERA. De lavaplatos en un restaurán de categoría, o de gardener en una de esas casas ricas que parecen palacios. Esa sí es buena vida. Te dan tu uniforme y tu cuarto, tu badroom con televisión. REZADERA 1. Santo bienaventurado CORO. Hasta ti llegamos . . . … HOMBRE 3. Yo lo que caiga. Conmigo no van a tener queja. REZADERA 1. Santón de la fe ciega . . . CORO. Ilumínanos . . . REZADERA 1. Santo justiciero . . . ASUNCION. Dicen que si aprendes rápido el inglés te pagan más. (Hernández, Border Santo 170–71) “CORO. To you we cry out . . . EL FRONTERA. I’ll work as a dishwasher in an elegant restaurant, or as a gardener in one of those rich houses that look like palaces. A good life that is. They give you your uniform and your room, your bedroom with a television. REZADERA 1. Blessed saint CORO. To you we come . . . …

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HOMBRE 3. I’m down for whatever. You won’t have any complaints from me. REZADERA1. Big saint of blind faith . . . CORO. Illuminate us . . . REZADERA 1. Avenging saint . . . ASUNCION. They say if you learn English quickly they will pay you more.”

Asunción Razo, the protagonist of Border Santo, has left his pregnant wife and small plot of land for a chance to improve their miserable life “del otro lado.” He has total faith in the Santo and believes that will allow for his safe passage. El Frontera, who has been living in the U.S., gives an exaggerated description of the future that awaits all these migrants and fills them with unrealistic dreams and expectations. The women of the Chorus and the Rezadera or “the One that Prays” pray and hope that this make believe saint will give them all strength to make such a dangerous journey for a piece of the American Dream. In El viaje de los cantores there is an unknown character, El desconocido “the unknown,” whose body makes the trip back to Ojo Caliente even though

Figure 1.3.  Source: John Gillooly. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, Boston, March 2008. Dir. Coleen Rua. Reprinted by permission of John Gillooly. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, Boston, March 2008. Dir. Coleen Rua.

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no one really knew who he was. El desconocido represents all the illegal migrants who die trying to reach the American dream. Even though he is not identified, a whole town gives him a proper burial, and during his sermon the priest says that a new Jesus Christ returned to this world only to die again in a railroad car (Salcedo, El viaje 45). Some 500 to 1,000 persons die trying to cross to U.S.-Mexico Border every year.5 Many bodies cannot be identified because after lying in the desert for over two hours a body will already show signs of decomposition. Pictures, identification and voter cards can help with the recognition of victims. The unlucky, the unidentified, are buried in mass graves with crosses that say “mujer,” “woman” “hombre,” “man” “niño,” “child” or “Juan Doe.” Recently some immigrants’ rights groups have started placing crosses that read “No olvidado” “Not forgotten” to honor their existence in this life. As Charlie LeDuff movingly describes how some “Juan Does” are buried in pauper graves near a trash mound in a cemetery in Hotville, California where: “No one will say a word for him. There will be no priest, no prayer, no lamentation. He will go forgotten next to 220 other men and women who drowned in irrigation canals or succumbed to the sun or were discovered dead in the back of a tractor trailer crossing into the United States” (LeDuff). Ángel Norzagaray discusses this aspect of the tragic journeys of many migrants in Cartas al pie de un árbol as well. In the last scene of the play “Desencuentro final” “Final Dis-encounter” it is clear that Mamá sorda “Deaf mother” will be the next victim to die and never be found. El Zaurino tries to stop her from making such a dangerous journey. The stage directions say that as Madre sorda “no escucha, sigue rumbo al norte donde levantará la cruz que da cuenta de su muerte con un letrero que dice ‘Desconocida’” “She does not listen, she continues heading north where she will erect a cross that will speak of her death with a sign that says ‘unknown’” (Norzagaray 289). The same tragedy that Hugo Salcedo described in El viaje de los cantores was repeated thirteen years later in Victoria, Texas, and many other tragedies have occurred in the new millennium that Northern Mexico playwrights have masterfully dramatized. Critics have recognized that a culture based on “constant migration, or a repetitious act of crossing the Border, returning to Mexico, and crossing again to the United States” is instilled in all Mexicans who live on the Borderlands, who are in dire economic situations, and who feel the absence of all those left behind (Saborío 118). These plays sound like mournful and hoarse lamentations and litanies that ironically can be heard by all but the ones in power. The plays present the tragedies of those who have died and will continue dying by crossing transnational borders in search of a new life. They give voice to those invisible nomads considered outsiders even in their own countries. But their invisible journeys, full of hope, anguish, and pain will not be forgotten nor will they be in vain. El viaje de los cantores,

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Figure 1.4.  Source: John Gillooly. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, Boston, March 2008. Dir. Coleen Rua. Reprinted by permission of John Gillooly. El viaje de los cantores by Hugo Salcedo. C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, Boston, March 2008. Dir. Coleen Rua.

Invierno, Arizona Cruising, Cartas al pie de un árbol, Canción de Cuchillo Parado, and Border Santo are dramas that present universal yet intimate personal journeys. Even though they discuss deplorable human conditions that end unhappily, these plays are a requiem and an often exalted poetic depiction of migrants’ lives, as well as “a call to fight against a reality that traps us” (Alfonso 52–53). The dramatists explore universal aspects of Mexican identity through the use of mythical journeys, which are carried out by Mexico’s poorest. The possibility of death is preferable to living in such deplorable circumstances that force the undocumented to embark in these crossings so that they may have a chance at a new life. The plays written by Hugo Salcedo, Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo, Ángel Norzagaray, Manuel Talavera Trejo, and Virginia Hernández show how in the modern era the whole world is interconnected. As Sebastião Salgado has written in his photojournalistic project Migrations: “We are all affected by the widening gap between rich and poor, by the availability of information, by population growth in the Third World, by the mechanization of agriculture, by rampant urbanization, by destruction of the environment, by nationalistic, ethnic and religious bigotry” (Salgado). All humanity suffers because of these problems, but none more than the weakest of the society,

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the refugees. Survival is the strongest instinct human beings have, and under these circumstances, people all to often react with hatred, violence, and greed. The dramas that Esteban and his wife undergo in Invierno, El Miqui, Chayo, and Mosco go through in El viaje de los cantores, Chema, Álvaro, and David in Arizona Cruising, and Calanche in Canción de Cuchillo Parado, show the dangers that all those who try to cross transnational borders in an illegal way due to economical and political reasons must face. The dramatists’ of the North of Mexico highlight the problem of migrants in their plays because they represent “the contemporary political identity of the crisis” and invite their readers and audiences to be aware of these world changes and to work to achieve a fair balance between different nations of the world (Xenos 244). NOTES 1.  Daniel Groody, “Dying to Live: Migration and the Mission of Reconciliation,” The Gift of Mission: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Maryknoll Centennial Symposium, James H. Kroeger Ed., New York: Orbis Books, 2013. 93–97. 2.  These remittance figures placed Mexico in fourth place behind India, China, and the Philippines and first in Latin America. For further information please check “Remittances to Latin America Grow, but Mexico Bucks the Trend Faced with the US Slow Down,” 08 October 2013, The World Bank News, 07 May 2014 http://www .worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/10/04/remesas-latinoamerica-crecimientomexico-caida. Also check “Remittances to Latin America Recover—but Not to Mexico,” 14 November 2013, Pew Research Hispanic Trends Projects, 07 May 2014 http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/11/15/remittances-to-latin-america-recover-but -not-to-mexico/ph-remittances-11–2013–a-11/. 3.  There are many vigilante groups in the United States that target immigrants as well as individuals that hunt undocumented persons; the most famous is The Minutemen. Their motto is to defend the U.S. homeland from the invasion of illegal aliens. It is actually not one single group but “a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States.” Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox are the faces of the movement. For further information please check “Minutemen,” n.d. Anti Defamation League, 07 May 2014, http://archive.adl.org/extremism/minutemen.html#.U2wseMeWQy4. There are also many volunteer groups along the border whose goal is to do humanitarian work to help undocumented persons in need and to indirectly assist in their northbound trek. Often they set up water stations in inhospitable desert points in Arizona. Some organizations are: Humane Borders, Border Angels, Samaritan Patrol, No More Deaths, and more. 4.  72 bullet-riddled bodies of Central and South American migrants believed to be heading to the United States were found in a ranch in the town of San Fernando, Tamaulipas on August 24, 2010. The authorities said 58 men and 14 women had

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been killed by members of the Zetas Drug Cartel. Alejandro Poire, a spokesman for the Mexican authorities, indicated: “it was an attempt at forced recruitment. That is to say, it wasn’t a kidnapping with the intent to get money, but the intention was of holding these people, forcing them to participate in organized crime—with the terrible outcome that we know,” said in an interview with W radio.” E. Eduardo Castillo, “Mexico Migrants Massacre: Drug Cartel Suspected In Killing Of 72,” 26 Aug. 2010, The Wold Post, 08 May 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/mexico -migrants-massacre-_n_695299.html. Experts believe that the execution style murders were done to “send a clear message; if migrants and their transporters do not comply by paying protection fees and following border-crossing directives, the drug traffickers will respond with deadly force.” Human Rights Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: Gendered Violence and Insecurity, Ed. Kathleen Staudt, Tony Payan, and Z. Anthony Kruszewski, (Tucson, AZ: U of Arizona P, 2009) 77. Please also check Randal C. Archibold “Victims of Massacre in Mexico Said to Be Migrants,” 25 Aug. 2010, The New York Times, 08 May 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/ world/americas/26mexico.html. 5. Please check “United States Border Patrol South Border Sectors: Southwest Border Deaths by Fiscal Year” n.d., United States Border Patrol, 07 May 2014 http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/U.S.%20Border%20Patrol%20Fiscal%20Year%20Statistics%20SWB%20Sector%20Deaths%20FY1998%20–%20 FY2013.pdf.

WORKS CITED Alcántara Mejía, José R. “Márgenes de textualidad y teatralidad en El viaje de los cantores de Hugo Salcedo.” Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea 10.22 (2004): Print. Alfonso, Sergio R. “Lo íntimo Ante lo inmenso.” Yubai 4.16 (1996): 52–53. Print. Beardsell, Peter. “Crossing the Border in Three Plays by Hugo Salcedo.” Latin American Theatre Review 29.2 (1996): 71–84. Print. “Border Crosser’s Body.” AZ Central.com. 23 Dec. 2009. Web. http://www.azcentral .com/news/articles/2009/12/03/20091203slain-border-on.html. Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth. New York: Doubleday, 1988. Print. Crossing Arizona. Dir. Dan De Vivo and Joseph Mathew. Rainlake Films, 2006. Cubbisson, Gene. “Operation Gatekeeper, 15 Years Later.” NBC San Diego, 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 10 Oct. 2010. http://www.ncbsandiego.com/news/politics/operationgatekeeper-at-15–-62939412.html. Cunningham, Hilary. “Nations Rebound?: Crossing Borders in a Gated Globe.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Powers 11 (2004): 329–50. Print. Deadly Crossing. Dir. New York Times Student Journalism Institute. The University of Arizona. 11 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Oct. 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=mih3ojfH2YU. Ellingwood, Ken. Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border. New York: Vintage, 2004. Print.

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“Facts & Figures: Global Estimates.” International Organization for Migration. N.d. Web. 23 Dec. 2012. http://www.iom.int/cms/en/sites/iom/home/about-migration/ facts--figures-1.html. Galindo, Edeberto. Arizona Cruising. Edeberto Galindo: Teatro De Frontera. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro De Frontera 16. Durango, Mexico: Espacio Vacío, 2006. 131–68. Print. Gioacchino, Campese and Daniel G. Groody eds. A Promised Land, a Perilous Journey: Theological Perspectives on Migration. Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame P, 2008. Print. González Rodríguez, Sergio. El hombre sin cabeza. Barcelona: Anagrama, 2009. Print. Grof, Stanislav, and Joan Halifax. The Human Encounter with Death. New York: Dutton, 1977. Print. Groody, Daniel G. “A Theology of Immigration.” Notre Dame Magazine (Autumn 2004) N.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2009. http://magazine.nd.edu/news/10587/. ———. “Dying to Live: Theology, Migration, and the Human Journey.” Reflections: Yale University (2008): 31–33. Print. ———. “Dying to Live: Migration and the Mission of Reconciliation.” The Gift of Mission: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Maryknoll Centennial Symposium, James H. Kroeger Ed., New York: Orbis Books, 2013. 93–97. Print. Hagan, Jacqueline. “Faith for the Journey: Religion as a Resource for Migrants.” Ed. Daniel G. Groody and Gioacchino Campese. A Promised Land, A Perilous Journey: Theological Perspectives on Migration Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame P, 2008. 4–5, 13. Print. Herlinghaüs, Hermann. Violence without Guilt: Ethical Narratives from the Global South. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print. Hernández, Virginia. Border Santo. Virginia Hernández: Teatro de Frontera. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro De Frontera 15. México Durango, Mexico: Espacio Vacío, 2005. 161–201. Print. Hing, Bill Ong. “Corker-Hoeven Provision Would Exacerbate the Immigration Death Trap.” The Huffington Post. 11 Nov. 2013. Web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ bill-ong-hing/corkerhoeven-provision-wo_b_4256299.html. Hyatt, Michael. “Faith, Fencing & Fate: New Cultural Landscapes of Migration in the United States-Mexico Borderlands” 2010. The University of British Columbia. 09 May 2014. Web. http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~sundberg/CulturalLandscapes/ background.html. LeDuff, Charlie. “Just this Side of the Treacherous Border, Here Lies Juan Doe.” The New York Times. 24 Sept. 2004. Web. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/24/ national/24pauper.html. Leeming, David Adams. Mythology. New York: Newsweek, 1976. Print. León, Luis D. “Metaphor and Place: The U.S.-Mexico as Center and Periphery in the Interpretation of Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 67.3 (1999): 541–47. Print. Martínez, Daniel E., Guillermo Cantor and Walter A. Ewing. No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse. May 2014. American

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Immigration Councel. Web. 09 May, 2014. http://www.americanimmigrationcoun cil.org/sites/default/files/No%20Action%20Taken_Final.pdf. Mijares, Enrique. Dramaturgia Del Norte: Antología. Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2003. Print. Norzagaray, Ángel. Cartas al pie de un árbol. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Dramaturgia Del Norte: Antología. Monterrey, Mexico: Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2003. 259–89. Print. Parfit, Michael. “Tijuana and the Border. A Magnet of Opportunity.” National Geographic 190.2 (1996): 105. Print. Postma, Regan Lee. “Freeways, and Free Speech, Rail Cars, and Rancheras: Geographic and Contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American Cultural Production.” Diss. The University of Kansas, 2011. Print. Robbinns, Ted. “Illegal Immigrants Deaths Set Record in Arizona.” NPR. 6 Oct. 2010. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. http://www.npr.or/templates/story/story/php?storyid=130369998 &sc=emaf. Rose, Amanda. “Death in the Desert.” 21 June 2012. The New York Times. Web. 09 May 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/opinion/migrants-dying-on-theus-mexico-border.htm. Rushdie, Salman. Step across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992–2002. New York: Random House, 2002. Print. Saborío, Linda. Staging Race in Latina/o and Mexican Transborder Theatre. Diss. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006. Print. Salcedo, Hugo. El viaje de los cantores y otras obras de Teatro. San Angel, Mexico City: Consejo Nacional Para La Cultura Y Las Artes, 1990. Print. ———. “Dramaturgia Mexicana Contemporánea: ¿Qué Rayos Está Pasando?” Latin American Theatre Review 27.2 (1994): 127–32. Print. ———. El viaje de los cantores: 25 Aniversario. September 2013. Unpublished MS. Salcedo, Hugo. ed. Invierno. 21Obras en Un Acto. Ed. Hugo Salcedo. Toluca, Mex.: CONACULTA-INBA, 2002. 63–68. Print. Salgado, Sebastião. “Migrations: The Story of Humanity on the Move.” Nieman Reports, Fall 2006. Web. 15 Oct. 2009. http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/ article/100321/Migrations-The-Story-of-Humanity-on-the-Move.aspx. Schidhuber de la Mora, Guillermo. “La Primera Obra De Temática Migratoria En El Teatro Mexicano Los Que Vuelven, De Juan Bustillo Oro.” Amerique Latine Histoire Et Memoire: Les Cahiers ALHIM. 15 July 2010. Web. 12 Aug. 2010. http:// alhim.revues.org/index3292.html. Talavera Trejo, Manuel. Canción De Cuchillo Parado. Manuel Talavera Trejo: Teatro de Frontera. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 12. México Durango, Mexico: Espacio Vacío, 2004. 120–55. Print. Thompson, Ginger. “Village Mourns Mexicans Who Died Emigrating.” The New York Times (May 2001). Print. ———. “Migrant Exodus Bleeds Mexico’s Heartland.” The New York Times (September 2001). Print. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Popular Division. “The Number of International Migrants Worldwide Reaches 232 Million.” Popular Facts.

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2013.2 (September 2013). Web. 28 April, 2014. http://esa.un.org/unmigration/ documents/The_number_of_international_migrants.pdf. United States Border Patrol. “Southwest Border Sectors: Southwest Border Deaths by Fiscal Year.” N.d. Web. 7 May, 2014. http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/ files/documents/U.S.%20Border%20Patrol%20Fiscal%20Year%20Statistics%20 SWB%20Sector%20Deaths%20FY1998%20–%20FY2013.pdf. Urrea, Luis Alberto. Across the Wire: Life and Hard times on the Mexican Border. New York: Anchor, 1993. Print. ———. The Devil’s Highway. New York: Little Brown, 2004. Print. “US-Mexico Border Fence / Great Wall of Mexico.” GlobalSecurity.org—Reliable Security Information. Web. 15 Sept. 2010. http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/ systems/mexico-wall.htm. Which Way Home. Dir. Rebecca Cammisa. Bullfrog Films, 2009. DVD. Xenos, Nicholas. “Refugees: The Modern Political Condition.” Ed. Michael Shapiro and Hayward R. Alker. Comp. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P. Challenging Boundaries. Global Flows, Territories Identities (1996): 233–46. Print.

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Chapter Two

The Indigenous World A Theatre of Resistance

The first European immigrants arrived in the northern fringes of the Spanish Empire around the third decade of the sixteenth century. They were motivated by the fantastic accounts of cities made of gold, silver, and other riches, but these places never materialized. Even if the first groups of explorers were small in number, their arrival significantly transformed the territory and its inhabitants. The Borderlands of the U.S.-Mexico have been the dramatic location of colonial and post-colonial appropriations, some passive and others openly aggressive. Recent historical and anthropological trends have abandoned the idea that the U.S. Southwest and the Mexican northern Border was a territory inhabited by simple and isolated people whom European conquerors and colonists quickly subjugated because they were ill prepared to deal with insurmountable alterations to their ways of life. On the contrary, it is believed that these groups had more control over their destinies than was originally assumed, by choosing sometimes to peacefully cooperate and coexist with the Spanish, Mexican, Americans, and other tribes, and choosing other times to wage war. Pekka Hämäläinen is of the opinion that the policies of the native groups of the Borderlands should not be seen strictly as strategies of survival, but instead that Indians maintained the ability to “wage war, exchange goods, make treaties, and absorb people in order to expand, extort, manipulate, and dominate” (7). This chapter focuses on three plays about Indians of the Kumiai, Apache, and Yaqui tribes during the different cycles of conquest.1 These plays place their protagonists in the Baja California mission period, in Chihuahua in the middle of the nineteenth century, and in Sonora in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bárbara Gandiaga: Crimen y condena en la misión de Santo Tomás “Barbara Gandiaga: Crime and Punishment in the Mission of Saint Thomas” (1999) by Hugo Salcedo, Venado viejo…venado joven “Old Deer… Young Deer” (2003) by Jorge Celaya, and 35

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Apaches (2004) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda are plays belonging to a new revisionist trend that reassesses the historical treatment and experiences of the different indigenous groups that inhabited the area. These works question the mythical ancestral history of the indigenous peoples who inhabited the Borderlands, and they examine how they survived cultural assimilation and how they united to coexist with other groups. The Indian nations of this period were active participants who were fully conscious of their struggles and not merely static bystanders or helpless victims. Native Americans contributed directly to the formation of the Borderlands just as much as Europeans through the process of ethnogenesis. The term defines the series of actions that lead an ethnic group to gain social consciousness. Ethnogenesis focuses on how conquered populations have retained their identities despite major obstacles that threaten their existence. Historian Gary Clayton Anderson believes the Borderlands to be a disputed region where for hundreds of years native peoples, by means of ethnogenesis, chose to reinvent themselves in order to resist the conquerors. In The Indian Southwest, 1580–1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention (1999), Anderson argues that even if the Spanish appropriated parts of northern New Spain, they did not manage to triumph over them: “Native resistance succeeded because many of their societies abandoned old ethnic identities and joined new, more dynamic groups reinventing lifestyles along the way” (14). Jonathan D. Hill writes in the introduction to History, Power, and Identity: Ethnogenesis in the Americas, 1492–1992 that ethnogenetic processes are inherently “dynamic and rooted in a people’s sense of historical consciousness” (10). This action of self-reflection allows a people to situate within a historical context to understand their struggles against a dominant power “to create enduring identities in general contexts of radical change and discontinuity” (Hill 10–11). In Captives and Cousins: Slaves, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (2001), James Brooks offers a novel explanation for what brought together Indian and colonial societies of the Borderlands: “similar notions of honor, shame, and gender, with the control of women and children as central proof of status” (34). Although the region was a diverse and dynamic area where exchange interactions focused on the trade of goods, the ownership of “captives” became an all-important symbol of prestige for Border societies. According to Brooks, “borderland slavery” can be differentiated from other forms of slavery of that period in that “borderland captives” were incorporated into the Indian communities that had snatched them as adoptive children or wives, or into Spanish or Mexican villages as servants, godchildren, or concubines (6; 34). Through the process of “borderland slavery” and ethnogenesis, Brooks explains that the cultural and ethnic identities of diverse groups such as Apaches, Coman-

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ches, Navajo, and Pueblo are not simply genetic. The history of native Indian tribes of the U.S. Southwest and Northern Mexico reveals them living in Spanish missions as neophytes, being held as captives, and being persecuted by the authorities of the time. But their history also shows them fighting and resisting the Jesuit, Dominican, or Franciscan friars, kidnapping people and stealing animals or burning towns, and choosing to relocate or separate as a group or tribe in order to survive and prosper. These are the stories told by the recent dramatists of the north of Mexico, by historians and ethnographers alike, and these stories are the focus of this chapter. A. CONQUEST OF NORTHERN NEW SPAIN AND THE MISSION SYSTEM Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, various Indian tribes inhabited what is present-day California, the U.S. Southwest, and Northern Mexico (during colonial times historically called Nueva España).2 Sedentary tribes, such as the Pueblo, Zuñi, Hopi, Pima, and Yaqui Indians, lived in villages in these areas, usually in adobe dwellings, and practiced some forms of farming and irrigation (McWilliams 57–58). The other Indian groups were composed of the nomadic Indians of the Southwest such as the Apaches, Navajo, and Comanches, who preyed on the sedentary dwellers of the different villages, causing fear and destruction in order to maintain their nomadic lifestyles. The conquest of these tribes that many labeled “Chichimecs” proved to be an impossible task for the Spanish crown which, aided by various religious orders, embarked on the Christianization and colonization of California, Nueva Vizcaya, Nuevo Santander, and Nuevo Mexico.3 Between 1597 and 1849 through this vast territory that included rugged mountains, deserts, and arid regions a series of missions were set up to convert the Indians and to resettle them in congregaciones, communities similar to reducciones indígenas “indian settlements.”4 Historians indicate that this system to “‘reduce’ the Indians to religion, vassalage, and civilization” only made them organize and rebel in a series of uprisings (Alonso 22). The main religious orders (Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican orders) all set up missions in different parts of northern New Spain. The Jesuit order remained in northern New Spain for over 100 years, from 1697 to 1767. After their expulsion, the Franciscans promptly took control, followed by the Dominicans. Pressure to secularize increased in the last decades of the eighteenth century, yet many missions endured until after the Mexican War of Independence. Eventually, presidios were built near the missions to offer protection to the friars, and to the indios mansos “assimilated or tame indians,” to maintain

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power and order. According to their level of assimilation the Indians living in these territories were either called mansos or bárbaros “barbarous.”5 Spanish colonizers also adapted their customs to the harsher environments and to the Indians’ ways of life. However, after many centuries of coexistence and a series of rebellions, some of the Indians left this lifestyle to return to their old ways of inhabiting the land, using a series of strategies to boycott and thwart the projects of the colonizers. Their tactics were sometimes passive and sometimes active, including: thefts, intrigues, concocted ignorance, conscious negligence at work, flight, and armed rebellions (Garduño 139). Conquest of northern New Spain started in the fourth decade of the sixteenth century with the Spanish incursions along the desert. The Europeans tried to persuade the Indians living in these territories to acquire the Christian religion, speak the Spanish language, and live in “Indian towns.” They also required the Indians to cover themselves by dressing in the Spanish way, become monogamous, and live in adobe or stone houses (Spicer 282). However, the ultimate goal of Spanish colonization in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands was “the acquisition of land, wealth, and power” (Reyes, Private Women 19). This forced most tribes to learn to live communally, become sedentary, and recognize missionaries as the central authority (Garduño 140). The newly established missions were imperfect oases encircled by vast deserts, and the religious orders had a very low regard for the local tribes. Missionaries would often complain that the natives were “insolent, ungrateful, liars, crooks, extremely lazy, talkers ... people that cannot be subjugated” (Garduño 140). In comparison to the other religious orders, the Dominicans had the reputation of being “harder task masters” and for applying severe treatment to Indians who broke their rules (Reyes, Private Women 49–50). Their control was so great that even raising one’s voice could incur corporeal punishment and death (Salcedo, Telón abierto 54). Native peoples’ resistance against the mission system became more openly visible by means of disobedience, theft, and intrigue. These actions of resistance hindered the progress of the efforts to “humanize” the natives in northern New Spain. When colonizers hardened their stance to force the Indians to accept their plans to civilize the area, the resistance took on the character of active and open rebellion (Garduño 140–41).6 The policy of Indian reductions or congregación “congregation” was also established in the Californias.7 In accordance with this policy, the seminomadic peoples of the area were removed from their dwellings and taken to live either in a mission or in the newly established towns for the purpose of Christianization (Reyes, Private Women 47). This created discontent among the Indians and frustration among the religious orders. Nevertheless, Clayton Anderson suggests that the establishment of missions actually advanced the

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process of ethnogenesis because these places “became staging areas where small, fractured bands joined others in like circumstances, intermarried, and attempted to rebuild themselves” (Anderson 67). In the missions a wide range of groups of Indians abandoned many of their cultural traits and united with more dynamic groups while reinventing their culture and existence. Bárbara Gandiaga was a Yuman Indian woman of Kumiai or Pai Pai ancestry born in San Fernando de Velicatá, Baja California in 1769. At an early age she was chosen to cook, teach other Indians, and take care of the Dominican friars of the Mission of Saint Thomas Aquinas.8 Her story gives a glimpse of the abuses Indian women had to endure in the Spanish missions of the Californias. B. THE MISSION OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: BÁRBARA GANDIAGA’S EPISODE Bárbara Gandiaga: Crimen y condena en la mision de Santo Tomás is a historical investigative drama in two acts that makes use of both actual and fictionalized details. It explores different stories told by witnesses to the murder of a Dominican friar, Eulaldo Surroca, perpetrated in the Mission of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1803. In the first act, the Surroca crime is presented in eleven scenes. The second act shows the sentencing and conviction of Bárbara Gandiaga in ten scenes. Each version of the crime is supported by a different point of view consistent with the hegemonic discourses of the time. One is the official version given by the Spanish crown and religious authorities of the nineteenth century. Another is the anticlerical version that defended the Indians for the suffering experienced at the hands of their oppressors, the Dominican friars, a version which circulated in Mexico in the second part of the nineteenth century. The play’s main character was modeled after Bárbara Gandiaga, accused of being the mastermind in the killing of Fray Eulaldo Surroca and of possibly being responsible for the deaths of another Dominican priest and of an Indian. She was convicted of Surroca’s murder and hanged in 1806. At the time of the murder, Gandiaga was Surroca’s housekeeper and in charge of teaching Spanish to the Indians of the mission. Some of the witnesses interviewed declared that Gandiaga had considerable power in the mission and instilled fear in the other neophytes. Anthropologist Mariah Wade has written about life in the colonial missions of the Southwest and about how advantageous it was to speak Spanish for a native. There were many privileges that Spanish speaking natives (usually Indian males) would acquire, such as more power, freedom of movement, better foods, clothing, and housing. Therefore, she adds that “power was paired with knowledge; knowledge of the Spanish

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language meant access to information which in turn was translated into further power” (Wade 257). Barbara Gandiaga was an Indian woman capable of manipulating her knowledge of the mission to exercise her authority on the other neophytes. A few days before the missionary’s death, Gandiaga had been punished by the friar.9 She was also angry with Surroca over presents given to a select few women who sang in the mission choir but not to her. When Gandiaga complained, he disciplined her. The official statement of the murder investigation overlooked the possibility of Surroca’s perpetration of sexual abuse upon Gandiaga and how his murder would put an end to these assaults on her and other Indian women in the mission. According to historian Barbara Reyes, these abominable acts were considered to be private matters that “were invisible in the colonial judicial proceeding, yet the act of resistance against this oppression, orchestrated by Gandiaga, was transferred into a public arena and became an opportunity for colonial institutions to exert power over the colonized” (Reyes, Private Women 78). Because of Gandiaga’s condition, as an Indian and a woman, there were very few ways in which she could have resolved this situation of abuse other than resorting to violence and committing the murder of the priest. In Bárbara Gandiaga, the protagonist justifies herself, explaining her main reason for killing Surroca. His death brought to an end the missionaries’ abuse of women of the congregación. This play also draws attention to the drastic changes in native women’s lives during the Spanish missions of Baja California, the source of much discontent by the native groups of the area. The mission system transformed women’s traditional activities, costumes, and beliefs. Because of the dangers of being sexually assaulted, women’s movements were restricted.10 By this selfless and courageous act, she freed the others from being victims of the missionaries and taught them the lesson of resistance. Gandiaga’s legacy brings to light one of the many acts of resistance that took place during this period, an act that surely inspired new heroes and heroines to fight and protect native tribes and their ways of life. Gandiaga’s act is an example of the state of resistance and rebelliousness present in the indigenous communities of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands during the first cycle of conquest of northern New Spain. Her story also highlights the maltreatment of Indian women during this era. The play reflects the constant tension and confusion of the period through the multiple, often inconsistent accounts of events leading to Surroca’s death. Bárbara O. Reyes investigated the two versions of Gandiaga’s crime that circulated in the nineteenth century to gain a better understanding of life in the Dominican missions of Baja California. One is the official version constructed by the colonial authorities. The second is a local legend recovered by Manuel Clemente Rojo, a Peruvian immigrant who settled in Baja California

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and wrote his memoirs in the late nineteenth century. He presents Barbara Gandiaga as a victim of the missionaries’ physical, but particularly sexual, violence (Reyes, Private Women 91). Reyes argues that both versions are reflections of two key hegemonic discourses of the time. These two versions serve to prove that Indians acted as agents of resistance and change just as much as the Spaniards. The murder of the friar is presented as a possible retaliation for these acts of violence perpetrated against Gandiaga (Reyes, Private Women 91). Salcedo’s play clearly presents both discourses as if depicting the same event through different prisms; eventually the two perspectives converge in Surroca’s assassination and Barbara’s punishment. Hugo Salcedo heard the story of Bárbara Gandiaga from the director of the Compañía Teatral de Ensenada. Salcedo has written that his research of Gandiaga’s life and Surroca’s crime lead him to “una madeja llena de contradicciones, de puntas sueltas, de nudos ciegos” “a tangled web full of contradictions, loose ends, and loose knots” (Salcedo, Telón Abierto 55). These inconsistencies are reflected through other characters of the play, and through descriptions and insights into the protagonist and Father Surroca. Poetic language and evocative settings help create a mythic, heroic, and tragic environment. Gandiaga is a demon and/or a witch for some; others view her as a beautiful and sensual woman with a strong personality and convictions, and for others she is a victim. In “La declaración” “The declaration,” the first scene of the play, La Mujer’s character says she witnessed Gandiaga’s atrocious crime against Surroca. She describes Gandiaga as an animal or supernatural creature. According to this first description, Gandiaga is thought to be possessed, to act as a demon, and to be the devil incarnate (she blasphemes, her mouth foams, and her tongue is poisonous). La mujer says: “y apareció justo ante mí la imagen del mismo Lucifer” “and there appeared right before me the image of the real Lucifer himself” (Salcedo, Bárbara 13). Another character, Hombre, offers a differing explanation of Bárbara Gandiaga’s killing of Surroca. Hombre says that she became tired of the humiliation, physical and sexual abuse she endured from the monk. Barbara wanted Juan, but the monk prevented this union and their strong love for each other:11 BÁRBARA. Tengo miedo… JUAN. ¡Empuñaría un machete contra él si llegara a hacerte algo! BÁRBARA. ¿Lo harías? JUAN. Y nada me importa romper el equilibrio de paz de nuestro pueblo. Desencadenar la furia. Eres para mí y yo soy tuyo. Sobre mis hombros soportaré el peso de la sangre derramada. (Salcedo, Bárbara 24)

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“BARBARA. …I’m scared… JUAN. I would take up a machete against him if he were to do something to you! BARBARA. You would do it? JUAN. And I don’t care if I upset the equilibrium of peace of our people. Unchain the fury. You are for me and I am yours. On my shoulders I will bear the weight of the spilled blood.”

For the two lovers, the death of the monk was the sacrifice that would provide their ultimate union, because then both Bárbara Gandiaga and Juan would become one (Salcedo, Bárbara 27). They were also aware that carrying out such a despicable crime would upset the tenuous equilibrium of peace of their people. This act of insubordination and revolt occurred almost at the end of the mission system and Spanish colonial era in 1803. Indians who resisted, rebelled, battled, and murdered missionaries became a characteristic of colonial times in Baja California and other northern New Spain territories. Other characters, Vieja and Mujer 2, differ in their description of Gandiaga. Vieja believed Father Eulaldo imposed grave punishments on the Indians of his mission and found his final sentence deserving in the hands of a vengeful Gandiaga.12 But Mujer 2 contradicts Vieja’s opinion, thinking that the crime occurred in the heated passion to unite two lovers. In this version, Gandiaga orders Juan to stab Surroca to death: “Ella pidió, suplicó, sollozó desde el interior a su amado, a su joven enamorado que cometiera el asesinato para así y solo así, librarse del trabajo cotidiano que era su religión forzada y su tormento. Hubo crimen por amor…” “She asked, begged, sobbed from the interior of her room to her beloved, to her young lover to commit the murder for that and only that, to be freed from the daily labor that was her forced religion and torment. There was a crime because of love…” (Salcedo, Bárbara 17). The above descriptions of Gandiaga present at least two motives for her desire to kill Surroca: as a punishment for maltreatment of the indigenous people of the mission and as a way to get rid of the friar for preventing her marriage to Juan. In Bárbara Gandiaga the colonial authorities reluctantly admit that Gandiaga was the mastermind and perpetrator of the murder, but have evidence that Surroca had many enemies who had reasons for wanting him dead. As they study the evidence of the crime and the motives of the perpetrators, Domingo, the head Dominican friar, tells El Teniente “the lieutenant” that he warned Surroca to do everything in moderation but Eulaldo ignored him and suffered the consequences: “Te lo advertí Eulaldo, y no quisiste hacernos caso. Todo puede hacerse pero con mesura y con debidas precauciones. Te buscaste ese final tan ridículo. Mejor así. Nadie va a ir por ti para sacarte del

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fuego eterno. Púdrete y por favor, ya no molestes” “I warned you Eulaldo, and you did not want to listen to us. Everything can be done but in moderation and with proper precautions. You found yourself such a ridiculous ending. Better this way. Nobody is going to get you out of the eternal fire. Rot and please do not bother us anymore” (Salcedo, Bárbara 40). But Surroca did have admirers who thought of him as saintly and of having divine intercession with God. Lorenza, an Indian girl with whom Surroca had carnal relations and impregnated, is so distraught that she commits suicide. In this maze of interrogations and suspicions, another character, The Anunciador, is also presented as a third suspect. El Anunciador had been paid by Domingo to kill Surroca, who had become an embarrassment to the Dominican order. After a lengthy and irregular investigation and trial, Gandiaga is sentenced to death along with two other co-conspirators. She is the only one who admits guilt and is punished by hanging. Nowhere in the depositions is it mentioned that she was a victim of Surroca. Gandiaga’s death inspires her people to revolt and use her as an example in the fight against colonial authorities and the chauvinistic ways of men. In this play Salcedo uses the story of Gandiaga to serve as an example of subversive acts conducted by the indigenous peoples of Baja California in the hopes of better treatment, respect, and independence. The character of the Vieja, the Old Lady, projects herself onto the character of Barbara Gandiaga. This reflective awareness links the modern indigenous peoples’ plight to the struggle lived by Borderlands Indians during colonial times; this is a continuation of dynamic ethnogenetic processes. In order to understand their present conditions, says Jonathan Hill, marginalized groups must understand their historical past: “To successfully resist ongoing systems of domination, racial or ethnic stereotyping, and cultural hegemony, the first necessity of disempowered peoples, or of marginalized subcultural groups within a national society, is that of constructing a share understanding of the historical past…” (17). The last monologue of the play exemplifies this self-awareness: VIEJA. Basta asomarse un poco a las cosas de todos los días y descubrir que hay pueblos sometidos que levantan el fusil para liberarse de la opresión que los encarcela; porque si algo importa de todo esto, es la valentía con que se escucha el grito y que por fortuna sigue formando un eco imparable y expansivo. ¡Y que más da llamarse Bárbara o simplemente Marcos! Aquella mujer fui yo o mi hija o mi hermana o todas juntas a la vez pero siempre alguien que actuaba en el tiempo… (Salcedo, Bárbara 37–38) “VIEJA. And it is enough to take a look at everyday life to discover that some exploited peoples are taking up arms to liberate themselves from the oppression that imprisons them. Because if there is one important point in all of this, it is the courage shown even during their laments and cries that fortunately continues

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to form an unending and effusive echo. It is not important if a person’s name is Bárbara or simply Marcos! That woman was me or my daughter or my sister or all of us together taking charge of a situation in time.”

Through the voice of The old lady, Salcedo links Bárbara Gandiaga’s rebellious act with the struggle led since the mid-1990s by Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista National Liberation Army in Chiapas, Mexico. In the same vein as other Latin American literary works, Bárbara Gandiaga: Crimen y condena en la Misión de Santo Tomás is a play that illustrates how history and collective memory in the Americas is best represented by a multitude of “simultaneous interpretations of historical events” (Carpenter 3–4). Enrique Mijares has also used the divergent interpretations of the play to equate the struggle of the natives against the dominant Dominican order and Spanish Crown to: “a baroque labyrinth where the juxtaposition of images and the overlapping of planes converge to create a set pierced by glittering meditation on the domination of one people by another of different civilizations” (3). Salcedo’s play exemplifies the end of the colonial era and of mission life, illuminating the collapse of the mission system at the beginning of the nineteenth century. As critic Peter Beardsell states, Barbara’s rebellion and disobedience becomes one more act of defiance contributing to the decline of religious power: It is recognized that this Mission [Of Santo Tomás], like others in Mexico, had become unstable in its relations with the people. There had been massive desertions by the Indians, who resented the forced labour, the poor food, the severe punishments, and the lack of freedom to choose a marriage partner. The very existence of the Mission was under threat; in fact, not many years later it entered a phase of decline, and it was eventually abandoned in 1849. (Beardsell 21)

Influenced by Spanish Golden Age Theatre, especially in his language and use of props, Salcedo recreates the collapsing troubled colonial world of the California Missions and is able to interlace it with the harsh Baja California landscape, as he depicts the fall of the Mission of Saint Thomas Aquinas by the mid nineteenth century. C. INDEPENDENT MEXICO AND THE APACHE PROBLEM Not all Indians of Northern New Spain had good relations with the Spaniards; some tribes never were conquered or forced to live in missions or Spanish pueblos. In fact, the nomadic Indians of the Southwest, especially the Apaches and Comanches, “were of an entirely different breed” for fighting

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and fiercely resisting the northern expansion of the Spanish and Mexicans for over three hundred years (McWilliams 58; Cisneros). In the eighteenth century, Apache territory extended to the upper Colorado River in Texas to the Santa Cruz River in Arizona. After independence, the Apaches continued to attack the Mexican frontier provinces located south of the current Border, “establishing rancherías in the mountains that they used as temporary bases for raiding haciendas, pueblos, and convoys of travelers and merchants, obtaining captives, livestock, weapons, and booty” (Alonso 25–26). Because the Apache Nation was actually comprised of seven Apache tribes and subdivided into bands and clans, each group often signed separate peace treaties, first with Spain, and then with the Mexican and American states throughout their years of conquest. Eventually conflicts occurred between the Mexican colonists and indigenous groups, owing to differing notions of “space and property.” Also the Apaches and Comanches “fought to preserve a way of life that was based on transhumanc[e] and, eventually, on raiding” (Alonso 25). In 1821 the independent Republic of Mexico established control of its territory by ending the missionary system and making way for a new “civilizing” campaign in the indigenous territories. The Mexican government labeled all persons living in its territory at the time “citizens” of the country. No distinctions or provisions were made to give the Indian nations a different status. This was the beginning of the second cycle of conquest of the Borderlands. With the Constitution of 1824, which created a central representative authority, Mexicans expected indigenous groups not only to speak Spanish and understand the concept of individual ownership of land, but also to be subordinate to an institutional form of government (Garduño 144). The new constitution recognized “the traditional homelands of the indigenous groups,” but the members of these groups were considered citizens of Mexico. This policy was flawed because “tribal sovereignty was not considered or honored”; as a consequence many groups lost their ancestral homelands in Sonora and Chihuahua as they were required to apply for land grants (Luna-Firebaugh 164). With their lifestyles and land use threatened, some tribe members who chose to settle and live in peace near Spanish presidios were called Apaches de Paz or Peaceful Apaches while others were considered hostile Apaches. However, the period after independence was a time full of significant financial and political struggles: “[T]he treasury was depleted, trade networks were severed, and presidio subsidies were spent. Apaches de Paz faced hunger, disease, and renewed animosities (for frontier elites now had to pay for rations from their own pockets) and [the Apaches de Paz] returned to raiding to survive” (Truett 28). Peaceful coexistence with the Spanish and Mexicans was advantageous for the Apaches de Paz, giving them an upper hand over the Mexican settlers because of their insight or experiences of “having lived and fought alongside

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them” (Truett 28). This led the Apaches de Paz and the non-settled Apaches [and other Indians, to organize with other Indians against the subordination and reduction of Mexico’s indigenous people. The decision to rebel carried serious repercussions for the native tribes as they were seen as obstacles to development and progress. In the north of Mexico, serranos, also called colonos, the peasant settlers who lived in small but compact communities in the Sierra Madre Mountains, united to expel the “savage” groups that were constantly attacking and stealing from them. Local and state governments condemned the constant raids and destruction carried out by the “savage” Indians. Not being able to protect their people from the Apaches and Comanches, they drafted a series of “scalp bounty laws” throughout the northern states. As stated in Civilizar o exterminar: Tarahumaras y apaches en Chihuahua, siglo XIX “To Civilize or to Exterminate: Tarahumaras and Apaches in Chihuahua in the nineteenth century” (2003), García and González believe that Mexicans were so desperate to find a quick solution to the Apache problem that they were incapable of creating a method that did not generate more indiscriminate violence (174). Due to the hostilities between the two groups, the territories on both sides of the Border became scenes of desolation, death, stench, and fear between 1835 and 1886 as the relationships of these well-known foes became mutually predatory. In the early 1830s several important Indian tribes of the Southwest, including the Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches, and Navajos, abandoned peace treaties they had signed with Spaniards and northern Mexicans in the late eighteenth century and began raiding Mexican ranches and towns (DeLay, War of a Thousand XV). The cycle of violence was perpetuated when Mexicans sought revenge and committed atrocities in response. Indian attacks and the subsequent reprisals from Mexican colonists continued to escalate through the 1830s and 1840s “until much of the northern third of Mexico had been transformed into a vast theater of hatred, terror, and staggering loss for independent Indians and Mexicans alike” (DeLay, War of a Thousand XV). While Mexican ranchers were being chased by the Apaches, Comanches, and other indigenous insurgents, simultaneously, American explorers and traders invaded this same area as well, first sporadically and then permanently. This was the third cycle of conquest and its objective was to seize the territory of northern Mexico which in essence was indigenous territory. To achieve the American goal, the native population had to be exterminated or their mobility had to be restricted by placing them in Indian reservations (Garduño 145).13 The most feared group of insurrectionaries was the Apaches who inhabited the U.S. southwest region in addition to northern Mexico.14

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Apaches by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda focuses on the Apache wars of the nineteenth century in the Borderlands. The play consists of twenty-two scenes that move quickly and fluidly while jumping geographically and temporally through the different areas that were of utmost importance during the war disputes. The play attemps to be objective as it presents well-known historic events, such as the battle of Tres Castillos (1880), from both Mexican and the rarely-seen Apache points of view. This revisionist approach to history presents the major Apache leaders in a humane and sympathetic way. Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda wrote Apaches from his hospital bed while battling a life threatening illness. As the play begins on October 8, 1901, another man lies moribund, about to take his last breath. Joaquín Terrazas (1829–1901), who was known in Mexico as “The whip or the curse against the Apaches,” for his role in their attempted extermination, is about to die. He sees the figures of his greatest nemeses (Juh, Victorio, and Jeronimo).15 He is told that the four of them will unite for the rest of eternity in a heaven designated for warriors. The play depicts a journey through history from the arrival of the first Europeans to the area known as Apachería, then Nueva Vizcaya, and finally Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Chihuahua, and Sonora. The play poignantly criticizes the treatment endured by the members of this nomadic tribe while at the same time acknowledging the Apache role as “active agents” in the bloody conflicts that took place in the nineteenth century, conflicts that helped reshape the northern Mexican territories into two separate nations. The sounds of drums, Apache chanting, and howling animals are heard throughout the play and function as a soundtrack that connects the different scenes and settings. The music acts as a thread that weaves together scenes or brief episodes. For critic Kirsten Nigro, the episodic structure of the play creates a cinematic feel through the use of quick cuts between scenes and fast rhythms, and the key pauses or breaks serve as poetic interludes (138). For example, in instantánea número XIV: Conozco un lugar “snapshot number XIV: I know a place,” Juanita, Old Nana, and Yú (Juh in English) speak with the drums beating in the background: JUANITA. Cayó la nieve Se fue la nieve. VIEJO NANA. Y nosotros peleando. JERÓNIMO. Y nosotros huyendo. JUANITA. Volvieron pájaros y flores Se fueron flores y pájaros.

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Figure 2.1.  Studio portrait of Geronimo holding a rifle on one knee. Source: Gatewood Collection, Arizona Historical Society-Tucson. Studio portrait of Geronimo holding a rifle on one knee # 19814, Gatewood Collection, PC 52, Arizona Historical Society-Tucson.

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VIEJO NANA. Y nosotros peleando. YÚ. Y nosotros huyendo… (Rascón Banda, Apaches 544) “JUANITA. Snow fell. Snow has left. VIEJO NANA. And we are still fighting. JERÓNIMO. And we are still fleeing. JUANITA. The birds and flowers returned The flowers and birds have left. VIEJO NANA. And we are still fighting. YÚ. And we are still fleeing…”

Through Repetition, alliteration, and the enjambment of the verses in this short piece, the playwright communicates the sadness, fatigue, and connectedness of the characters (Nigro 138–39). A dream-like atmosphere and a sense of longing for all that was lost due to the misunderstandings of both civilizations permeate the play. Apaches illustrates the official policy of Mexicans living in the northern Border in the years after independence and throughout the rest of the nineteenth century, as well as the unofficial policy of violence and slavery in the Borderlands.16 The local northern governments of Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas attempted to brand Apaches (and Comanches) as dangerous predators. This action contributed to dehumanize and establish them as “Others,” making them easier to obliterate. The Apaches were often described negatively as nomads, barbaric Indians, animals, wild beasts, ferocious, indomitable, undomesticated, uncultivated, natural, and feral. One clear example of dehumanization was the issuance of the Scalping Laws decreed by most of the northern Mexican states in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s. Even if innocent indios de paz, women, and children were tragically killed, the authorities had no remorse. It was part of the process of clearing “the obstacles” impeding progress. Researcher Rocío Galicia is of the opinion that the wandering Indians became an enemy that generated and reaffirmed a collective Mexican identity when efforts were combined to defeat the Other that was obstructing progress (20). Apaches signified all that was bad in their society because los bárbaros were without civilization, religion, or political organization. However, Mexicans and Apaches were alike in many ways, and Rascón Banda presents episodes in the play that display the ruthlessness and violence of both groups during the Indian wars that ensued immediately after

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the 1830s and lasted until 1886. Two strategies used by Indians and conquerors of northern New Spain to display their prowess at killing and violence were scalping and the enslavement of humans. In Apaches the topic of Indian scalping is discussed in several episodes or scenes of the play.17 In Scene III: Vámonos “Let’s go” Victorio (the great Apache chief) encourages Jerónimo, Juh, and Viejo Nana in an emotional monologue to attack whites by giving them a chronology of the atrocities perpetrated by the white colonizers. Santiago Kirker, Joaquín Terrazas, and Mata Ortiz were some of the most notorious scalpers of the time. The scalping and slaughter of entire Indian communities occurred after large bounties were offered as Victorio says in this dialogue: “Hace muchas lunas que los blancos ofrecieron recompensas por las cabelleras de hombres, mujeres y niños apaches./ No distinguen a los apaches de otros indios./ Para ellos las cabelleras son iguales/… Nos emboscan, nos atrapan, nos cazan como animales./ A los que se llevan vivos los venden como esclavos…” “Many moons ago white people offered rewards for the scalps of Apache men, women, and children./ They don’t distinguish Apaches from other Indians./ For them the scalps are the same./…They ambush us, trap us, hunt us like animals./ The ones that they keep alive they sell as slaves…” (Racón Banda, Apaches 524). In the final lines of his monologue, Victorio urges them to join him and fight the whites because he believes it better to die outside and free rather than imprisoned on a reservation, “Mejor morir allá afuera, que morir acá dentro./ Vámonos. Vámonos. Vámonos” “It is better to die out there, than to die here inside./ Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go” (Rascón Banda, Apaches 524). Entire Indian communities were decimated without any remorse: Ramos, Janos, Corrales, Campo Grande, and Cibecue. Because the Spanish and Mexicans attacked Apache towns and its people were either killed and/or sold as slaves, many historians point out that the Apache raids were committed as revenge for the honor of men and of their tribe. The play also brings to light a phenomenon that often occurred in the northern Borderlands and became an issue of countless disputes and shame: the practice of captivity or violent abduction of cautivos.18 In Indian Captivity in Spanish America: Frontier Narratives (2008) Fernando Operé speaks of the dual role of captives: “Captives were both protagonists and victims who suffered in their own flesh the rivalry, hostility, and rejection of the human groups who lived in constant process of negotiation on the frontier” (xv-xvi). Captives were usually women and children.19 They were usually assimilated into the very communities that abducted them serving dual roles as slaves and family, becoming “adopted” children or wives, in the Indian cases, and becoming godchildren or concubines, in the Spanish and Mexican cases (Brooks 34). The practice of taking captives was employed as a form of re-

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sistance and threat by Indian tribes. This practice also modified the means of production because captives were originally exchanged by the warring parties and soon thereafter became highly valuable “products.” Thievery and kidnapping was a very lucrative business in northern Mexican societies. Apaches would raid a town or village, stealing animals and humans. They would kill adult men and take the women and children as prisoners. These captives could be “sold, traded, ransomed, or used as inducements in negotiating treaties with the government” (Alonso 39). Spanish and Mexican captives, the prisioneros de guerra, prisioners of war were sold to gente de razón, people of reason and to other Indian tribes. If a child was under seven years of age he or she was considered “educable” and had to be Christianized and schooled. Apache women were used as domestics (Alonso 38). Both cautivos and prisioneros de guerra had ability, even in such subservient and helpless positions, to steadily change their new societies: “the hapless women and children who became slaves also became the main negotiators of cultural, economic, and political exchange between groups…” (Brooks 34). Circumstances surrounding the topic of captives led James Brooks to conclude that captive abductions became an institutionalized “slave system” where “victims symbolized social wealth, performed services for their masters, and produced material goods under the threat of violence” (Brooks 31). In Apaches, Rascón Banda presents several scenes that deal with the topic of cautivos. Most scenes depict the capture of these cautivos, when and where the incidents took place, and how their lives were changed. In Scene V: La cautiva “The Captive Woman,” a young man named el Traficante “The Trafficker” is doing business with Apaches in their camp when he recognizes a young cautiva. She tells him the story of her capture: TRAFICANTE. ¿Y los hombres? ¿No se defendieron? CAUTIVA. Pues sí, pero… eran muchos indios. Nos cayeron de repente. Salían de todas partes. De los cerros, de un arroyo, de las matas. TRAFICANTE. ¿Y qué pasó con los demas? CAUTIVA. A los hombre los mataron. Las mujeres nos ataron las manos y con una soga nos amarraron al cuello de los caballos…(Rascón Banda, Apaches 526–27). “TRAFICANTE. And the men? They didn’t defend themselves? CAUTIVA. Well yes, but…there were many Indians. They suddenly fell on us. They came from every place. From the hills, from the stream, from the bushes. TRAFICANTE. And what happened to the rest?

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CAUTIVA. The men, they killed. The women, they tied by the hands and with a rope they tied to the necks of our horses.”

After this incident la cautiva’s life changed. Her appearance was altered by tattoos inked on her face. She cannot return to the “civilized” world because of these alterations suffered at the hands of her captors and also because she is pregnant:20 CAUTIVA. Estoy marcada. TRAFICANTE. Son unos salvajes. CAUTIVA. Me da vergüenza. ….. CAUTIVA. ¿Cómo voy volver así? Traigo un apache adentro. ¿Qué va a pasar cuando la criatura nazca? Es mejor que viva entre su gente. (Rascón Banda, Apaches 527) “CAUTIVA. I’m marked. TRAFICANTE. They are savages. CAUTIVA. I am ashamed. ….. CAUTIVA. How am I going to return like this? I am carrying an Apache inside. What is going to happen when the baby is born? It’s better that he/she lives with his/her people.”

Cautiva women were treated differently if returned to their original communities. They were seen as marginal beings who were forever marked with the humiliation of having been in contact with the “savage” Indians. Their stories were seldom told because for the Spanish crown or Mexican government this would have been to document failure and shame (Operé xxiv-xxv). But even in her subservient role, this cautiva and her son influenced the tribe around them and contributed to the eventual acculturation of the Apaches in a transformed Borderlands. In Scene XI: Otro cautivo “Another Captive,” Bernardino suffers the same trauma as la Cautiva. He tells El Traficante that he no longer has family, because no one has looked for him for many years. He does not want to return because living with the Apaches has made him a “dumb savage” like his captors: “Es que . . . Ya . . . Ya soy demasiado bruto para vivir entre los cristianos” “It’s just that . . . I’m . . . I’m too dumb to live among Christians” (Rascón Banda, Apaches 542). Because of the physical and cultural traumatic changes

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that the cautivos had to endure, many chose to remain with the Apaches rather than returning to live among the Spanish, Mexicans or Americans.21 One of the most significant and disconcerting passages of the play revolves around the ethnic identity of Apache chief Victorio.22 Scene XII: ¿Quién soy? “Who am I?” presents the dialogue between Victorio and Viejo Nana. Victorio believes his mother was a cautiva and fears that he is not a true Apache: “¿Soy apache, Chamán, soy apache?” “I’m an Apache, Chamán. Am I an Apache?” to which Nana replies, “Mira tu ropa. Mira tu cara. Vistes como apache. Vives entre los apaches, gritas como apache, hablas como apache, peleas como apache, miras como apache. Eres un apache” “Look at your clothing. Look at your face. You dress like an Apache. You live amongst Apaches, you scream like an Apache, talk like an Apache, fight like an Apache, you look like an Apache. You’re an Apache” (Rascón Banda, Apaches 542). Victorio’s life exemplifies the role cautivos played in Apache society. Through the process of ethnogenesis or transculturation, captives indelibly influenced the societies that retained them: “Captive women were the mothers of new generations of mestizos who grew up in the Indian camps” (Operé xvi). The stories of captives range from the ones who remained in positions of total servitude, as in the case of Bernardino, to the ones who were completely integrated into Indian societies becoming [active] members of their tribes and even chiefs. As presented by Rascón Banda, Victorio himself was most likely the child of a captive woman who would become one of the most celebrated Apache leaders. Apaches never forgot the wrongs perpetrated against their people. The determination to fight and protect their way of life led them to fight the Mexicans and, later, the Americans. They planned their revenge and patiently waited for the opportunity to attack. In order to get other Apaches to join their campaign, they had to explain the attack plan, raid, and carry out the plans. Episode XVIII: El castigo de un traidor “Punishment of a traitor,” exemplifies the Apache sense of revenge. In this episode they hunt down Mauricio Corredor, a Tarahumara Indian that hated Apaches and helped capture and kill Victorio. Jerónimo and Juh stab him to death while Viejo Nana sings an Apache lament (Rascón Banda, Apaches 551). In Scene XXI, Viejo Nana and Juh torture Mata Ortiz. He dies ironically by the same method he used to kill Apaches. Juh and Nana tie him to a tree and set him on fire: “Para ti, Capitán Gordo, Mata Ortiz, no bala, no flecha, no soga./ ¡Para ti, Capitán Gordo,! ¡La lumbre!” “For you, fat Captain, Mata Ortiz, no bullet, no arrow, no rope./ For you, fat Captain! Fire!” (Rascón Banda, Apaches 557).23 Through their dialogues and monologues in the play, it is clear that the Mexican settlers and Apaches are not so dissimilar. Both are brave, love their land and their families, and are fierce fighters who are often cruel. In various

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parts of the play, the dialogues of the Apaches and Terrazas are interchangable. For example, in Episode IV: Puntos de vista “Points of View,” Joaquín Terrazas and Victorio speak of one another. The information presented is the same but the order is reversed: JOAQUIN. Sanguinarios, salvajes, primitivos. VICTORIO. Primitivos, salvajes, sanguinarios. JOAQUIN. Bárbaros que arrancan cabelleras y queman lo que encuentran a su paso. VICTORIO. A su paso lo que encuentran queman, cabelleras arrancan, bárbaros. (Rascón Banda, Apaches 524–25) “JOAQUIN. Bloodthirsty, savage, primitive. VICTORIO. Primitive, savage, bloodthirsty. JOAQUIN. Barbarians that scalp and burn what they find in their path. VICTORIO. What they find in their way they burn, they tear hair, barbarians.”

The tragic irony is that these groups shared the same goals but were never able to understand each other, and therefore, this tragedy was perpetuated. Apaches is a play that transcends historical context to reveal the significant contradictions and doubts that human beings have about themselves and how complicated it is to define one’s own identity (Galicia 18). Apaches demonstrates the admiration, mistrust, and mutual hatred Joaquín Terrazas and Victorio had for each other. In Episode II: Por odio o por utilidad “For hate or usefulness,” Terrazas mentions the bravery of the Apache warriors. He says that they are astute and excellent horsemen. He also mentions the great battles he fought against the Apaches, and their ferocity. Similarly, Episode VI: Ahi va “There he goes,” describes how magnificent Terrazas was and his dedication of nearly fifty years: “Mientras Jerónimo, y Jú, bárbaros cabecillas, sigan vivos, no puedo volver. Mientras Victorio, ese demonio apache, ese cruel desalmado siga vivo, no puedo dormir en paz. Es su vida o la mía” “While Jerónimo, and Juh, barbaric leaders, are still alive, I cannot return. While Victorio, that Apache demon, that cruel fiend, is alive, I cannot sleep in peace. It’s his life or mine” (Rascón Banda, Apaches 529). But the human trafficker, one of the narrators of the play, asks himself if Terrazas was a hero or mass murderer. Eventually, after many years of fighting, the Apaches surrendered. The ferocious determination to fulfill a promise, on both sides, reaches a delirious frenzy. The promise Victorio and Jerónimo made to their people, to protect them and keep their land and way of life, brings their demise. On the other hand, the promise Terrazas made to

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his country, Mexico, to remove the threat of the barbarians and bloodthirsty Apaches of northern Mexico brought temporary peace and prosperity to Mexico but only through the genocide of the Apache nation. As the play ends, Terrazas and Jerónimo are presented in times of great crisis and weakness wanting to reach a long lasting peace. Already weakened after decades of endless struggle, alone and no longer wanting war, they long for peace, but question whether it truly is possible. In the last episode, Scene XXII: La guerra sigue “The war continues,” this question is answered; in death, Juh, Victorio, Jerónimo, and Terrazas will never find peace, as illustrated in the last lines spoken by Joaquín and Victorio: JOAQUÍN. Yo creo que los muertos descansan en paz. VICTORIO. Acá nadie descansa en paz. Vamos, Joaquín. Acá, la guerra sigue. (Rascón Banda, Apaches 558) “JOAQUÍN. I think the dead rest in peace. VICTORIO. Here no one rests in peace. Come on, Joaquín. Here, the war continues.”

The conclusion of Apaches is very tragic. The hatred between the two groups, these great warriors, is so great that even in death they cannot find peace. Apaches and Mexicans were protagonists of belligerent actions that brought widespread destruction and desolation in Chihuahua and other northern states of the Borderlands. While it is certainly true that the history of the Borderlands can be viewed primarily as a series of violent clashes between the different agents that participated in it, this perspective is too simplistic and narrow. The latest historiographical research has envisioned the Borderlands differently. As Pekka Hämäläinen writes the territory was a “socially charged space where Indians and invaders competed for resources and land but also shared skills, foods, fashions, customs, languages, and beliefs. Indian-white frontiers, new work has revealed, were messy, eclectic contact points where all protagonists are transformed—regardless of whether the power dynamics between them are evenly or unevenly balanced” (7–8). The Apaches’ case was a special one because they were one of the few tribes that prospered after so many others had perished. They successfully adjusted to the “changing ecosystems of the Southwest” by adopting new European culture and technology while maintaining some aspects of their own culture and economy (Anderson 106). Apaches also thrived because they forcefully incorporated, through abduction, other people into their society and through kinship systems. Their massive control over certain peoples of the Borderlands by means of ethnogenesis or “Apacheanization of the region” says Anderson, was mutually advantageous

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because it made the more vulnerable native tribes stronger and played an important role in the course of the history of the area (106). In Apaches Rascón Banda inserts the reader/spectator into the chaotic world lived by Apaches, Mexicans, and Americans in the mid to late nineteenth century. During this period the major players, who were more often than not antagonistic to each other, experienced demographic, economic, and intercultural growth, all of which had a lasting legacy for the communities of northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. However, Mexico still had more Indian rebellions to stifle in the state of Sonora before it could completely govern the northern states entering the twentieth century. D. THE YAQUIS OF SONORA Venado viejo . . . Venado joven by Jorge Celaya is set in contemporary Mexico during the fourth cycle of conquest and resistance. It shows a people who have had to adapt to contemporary culture while resisting advances from the outside in order to reinvent themselves. Yaqui people call themselves Yoemem, The People. When the Spanish encountered them for the first time in 1533, the Yaqui occupied the fertile plains below the Yaqui River, the most important river in the northeast of Mexico, in an area measuring 96 by 24 km (2300 square km) or 890 square miles and covering eighty ranches (Hu-DeHart 17–23). Venado Viejo . . . Venado joven shows the journey of an unlikely hero, Pedro, who left his Yaqui village to experience the outside world of the Yoris.24 Upon returning, he is required to pass a series of tests in order to become a Yaqui again. During this journey several characters, such as such as the Devil/Skunk and the Midwife, trick Pedro. He must convince his people that he is deserving of his Yaqui ancestry. One of his last encounters is with Sibalaume/Coyote, symbol of all Yaqui warriors who fought and won against the Yoris in the Balcatete Mountains to maintain an independent Yaqui nation.25 Venado viejo . . . venado joven introduces audiences and readers to the world of the Yaqui nation, its culture, and its people. The play probes deeply into Yaqui identity by reviewing their myths and history. Anthropologist Kristin Erickson is of the opinion that for Mexico’s Yaqui Indians, ethnic identity is both represented and renegotiated in narrative moments. Performers and audiences must make sense of these performances and deduce how a group such as the Yaquis has constructed its social identity. Ethnogenesis is observed here as a self representation of how they “the Yaquis” see themselves in these narrations: “Just as present concerns shape interpretations of the past, so stories about the past powerfully fix identities as people present

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themselves as they would like others to see them” (Erickson, “They Will Come” 468). Erickson argues that the myth of the “Talking Tree” (the Magic Yomumili Tree) is a story that portrays Yaqui ethnogenesis (the coming into being) as a reaction to a prophecy of Spanish conquest.26 Through narration there is a potential of presenting “an alternative history” similar to the Magic Yomumili Tree myth: “one that presents Yaquis as agents rather than victims, and that refigures the relation of Yaqui selves to Yori Others in the process of ethnogenesis” (Erickson, “They Will Come” 467). Celaya’s play brings to life this self-internalization of the Yaquis as agents who have controlled their destiny since before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers and who have not ceded their sovereignty to the Yoris. During the first scene of the play, as soon as the lights come on, a Christian cross is seen.27 Then Yaqui music is heard as Pascola dancers performing the deer dance enter the stage.28 A pick-up truck playing ranchera music is introduced on the stage. In this scene, the sounds of the Yaqui world are softly heard against the noisy sounds of the world of the Yoris (Celaya, Venado viejo 71). The outside world with all its problems and vices is encroaching on the Yaqui. Suddenly, Pedro, the protagonist of the play and driver of the truck, appears on the scene dressed in Western garb, totally inebriated. The stage directions mention that a train or a subway from a big city interrupts the scenes from the Yaqui village. This subway image and its screeching sound will tenuously but suddenly reoccur throughout the play: “Entra bruscamente la imagen de metro, los vagones pasan vertiginosos. Más descontrol de Pedro. La imagen sale tal como entró, bruscamente” “The image of the metro enters rapidly, the cars pass plainly. Pedro is more out of control. The image departs just as it entered, brusquely” (Celaya, Venado viejo 74). This reflection will haunt Pedro and prevent him from forgetting the outside world. Each time the subway appears Pedro gives the impression of losing control. Daily life for the Yaquis is a constant balancing act of living in between cultures (Yaqui and Mexican), of being one’s own Yaqui self and a Yori other. Erickson views the relationship between the Yaquis and Mexicans as being paternalistic and uneven. Though the nineteenth-century policies towards Indians have changed, allowing the Yaquis to claim control of their ancestral lands, there is still little opportunity for nonconformist groups such as the Yaquis to thrive. The world of the Yoris is constantly given a national forum through newspapers and other media showcasing a model of progress that every citizen should strive for. Yet, the Yaquis have chosen not to belong to the Mexican Republic, and consequently, are perceived as being different and poor. As Erickson notes: “poverty is often equated with Indian identity, portrayed as a choice, and pressure is placed upon Yaquis to forsake their ethnic identity and to ‘fit in’ with the national culture” (Erickson, Yaqui Homeland 37). In

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Celaya’s play the subway as a metaphor works as a reminder that this is a fragile society constantly being threatened by the outside world of the Yoris as it has been since the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. In Venado viejo Pedro returns home to attend his father’s funeral (Don Arturo), and he runs into Rosa, once the love of his life. Before leaving home, Pedro had rejected the offer to be governor of the Yaqui for a year. Subsequently, he left and abandoned his culture for the outside world of the whites, the Yoris. By selling his people’s food, he betrayed them. He agreed with the city bankers to steal grain in the middle of the night (Celaya, Venado viejo 75). He took advantage and in the process he enriched himself. Now all the women and rest of the townspeople say that they do not want him there. They also say that Pedro will have to submit to Yaqui law and receive whatever punishment the local authorities deem appropriate. Many of his actions were done to win the affections of a Yori woman, but she left him without even saying good-bye. Jorge Celaya has indicated that one of his objectives for writing the play was to examine the identity of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora and the essence of their roots and culture. According to Celaya, the true Yaqui character can be shown through the Yaquis’ feelings of being uprooted from this culture, their view of death, and their desire to recuperate these cultural traditions and values (Celaya’s e-mail to Iani Moreno). Venado viejo is very ritualistic. The most important celebrations of the Yaqui, Easter and Lent, are described and partially presented. Catholicism is an essential part of Yaqui identity; it is practiced syncretically and possesses its own cosmology (Erickson, Yaqui Homeland 34). Upon Pedro entering his hometown, there is traditional Yaqui music and dance, such as the Danza del Venado “Deer Dance.” It is the most important folkloric and religious Yaqui tradition. In this dance the Danzante or “dancer” assumes the role of the deer, a sacred animal and deity that has ties to the most important elements of the universe: earth, water, wind, and fire. Four musicians and Matachin dancers are also observed on the scene.29 Yaqui culture begins to absorb him. Having been gone one and a half years, Pedro is unable to perform the Deer Dance well and the Pascola dancers laugh at him (Celaya, Venado viejo 74). Pedro must also fight and win over guardian warrior spirit of Sibalaume.30 In the end of the play, Pedro can dance the Deer Dance again because he is able to understand that its magnificence comes from an inner force: “Solo por gracia divina se puede danzar el venado” “Only by divine grace can one learn the Deer Dance” (Celaya, Venado viejo 108). The old Surem woman tells Pedro that he is the one they have been waiting for. Pedro could understand these words, only because he had been lost in the absurd world of the Yoris and found his way back thought the spirit of his people, their ceremonies and sacred places (Celaya, Venado viejo 110). Pedro recognizes that he is

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the continuation of all the great Yaqui warriors and that he must fulfill their divine commandment. Through these realizations he is empowered to dance the Deer Dance perfectly (Celaya, Venado viejo 116).31 Venado viejo . . . Venado joven combines the first, second, third, and fourth cycles of conquest and resistance. Pedro experiences the history of the Yaquis through a trance that emphasizes the suffering of his people. Images of boxcars are presented in a video while the history of the extermination of the Yaqui is presented on stage. The first European, Diego de Guzman, is shown arriving in Yaqui territory in 1532. Despite Jesuit influences, the Yaqui remained independent from the Spanish. Their problems began after 1821 when Mexico became an independent nation. Héctor C. Hernández Silva, whose research focused on Indian communities after the independent movements in Latin America gave rise to national states, equated the rise of nineteenth century liberalism to the drastic changes that occurred during the Spanish conquest. The state disrupted the community-based social foundations of Indian communities throughout Mexico by implementing liberal ideals as a policy (Hernández Silva 189). In some instances, the Mexican government forced entire Indian communities to disband in order to free up the natural resources and land that they owned to allow for market forces to work (Reina and Velasco 17). But Yaqui leaders proposed a way to interact with an independent Mexico by fomenting an autonomous system of government to develop freely and exercise their ways of life as well as control their affairs.32 The Yaqui strategy of autonomy allowed for the preservation of their culture, territory, power and political domination, and promoted prosperity even if it ultimately benefited Yaqui and Sonoran elites. Their “otherness” assured them “a political role and the preservation of their power and political dominance” (Hernández Silva 196). Through Pedro’s trance and internal struggle, Celaya dramatizes how Yaqui “otherness” has been essential in maintaining Yaqui roots and unique history. Indian peoples felt that the new liberal policies threatened to destroy their own being and reacted with a long series of insurrections throughout the national territory. Juan Banderas headed several insurrections between 1824 and 1833. In 1832 he proclaimed the independence of the Indian Confederation of Sonora (which included Opatas, Mayos, and Yaquis). Other insurrections followed, and these Indian tribes were almost exterminated. Still in a trance, Pedro is nearing the end of the nineteenth century. When Porfirio Díaz became dictator in 1872, José María Leyva (or “Cajeme” in Yaqui), a new Yaqui leader, tried to unite the eight Yaqui river towns under one republic. Accusing the Yaqui of separatism, Díaz hunted, captured, and executed Cajeme in 1897. President Porfirio Diaz’ troops mistreated and massacred the Yaqui as seen in this scene:

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IZABAL. (A los soldados) Entonces quiero que a estos Yaquis se los lleven y los encuartelen en Hermosillo; se los llevan a Guaymas y los embarcan para San Blas, Nayarit, luego se los llevan a pie y que crucen el país hasta llegar a Veracruz y de ahí me los embarcan para Yucatán. Y que no se les vaya a morir ninguno, porque estos indios son de lo mejor pagados en las haciendas henequeneras. (Se dispone a salir.) INDIGENA. Señor. IZABAL. (Se detiene) ¿Qué quieres, animal? INDIGENA. Yo no soy yaqui, señor. IZABAL. (Acercándosele) ¿Qué eres? INDIGENA. Soy pima. …. Izábal dispara contra el pápago. Reacción de Pedro sobre la piedra. El pápago cae muerto, sostenido de las manos por las cuerdas que amarran a los demás. IZABAL. (Se acerca al pima lentamente, le coloca el arma en la cabeza. Tensión general) ¿Qué dijiste que eras? (Celaya, Venado viejo 112)33 “IZABAL. (To the soldiers) Then I want these Yaquis to be taken and imprisoned in Hermosillo; bring them to Guaymas and load them to San Blas, Nayarit, then take them by foot and cross the country until they get to Veracruz, and from there load them to the Yucatan. And I want none of them to die, because these Indians are the best paid workers in the sisal hemp farms. (Prepares to leave.) INDIGENA. Sir. IZABAL. (Stops himself) What do you want, animal? INDIGENA. I am not a Yaqui, sir. IZABAL. (Slowly approaching him) What are you? INDIGENA. I’m a Pima. …. Izábal shoots a Pápago Indian. Pedro reacts over by his head stone. The Pápago falls dead, his hands are tied and supported by the ropes that tie everyone else. IZABAL. (Nears the Pima Indian slowly, places the weapon to the head. General tension) What did you say you were?”

In order to encourage foreign investments and modernization, Díaz told colonists to settle in the north in Yaqui lands. Starting in 1903 Díaz removed the Yaqui who refused to leave their land, deporting them to the Yucatán

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Peninsula or Oaxaca. Then Juan Maldonado (“Tetabiate”) became the new leader of the Yaqui and launched a guerrilla insurgency from the Balcatete Mountains until Major Loreto Villa deceived Tetabiate. In the play Tetiabate reproaches Loreto from his grave for being a traitor. He says that Loreto is a Torocoyory or a Yaqui who wants to be a Yori and has betrayed his people (Celaya, Venado viejo 113). Pedro is forgiven and given a chance to expiate his sins instead of becoming the symbol of all those Yaqui throughout history who have betrayed their people for their benefit. The combative character of the Yaquis is once again observed at the end of the play in a sublime move narrated in Yaqui and Spanish. Don Arturo, Pedro’s father, reads the Yaqui oath in Spanish and the Anciana Surem “Old Surem Woman” in Yaqui. Pedro bravely swears to adhere to the rules of the Yaqui and to defend the nation, its people, and religion: DON ARTURO. ¿Juras complir con el mandato divino? ANCIANA SUREM. Empo ama emo yuamletck llojka nesaupo emo jipune. PEDRO. (Muy emocionado, asiente humildemente con la cabeza) Heewi.. Se escucha música tradicional yaqui y aparecen los Pascolas danzando, acompañados de los músicos. Pedro inicia la danza del venado casi perfectamente. (Celaya, Venado viejo 116–17)34 “DON ARTURO. Do you swear to carry out the divine mandate? ANCIANA SUREM. Empo ama emo yuamletck llojka nesaupo emo jipune. PEDRO. (Very emotional, nods humbly with his head) I do. Traditional Yaqui music is heard and the Pascolas appear dancing accompanied by the musicians. Pedro initiates the dance of the deer almost perfectly.”

Pedro’s strong commitment is necessary in order to believe in himself and to defend his people, their beliefs, and their way of life. The Yaqui have been able to create a successful transborder network of communities that are located on both sides of the Arizona and Sonora Border. The modern Yaqui were born out of resistance for the persecution they suffered in a series of successive conflicts with the Mexican government in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Many Yaqui moved throughout Sonora taking up jobs working on farms, mining, or fishing because of the constant Yaqui rebellions and wars to defend their land and the constant attacks by the Mexican military. Others who were able to escape either went into hiding or fled to Arizona.

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Between 8,000 and 15,000 Yaqui prisoners of war were sold as virtual slaves under Diaz’s dictatorship (Te Wechel). Everardo Garduño says that a central aspect of the reinvention of the different Indian tribes of the Border, including the Yaqui, is the restoration of the ancestral practice of mobility (153). As the play indicates, and as historians and anthropologists of the Yaqui have written, the railroad played an important role for the Yaqui.35 It not only transported them to a new territory in Arizona (the Yaqui Pascua Indian Tribe in Tucson or smaller Yaqui communities in Guadalupe and Phoenix), but it also provided jobs. In spite of the distance and bi-national circumstances, the Yaqui have strived to maintain a sense of community and continued to celebrate religious acts and ceremonies in which people from both countries can participate, such as the Magdalena Annual Fall Festival (Hays quoted in Garduño 157). The Yaqui are a proud people who were never conquered by the Spaniards or Mexicans. Venado viejo…venado joven penetrates the very insulated world of the Yaqui whom the author intimately knows and presents. In preparation Jorge Celaya did extensive research and field work in the eight Yaqui villages along the Yaqui River in the state of Sonora. He had a chance to teach acting classes and interview local Yaqui villagers. The internal conflict that Pedro suffers serves to interweave Yaqui myths and legends with newly invented ones (Celaya, e-mail). The play takes the audience on a journey that mixes Yaqui history, culture, art, and religion. The play also depicts the atrocities committed against this Indian nation. Audiences and readers must empathize with Pedro, as he becomes the new Yaqui governor. Through oral history and the narration of stories, Yaquis become active agents of their own lives and history. In the play Venado Viejo . . . venado joven, Yaquis are involved in the creation of their homeland, in fomenting socio-political relationships with Spain and Mexico, and in integrating a syncretic religion that combines Catholic faith with Yaqui mythology. This play “validates” a people’s continued and conscious identity. There were other important Indian tribes in northern Mexico who resisted Spanish conquest and initiated a series of organized revolts. Several playwrights from the state of Chihuahua have written about Tarahumara Indians as either protagonists or as main characters: Voces en el umbral “Voices in the Threshold” (1983), La mujer que cayó del cielo “The Woman that Fell from the Sky” (2000) and Sazón de mujer “Woman’s Seasoning” (2001), all by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, and Canción de Cuchillo Parado (2004) by Manuel Talavera Trejo are some works that can be mentioned. These plays present female characters living their lives in present day Chihuahua among the mestizo majority in the fourth cycle of conquest. The characters dress, speak, and look, Tarahumara and can easily be recognized as outsiders.

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For example, Tanasia in Canción de Cuchillo Parado explains the myth of creation, and Rita Quintero López in La mujer que cayó del cielo speaks in Rarámuri (the language of the Tarahumara) while dressed in traditional garb. These characters belong to an oral tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation of Rarámuris and eventually to the local Mexican people (the Chabochis) who have also inhabited and shared their lands. These plays are not discussed in this chapter because the topic of open ethnogenesis and Indian resistance is not as clearly observed as is in the other three plays analyzed. This chapter brought to light three stories of Indians of the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands as protagonists during the four cycles of conquest and resistance. In Bárbara Gandiaga: Crimen y condena en la mission de Santo Tomás the character of Barbara serves as an example of the contentious relations experienced by many native groups in the Christian missions of the Borderlands. Gandiaga’s story examines the treatment of native women during colonial times and shows how Indian discontent and disobedience were ingrained. The play Apaches focuses on one of the fiercest tribes that existed in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Through continual ethnogenesis they were able to survive and prosper during several centuries of coexistence with Spanish and Mexican dwellers: sometimes fighting and other times forging bloodlines and friendships. It was not until 1886 that Apaches were defeated by American troops. The guarded world of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora is displayed in Venado viejo . . . Venado joven, a total theatrical experience that incorporates Yaquis’ songs, dances, and ceremony with myths and history. Through story telling and performance, the Yaquis have been able to carry out creative strategies of survival and strengthening of their cultural roots. An important characteristic of these tribes is the practice of Christian syncretism; their faiths appear to be imbedded in their identity as groups. The Apache and other Indian wars of the nineteenth century had profound consequences for the United States and Mexico; the most important of which was a war in which Mexico lost one-half of its territory. It is then surprising that both nations ignored the strategies of resistance employed by the Indians of the Southwest. If they had studied these strategies employed by the Apaches, Comanches, Yaquis, and other tribes, they would have understood that these were “independent Indian peoples pursuing their own interests at the margins of state power” (DeLay, “Independent” 36). It would take both nations yet another forty years to finally beat these formidable foes. The perceived annihilation of the indigenous culture gave way to progress in northern Mexico and southwestern U.S., but it also left large wounds that would never heal for their first inhabitants. Additionally, the sacrifices of those serranos who fiercely and tirelessly fought the Apaches were overlooked and forgotten after the fighting

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was over. Under President Porfirio Díaz, serranos were asked to turn in their weapons, give up their land to foreign corporations, and give way to Mexico’s project of modernization whose motto was “order and progress.” The elites took control of the northern Mexican states both politically and economically. Ironically, those same serranos and norteño peasants who had so valiantly fought the bárbaros, the Apaches, Comanches, and other Indians, and given their lives for civilization, were in turn viewed as backward religious fanatics and savages. They led several rebellions at the turn of the century which were quickly extinguished. One of them, the Tomóchic rebellion, is considered a precursor of the Mexican revolution in 1910. Teresita Urrea “La santa de Cábora” was the most important symbol of the Tomóchic rebellion, and both serranos and indígenas (Yaquis, Pimas, and Mayo) revered her. As the century came to a close, violence and religious fanaticism became a constant for the northern Mexican territories.

NOTES 1.  I have borrowed the term “cycles of conquest” from Edward Spicer to talk about the stages of domination incurred by the inhabitants of the United States-Mexican Borderlands since the arrival of the Spanish conquerors to the present. In Edward Spicer, Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533–1960 (Tucson: U of Arizona P, 1967) the first cycle of conquest commenced after the arrival of the first Spanish conquerors in 1533 and lasted until the first decades of the nineteenth century. The second cycle of conquest happens when Mexico becomes an independent republic and begins to establish control of its territory. These policy changes bring to an end the mission system and set forth a new venture that would aim to civilize the Indigenous tribes of the country. During the third cycle of conquest the United States also becomes a player in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands first sporadically and later permanently. The addition of territory for the United States put it in the dilemma of restricting or exterminating the mobility of its groups. The fourth cycle of conquest is presently being lived by the Indian communities on both sides of the Border in Indian reservations or in Indian communities. In the second half of the twentieth century the Mexican government started programs aimed to better involve Indians to a national dialogue. Spicer was of the opinion that the U.S. policy of Indian reservations was problematic, and even more complex than the Mexican one, because it impeded Indians to adjust to national life. 2.  The viceroyalty of Nueva España (1519–1821) included the territories of the Californias, U.S. Southwest, Louisina, The Floridas, Mexico, Spanish East and West Indies, and Central America. 3.  Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua people of Mexico gave to the seminomadic and warlike peoples who inhabited modern day northern Mexico and south-

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western United States. This adjective carries the same connotation as the European term “barbarian” (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chichimec).  4. Indian reductions, in English, were colonially designed settlement towns used to relocate and reorganize the indigenous Indian population.  5. Indios mansos were neophytes or newly baptized in the Christian faith that had been reduced to peonage in missions or ranches. Bárbaros were non-Christians that were attached to violent tribal societies.   6.  Some of the most important rebellions are: the Tepehuano in 1616, the Tarahumara in 1640, and the Pueblo in 1680. There are other rebellions worthy to be mentioned, such as the Pericues of Baja California in 1734, the Seris, Opata, and the Yaquis and Mayo in Sonora in 1740.  7. Barbara Reyes, Private Women, Public Lives: Gender and the Missions of the Californias, (Austin, Texas: U of Texas P, 2009) 46, explains that the administration of the Californias was divided between two religious orders. The Franciscans were sent to Alta California to build missions from San Diego to Monterrey Bay under the direction of Fray Junípero Serra. The Dominicans fathers were in charge of administering the Baja California missions. The first mission established by the Dominicans was Misión de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Viñadaco in 1774.   8.  Reyes, 48–53 and Salvador Bernabeu Albert, “‘La religión ofendida:’ Resistencia y rebeliones indígenas en la Baja California Colonial,” N.d. Web, January 2, 2012: 177. Both Reyes and Bernabeu Albert have written about The Mission of Saint Thomas Aquinas. It was founded on April 24, 1791, and continued functioning until 1849. It was located thirty miles south of the city of Ensenada. In 1800, approximately 262 persons were living in the mission with 2,800 head of cattle and 2,400 sheep, along with horses, mules, and pigs (Reyes 52; Albert 177). The property was sizeable, and it included 200 acres of farmland that were irrigated by Indian laborers. Moreover, the mission contained a church building, a spinning room, the priest’s room, storage and workshop rooms, and a monjerío, a room that housed the unmarried females of the rancherías. Male Indians were chosen to become carpenters and builders, and women were taught to weave, cook, and do laundry.  9. Bernabeu Albert, 179. In his historical research of the incident Bernabeu Albert found that a possible reason for this crime was the fact that when Surroaca punished Gandiaga he made her perform duties that were beneath her rank: “El dominico la había expulsado de sus aposentos, obligado a comer en el caldero común de los neófitos y compelido a tejer algodón en su casa. Esta degradación hizo nacer en Bárbara un profundo rencor hacia el padre, sentimiento que le condujo a planear su muerte” “The Dominican had expelled her from his quarters, forced her to eat from the neophytes’ common pot and compelled her to spin cotton at home. This degradation started in Bárbara a deep grudge against the priest, a feeling that led her to plan his death.” 10.  Reyes, 48. The missionaries did not allow women to leave the mission compound and forced them to sleep in separate quarters and to have little contact with their husbands and family. These areas were called monjeríos “which housed the unmarried females of the rancherías, whose work, and sleep, was strictly monitored by the missionaries. . . . The holding of women at the monjeríos was a huge source of

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contention between the missionaries and the various Indian communities.” The men indicated that because of this strict rule there were few women available to marry. Because women and their children were made to live in such close quarters, they tended to be more susceptible to epidemics and death. 11.  Mariah Wade, “Colonial Missions in the North American Southwest: Social Memory and Ethnogenesis,” Narratives and Social Memory: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches, R. Cabecinhas and L. Abadia Eds. (Braga, Portugal: U of Minho, 2013) 258, mentions that during mission’s times if an Indian woman wanted to marry a native man, it had to be done following the Catholic Church’s rules: both had to be baptized to receive the sacrament of marriage, the missionary had to approve the union, they could not get divorced, and could not have more than one partner. 12.  The way that punishments were imposed on Indians varied from mission and time period. Natives in Baja California often deserted and in many occasions revolted against the rough punishments infringed to them by the missions’ friars who were sometimes aided by the soldiers from the presidios. 13. Carey McWilliams, North From Mexico: The Spanish-Speaking People of the United States (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1990) 57 and Everardo Garduño, “Los indígenas del norte de México: ícono de una era transnacional,” Por las fronteras del norte: Una aproximación cultural a la frontera México-Estados Unidos, José Manuel Valenzuela Arce Ed. (Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2003) 145 estimated that there were roughly 180,000 Native Americans living in the territories acquired by the United States from Mexico when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. Article XI of the treaty called for the United States to take responsibility for any incursions of the Indians, now all considered Americans, into Mexican territory. The U.S. government was to pay for any damages that these native peoples caused and return any stolen property to their rightful owners in Mexico. Article XI was amended and removed from the treaty when the Gadsden Purchase went into effect in 1853, because the U.S. government realized how nearly impossible and costly is would be to stop unauthorized Indian incursions into Mexican territory. Indian hostilities officially ended in 1886 when the last group of Chiricahua Apaches led by Geronimo gave up their weapons and accepted their relocation terms to Florida. This officially put an end to the all-out war waged for over forty years against the Apaches. 14. Donald E. Worcester, The Apaches: Eagles of the Southwest (Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1992) 3–8; xiii mentions that the name Apache comes from the Zuñi word “apachu,” which means “enemy” but the Apache call themselves Ide or Nide which means “the people.” Their native language was Athapascan. They were nomadic, born with the ability to be fierce fighters, and lived mostly on buffalo. They were strong warriors, good swimmers, riders, and runners who along with their families could traverse over seventy miles in one single day, even in harsh conditions (extreme hot and cold, rugged terrain, etc.). One central focus of the Apache people was family, both immediate and extended. The Apaches had no tribal government and instead were divided into bands. All were generally equal, but some were more powerful than others depending on their abilities. The Some Apaches traded hides, skins, tallow, and captives with the Río Grande Pueblos for food, tobacco, and cotton cloth.

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15. The story of Geronimo is discussed in depth in the documentary We Shall Remain: Geronimo, Dir. Dustinn Craig and Sarah Colt, PBS, 2009. Geronimo (or Jerónimo in Spanish) is perhaps the best-known Apache. He was born sometime in the 1820s on the Border between Arizona and New Mexico. During his life, Geronimo fought the Mexicans and was a respected individual for refusing to give up his land. On September 8, 1886, Geronimo surrendered to General Cook. With his people, he boarded a train to a reservation in Florida. There, he spent ten years and later moved to Alabama and Oklahoma. Apache children were sent to a boarding school in Pennsylvania where they were indoctrinated into western culture. Their hair was cut, their native language was not allowed, and they were converted to Christianity. In total, Geronimo and the Apaches spent twenty-seven years as prisoners of war. When they were freed in 1913, Arizona still did not allow the Apaches to return to their homeland. 16.  Ana María Alonso, Threads of Blood: Colonialism, Revolution, and Gender on Mexico’s Northern Frontier (Tucson: The University of Arizona P, 1997) 58, has written that the relationship between state and colonists with respect to the Apache remained for the most part unchanged by Spanish colonial and Mexican Republic policies, because they both produced a discourse about the Apaches that was expected to destroy or at least tame the Apaches. 17. Please see Ricardo León García and Carlos González Herrera, Civilizar o exterminar: Tarahumaras y apaches en Chihuahua, Siglo XIX (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 2000) 174–75 and “The Scalp Industry” n.d. 10 January 2013 http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/hns/ scalpin/oldfolks.html). The scalping laws decreed by Northern Mexican states tacitly authorized the mass murder of Indians by unscrupulous scalpers who did not care if the Indians they were killing or kidnapping were indios mansos or even Apaches. The first scalping law was decreed by the state of Sonora in 1835, it offered MXN 100.00 pesos (1 peso was equivalent to 1 silver dollar) for the scalp of braves. The state of Chihuahua also set up a scalping law similar to Sonora’s, offering 100 pesos for braves, 50 for squaws, and 25 for children and it also approved what became known as Proyecto de Guerra. This last agreement offered a compromise to pay James “Santiago” Kirker (The King of the Scalpers) 25,000.00 pesos if he was able to bring peace with the Apaches. On May 25, 1849, the Ley de Cabelleras, also known as Ley Quinta or Contratas de sangre, came into effect. These were contracts for the purchase of Apache prisoners or their scalps that paid 200 pesos for the scalps of warriors and 150 pesos for live women and children. 18.  It is estimated that in some societies such as the Comanches 10–20 percent of the members of their society were captives. In the late eighteenth century many speculated the high frequency of abductions by the Apaches. Fray Atanasio Domínguez pondered on the amount which would have been high and difficult to determine in 1775: “Some bands no doubt built their population with captives… suggesting that Apaches took children almost as frequently as they robbed ‘horses and mules.’ This taking of ‘captives of infants that they grab by the hands,’ the good padre asserted, had left their parents ‘in misery.’ Such captives obviously replaced people taken in the raids by the Norteños as well as by Gálvez and O’Conor.” For further information please see Gary Clayton Anderson, The Indian Southwest, 1580–1830: Ethnogen-

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esis and Reinvention (Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1999) 133. Also check James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2002), and Fernando Operé, Indian Captivity in Spanish America:Frontier Narratives, Gustavo Pellón Trans. (Charlottesvile: U of Virginia P, 2008). 19. Alonso, 39 and Brian DeLay, “Independent Indians and the U.S.–Mexican War,” The American Historical Review 112.1 (2007): 43. Alonso believes that “The institution of ‘adoption’ served to supplement the losses of warfare and the high infant mortality among the Apache.” DeLay states that both societies, Apaches and Mexican, gave greater worth to captive women and children because they could be traded as high value goods either as “slaves or dependent kin.” 20.  Scene V appears to be based on a real life case of a cautiva in Chihuahua. Historical sources indicate that the daughter of a former governor of the state was abducted. In 1805 her father tried to pay the random sum of one thousand pesos but she refused to be rescued because she was pregnant and afraid that the tattoos she had on her face would marginalize her from her former society. In Texas there was a famous case of an American cautiva, Cynthia Ann Parker, who was brought back from her twenty-four–year captivity with the Comanches. She ended up dying of sadness, as she was not allowed to return to live with her Comanche husband and children. One of her children, Quanah Parker became a famous Comanche chief. For further information see James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2002) 190 and Roberto Martínez González and Francisco Lugo Silva, “Juan Oso y la redención del salvaje,” Desacatos, 29 (January–April 2009): 147. 21.  Scene XI also appears to be based on the historical case of a twelve–year-old captive named Bernardino Sáenz. He was spotted by Josiah Gregg, an American who met a group of Comanches with whom he traded in Fort Gibson, Missouri in 1838. Bernardino told him that he had been captured by the Comanches in 1835 in Las Ánimas farm near Parral, Chihuahua. For more information please see Roberto Martínez González and Francisco Lugo Silva, “Juan Oso y la redención del salvaje,” Desacatos, 29 (January-April 2009): 147. 22. There are several versions of Victorio’s origin. It is believed he was born around 1820 in New Mexico. One version described a mestizo boy of six years of age, Pedro Cedillo or perhaps Francisco Cedillo, taken from his mother’s arms in Hacienda Encinillas, Chihuahua. His kidnappers were Coleto Amarillo and Juh. Victorio became the successor of chief Mangas Coloradas of the Mimbreño Apaches. He was sent to the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, escaped on September 1877, and fought Mexicans and Americans. He was killed in 1880 by Joaquín Terrazas and Juan Mata Ortiz in the battle of Tres Castillos (October 14–15, 1880) where sixtytwo Apache fighters were killed along with sixteen women and children, all of whom had their scalps cut. For further information see Manuel Rojas, Apaches Fantasmas de la Sierra madre (Chihuahua: Instituto Chihuahuense de la Cultura, 2008) 103–14. 23.  On a certain occasion, Juh was able to speak to Terrazas and Mata Ortiz. He had a stutter and did not speak Spanish well, but he threatened both of them for trying to exterminate the Apache nation: “Tú Joaquin, ¡Traicionero! ¡Maldito! Y para

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ti capitán Gordo-Mata Ortiz-, no balazos, no cuchillos, no lanzas, no flechas, para ti: ¡Lumbre!” Juh kept his word and threat and on November 12, 1882 he and his men came to Mata Ortiz’ ranch stole some cattle, killed Ortiz’ men, and captured Mata Ortiz tied him to a tree and burnt him alive. It is obvious that Rascón Banda was aware of Juh’s threat and Mata Ortiz’s death in his hands. For more information please check Rojas, 133. 24.  Yoris are non-Yaqui Mexicans or the world of the “white.” 25.  Hilario Molina indicates in “Historic Autonomies: Yaqui Autonomy” Indigenous Autonomy in Mexico (Copenhagen, Denmark: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, 2000) 110, that the mountainous part of Yaqui territory is a sacred place of resistance and strangers are not allowed there because “Lying in that ground are the dry blood and dead spirits of thousands of Yaquis who fell defending [our] territory.” The mountain is the site of heroic battles and acts. Many graves of heroes such as Tetabiate, the Indian Dolores, Cajeme, and Juan Banderas, can be found there. 26.  The Yaqui believe that they descended from a tribe of small men called the Surem. A magic Yomumili tree prophesized that white men would be coming to try to take over their territory. Upon hearing such news the Surem divided into two groups: “Those who could not stand such a future walked away. Some say they walked into the sea and live there still. Others say they turned into black ants and live underground under the hills. Those Surem who stayed eventually grew taller and changed into the Yaquis as they are now, and they were strong enough to fight off the Spaniards when the time came.” For more information please check: “Seyewailo: The Flower World Yaqui Deer Songs,” n.d., Words & Place: Native Literature from the American Southwest, 10 January 2013 http://parentseyes.arizona.edu/wordsandplace/ seyewailo_background.html. 27.  Jesuit missionaries transformed the area into a reducción (mission). The Yaqui relocated, reorganized, and accepted Christianity by the middle of the seventeenth century. Confronted with military threat in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Jesuits reducción transformed their concept of world and own collective identity. 28.  Pascola dancers are dancers that participate in Yaqui ceremonies. They play the part of the buffoon. They are kind. 29.  Matachin is the main sacred dance in a Yaqui ceremony. 30.  In 1533 when the Spanish arrived into Yaqui territory they heard a voice similar to thunder and saw a proud man, an erected Indian challenging them. The Indian drew a line with his bow and arrow, kneeled down, grabbed a bunch of soil in his right hand, and spread it in the air and said to them in a ceremoniously manner “if you cross the line that we have drawn you will be dead men.” This was the voice of a courageous Yaqui man called Juan María Sibalaume. 31.  Jorge Celaya, Electronic Message to the Author, November 2009. In an email Jorge Celaya explained his fascination for the Deer Dance: “Es incredible lo que te pueden provocar en los sentidos las duras y trabajadas plantas de los pies de yaqui golpeando la tierra dura. Yo había visto ya antes la danza representada en teatro, así mismo con el famoso ballet de Amalia Hernández en el Palacio de Bellas Artes del D.F., y todo esto quedó como juego de niños después de verla ejecutada por un indio yaqui, ésta no tenía nada de espectacular, todo era contenido, pero me tocaba fibras

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que nunca me llegaron a tocar las espectaculares representaciones que había visto antes” “It is incredible what the hardened and worked soles of the foot of a Yaqui hitting a hard ground can provoke to the senses. I had seen the [Deer] dance presented on the theater, and also with the famous ballet of Amalia Hernández in the Bellas Artes Palace in Mexico City, and all of these impressions became like children’s play after seeing it executed by a Yaqui Indian, this performance was nothing spectacular, everything was contrite, but it touched fibers of my body that were never touched during the spectacular representations that I had seen before.” In the Dance of the Deer or Deer Dance the “Danzante” assumes the role of the deer, which is a sacred animal of the Yaqui. It is a sacred deity that has ties to the most important elements of the universe: earth, water, wind, and fire. The Deer Dance is a religious tradition and the most important folklore of the Yaquis. It is sociocultural action that when truly absorbed it revives the historical past of the Yaqui. 32. Héctor Cuahtémoc Hernández Silva, Insurgencia y autonomia: Historia de los pueblos Yaquis: 1821–1910 (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1996) 196. This offer was a solid basis because the eight Yaqui towns had a similar political structure, shared a common history and sociocultural characteristics, and controlled a defined area. 33.  Earlier in the play, Rosa tells Pedro about the vicissitudes that her great grandmother had to endure during Izábal’s time and how he sold them as slaves in the Yucatan for MXN 65.00 each. 34. One of the most important rituals in Yaqui culture is the initiation oath as a “Hombre Coyote/Coyote Man” or warrior of the tribe. The oath is the same that is included bilingually at the end of the play. The complete oath says: “Para ti no habrá ya sol/ Para ti no habrá ya muerte/ Para ti no habrá ya dolor/ Para ti no habrá ya calor/ Ni sed, ni hambre, ni lluvia/ Ni aire, ni enfermedades/ Ni familia…/ Nada podrá atemorizarte/ Todo ha concluido para ti/ Excepto una cosa:/ El cumplimiento del deber/ En el puesto que se te designe/ Allí quedarás/ Por la defensa de tu Nación,/ de tu pueblo,/ de tu raza,/ de tus costumbres,/ de tu religión./ ¿Juras cumplir con el mandato divino?/ (For you there will be no more sun/ For you there will be no more death/ For you there will be no more pain/ For you there will be no more heat/ Nor thirst, or hunger, or rain/ Nor air, or illnesses/ Nor family…/ Nothing will scare you/ Everything has concluded for you/ Except for one thing:/ The fulfillment of the duty/ In the position that will be assigned to you/ You will remain there/ For the defense of your Nation,/ of your people,/ of your race,/ of your customs,/ of your religion./ Do you swear to fulfill the divine mandate?) With these words Yaqui leaders grant possession of a new local governmental office to a Yaqui officer, he in turn lowers his head and replies:/¡Ehui! (¡Si!). For further information see “La danza del venado,” 18 July 2009, Yoreme’s Weblog, 10 January 2013 http://yoreme.wordpress .com/2009/07/18/la-danza-del-venado/. 35. Everardo Garduño, “Los indígenas del norte de México: ícono de una era transnacional,” Por las fronteras del norte: Una aproximación cultural a la frontera México-Estados Unidos, José Manuel Valenzuela Arce Ed. (Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2003) 156. Around 1880, during a rebellion led by Cajeme, taking advantage of the new railway that connected the state of Sonora

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with the United States, Yaqui families escaped the repression while at the time they sought work. In 1895, considering the threat of being enslaved in the henequen fields (sisal hemp fields) of Yucatan, hundreds of Yaquis took refuge amongst the Pápago and the non-indigenous population in the vicinity of Nogales and Phoenix, Arizona. By 1916–1917, the government harassment to these indigenous peoples made a new contingent to once again emigrate to the United States and, finally, in 1920 history repeated itself.

WORKS CITED Albert, Salvador Bernabeu. “‘La religión ofendida:’ Resistencia y rebeliones indígenas en la Baja California Colonial.” Revista Complutense de Historia de América. 20 (1994): 169–80. Print. Alonso, Ana María. Threads of Blood: Colonialism, Revolution, and Gender on Mexico’s Northern Frontier. Tucson: The University of Arizona P, 1997. Print. Avila, Cuauhtémoc Velasco. “Sociedad, identidad y guerra entre los comanches, 1825–1835.” La reindianización de América, siglo XIX. Ed. Leticia Reina. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno & CIESAS, 1997. 317–39. Print. Anderson, Gary Clayton. The Indian Southwest, 1580–1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1999. Print. Beardsell, Peter. “Quantum Mechanics and the Treatment of the Past in Mexican Theatre.” (Re)collecting the Past: History and Collective Memory in Latin American Narrative. Victoria Carpenter Ed. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2010. Print. Brooks, James F. Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2002. Print. Carpenter, Victoria. (Re)collecting the Past: History and Collective Memory in Latin American Narrative. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2010. Print. Celaya, Jorge. Venado viejo . . . venado joven. Dramaturgia del norte: Antología. Ed. Enrique Mijares Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico: Fonde Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2003. 67–118. Print. ———. Electronic Message to the Author. November 2009. E-mail. Cisneros, Roberto. “Ponciano Cisneros al mando de campañas contra Apaches y Comanches en el Norte de México.” PRWEB 14 Dec. 2005. Web. 19 Oct. 2007. http:// www.prweb.com/releases/2005/12/prweb321697.htm. DeLay, Brian. “Independent Indians and the U.S.-Mexican War.” The American Historical Review 112.1 (2007): 35–68. Web. Jan. 2012 http://www.historycooperative .org/journals/ahr/112.1/delay.html. ———. War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexico War. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2008. Print. Erickson, Kristin C. “‘They Will Come from the Other Side of the Sea’: Prophecy, Ethnogenesis, and Agency in Yaqui Narrative.” The Journal of American Folklore. 116.462 (Autumn 2003): 465–82. Print. ———. Yaqui Homeland and Homeplace: The Everyday Production of Ethnic Identity. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2008. Print.

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Garduño, Everardo. “Los indígenas del norte de México: ícono de una era transnacional.” Por las fronteras del norte: Una aproximación cultural a la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Ed. José Manuel Valenzuela Arce. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2003. 130–68. Print. Galicia, Rocío. “Apaches de Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda: Identidad y representación del septentrión entre indios y mexicanos.” Latin American Theatre Review 42.2 (Spring 2009): 17–40. Print. González, Roberto Martínez, and Francisco Lugo Silva. “Juan Oso y la redención de salvaje.” Desacatos 29 (January–April 2009): 147. Print. Hämäläinen, Pekka. The Comanche Empire. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2008. Print. Hill, Jonathan D. “Ethnogenesis in the Americas, 1492–1992.” Iowa City, IA: History, Power, and Identity: Ethnogenesis in the Americas, 1492–1992. Ed. Jonathan D. Hill. U of Iowa P, 1996. Print. Hu-DeHart, Evelyn. Historia de los pueblos indígenas de México: Adaptación y resistencia en el yaquimi. Juárez: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social (CIESAS), 1995. Print. León García, Ricardo, and Carlos González Herrera. Civilizar o exterminar: Tarahumaras y apaches en Chihuahua, siglo XIX. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), 2003. Print. Luna-Firebaugh, Eileen M. “The Border Crossed Us: Border Crossing Issues of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.” Wicazo Sa Review 17.1 (2002): 159–181. Print. McWilliams, Carey. North From Mexico: The Spanish-Speaking People of the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1990. Print. Mijares, Enrique. Preface. Hugo Salcedo: Teatro de Frontera. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 2. Durango, Mexico: UAJD, Espacio Vacío Editorial, 1999. 1–9. Print. Molina, Hilario. “Historic Autonomies: Yaqui Autonomy.” Indigenous Autonomy in Mexico. Copenhagen, Denmark: IWGIA, 2000. Print. Nigro, Kirsten F. “Apaches, el deseo y mujeres que beben vodka: Una lectura personal de tres novedades rasconbandianas.” El teatro de Rascón Banda: Voces en el umbral. Eds. Jacqueline E. Bixler and Stuart A. Day. Mexico, D.F.: Escenología, 2005. 137–40. Print. Operé, Fernando. Indian Captivity in Spanish America: Frontier Narratives. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2008. Rascón Banda, Víctor Hugo. Apaches. Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda: Teatro de frontera 13/14. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Durango, Mexico: UAJD, Espacio Vacío Editorial, 2004. 519–558. Print. ———. “Prólogo: ¿De dónde son los apaches?” Manuel Rojas Ed. and Author. Apaches . . . Fantasmas de la Sierra Madre. Chihuahua, Mexico: Instituto Chihuahuense de Cultura, 2008. Print. Reina, Leticia and Cuauhtémoc Velazco. “Introducción.” La reindianización de América, siglo XIX. Ed. Leticia Reina. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno & CIESAS, 1997. 15–25. Print. Reyes, Bárbara O. “Race, Agency, and Memory in a Baja California Mission.” Continental Crossroads: Remapping U.S.-Mexico Borderlands History. Eds. Samuel Truett and Elliot Young. Durham: Duke UP, 2004. 96–120. Print.

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———. Private Women, Public Lives: Gender and the Missions of the Californias. Austin: U of Texas P., 2009. Print. Rister, Carl Coke. Border Captives: The Traffic in Prisioners by Southern Plains Indian, 1835–1875. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1940. Print. Rojas, Manuel. Apaches . . . Fantasmas de la Sierra Madre. Chihuahua, Mexico: Instituto Chihuahuense de Cultura, 2008. Print. Salcedo, Hugo. Telón abierto: Ensayos sobre literatura y teatro. Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico: Instituto de Cultura de Baja California, 1997. Print. ———. Bárbara Gandiaga. Hugo Salcedo: Teatro de frontera 2. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Durango, Mexico: UJED, Espacio Vacío Editorial, 1999. 11–79. Print. Silva, Héctor Cuahtémoc Hernández. Insurgencia y autonomia: Historia de los pueblos Yaquis: 1821–1910. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1996. Print. ———. “La lucha interna por el poder en las rebeliones yaquis del noreste de México, 1824–1899.” La reindianización de América, siglo XIX. Ed. Leticia Reina. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno & CIESAS, 1997. 186–98. Spicer, Edward H. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533–1960. Tucson: U of Arizona P 1967. Print. Talavera Trejo, Manuel. Canción de Cuchillo Parado. Teatro de Frontera 11. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Durango, Mexico: UJED, Espacio Vacío Editorial, 2004. 121–155. Print. Te Wechel, Edith. “Yaqui: A Short History.” Las Culturas. 9 April 2011. Web. http:// www.lasc ulturas.com/aa/vs_EdithYaqui.htm. Truett, Samuel. Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2006. Print. Velazco, Lucila del Carmen León. “Mujeres y soldados en la historia misional de Baja California.” Antropología de las fronteras: Alteridad, historia e identidad más allá de la línea. Ed. Miguel Olmos Aguilera. Mexico City: Colegio de la Frontera, 2007: 263–84. Print. Wade, Mariah. “Colonial Missions in the North American Southwest: Social Memory and Ethnogenesis.” Narratives and Social Memory: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches. R. Cabecinhas and L. Abadia Eds. Braga, Portugal: U of Minho, 2013. 253–64. We Shall Remain: Geronimo. Dir. Dustinn Craig and Sarah Colt. PBS, 2009. Film. Worcester, Donald E. The Apaches: Eagles of the Southwest. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1992. Print.

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The Desert Voice that Clamors for Popular Saints and Miraculous Souls

The indigenous traditions of the Borderlands are still deeply embedded in the culture and spiritual realm of its inhabitants. Over the centuries, the people of the Borderlands have adapted, blending orthodox Christian and Native American beliefs with the practices of spiritualism and faith healing representative of a marginal mysticism.1 In Fort Worth, Texas, Father Jacinto Ramos performs a Sunday Catholic mass in Criselda Valencia’s house once a month. After mass has ended a group of parishioners eagerly wait for Criselda to call on Niño Fidencio’s spirit. Criselda is a materia or “medium” who channels El Niño’s healing services: to cure physical and mental illnesses, to perform exorcisms, and to take away evil spirits. Father Ramos will bless those who request it while the spirit of Fidencio is thought to be present; however, he believes El Niño’s healing power to be even stronger than his (Haelle). Looking at the many blogs on the internet, it is possible to find messages from all over Texas and the U.S.-Mexico Border of people looking for materias or for Cajitas “little boxes” (names given to mediums who channel Fidencio’s healing spirit) to help cure their loved ones or themselves. Even though folk healing would seem to be in conflict with Catholicism, “the two have a long, entwined history as Mexicans blended the religion of visiting missionaries with the faith they already practiced” (Haelle). Folk saints such as Niño Fidencio, Teresita Urrea, Juan Soldado “John the Soldier,” or El Tiradito “The Little Throwaway/Castaway” have followers all over northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, and seem to coexist with Catholicism and Protestantism, even if they are not officially accepted by these religions. The U.S.-Mexico Border can be best understood by observing its people, customs, and habits as well as its history and geography. One of the constants in this region is the reverence for popular religious figures. In addition to the “official” saints of the Catholic Church—the largest denomination in Mexico—there 75

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is also a great number of what can be designated as popular, folk, profane and informal saints, or miraculous souls, miraculous deceased saints, animas “spirits,” little animas, or santones “lesser saints/folk saints.” While still alive, border santones lived with the poor, sick, and the marginalized, and were labeled criminals, sinners, or revolutionaries because they resisted change and “subverted the laws of the system that excluded them through ascetic exercises” (Galicia, “Introducción” 17). The end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries saw an increase in the number of plays presenting the stories of these popular saints and their devotees. The most significant include: La fuerza divina “The Divine Force” (1993) by Arturo Castillo, El niño del diamante en la cabeza: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino “The Boy with the Diamond in his Head: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino” (1999) by Enrique Mijares, Border Santo (2001) by Virginia Hernández, El Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador “The Little Castaway: Chronicle of a Sinner Saint” (2002) by Antonio Zúñiga, and Juego de naipes “Card Game” (2005) by Roberto Corella. The plays do not try to dramatize the complete lives of these popular saints since this information is well-known. Instead, the authors focus on the precarious lives of those in Mexico who are hopelessly poor and sick due to the corrupt policies of those who have been and continue to be in power. They also examine the dangerous journeys the poorest members of Mexican society must undertake to find a better life in the U.S. What unites these anonymous men and women is the belief that, by entrusting themselves to their favorite saint, they will find relief for their ailments and consolation to their social problems. In the plays analyzed in this chapter, these santones are observed living in the periphery with the dispossessed. In Cultures of Devotion (2007) Frank Graziano argues that the faithful prefer popular saints to the official ones because these santones represent “lo nuestro” “what is ours” (9). Santones are “like us” or “one of us” because they come from the same communities and cultures as the saints mentioned above. Like their followers, these santones were socioeconomically marginalized and suffered the same problems as the people from these areas. Like orthodox Catholic saints, the santones give voice to the voiceless because after death they acquire the power to directly intercede with God for their devotees. However, many people prefer these folk saints since they can pray freely without mediation, and they have none of the restrictions and costs associated with priests and the Catholic Church’s hierarchy. In addition, the devotees indicated that the santones possess more miraculous qualities than the official canonized saints while a large number of the faithful showed strong disenchantment with the religious and secular institutions of their region. Despite their criticism, most devotees still only consider folk saints as a supplement to Catholicism and would not think of replacing their religion (Graziano 29). The parishioners that attend mass at Criselda Valencia’s home and receive the blessing from Niñito Fidencio are a clear example of the phenomenon. Folk spirituality in the Borderlands is dy-

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namic, ever-changing, and syncretic, and it “attests to the devotee’s capacity to reinterpret and appropriate, to dialectically transform the contributing factors into new cultures and religious beliefs” (Graziano 31). In the introduction to Ánimas y santones: Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde “Spirits and Lesser Saints: Life and Miracles of El Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito and Malverde” (2008), Rocío Galicia observes that ordinary people are attracted by the popular temperament of folk saints while those in power, “los diversos rostros de la hegemonía” “the diverse faces of hegemony,” repudiate them (15). Folk saints’ messages run contrary to the official discourse of the state and challenge the status quo since: “Miraculous souls, santones, apocryphal saints or marginal deities go against the official story” (19). Their lack of location and social marginality eventually place profane saints on the lowest rung of the social ladder, in the dirtiest, most remote and alienated places of a society. Therefore, it is not surprising then that the poorest and sickest in society are the ones who pray for the help of these santones. While alive, these santones lived with the social outcasts, and because of this bond, the masses applaud them as their saints and representatives. Mexico is the second largest Catholic country in the world, yet on its fringes millions practice a popular religiosity that has very little in common with Catholicism. Mexican essayist and writer Carlos Monsiváis observed and wrote about this phenomenon in “Protagonista: El Niño Fidencio. Todos los caminos llevan al éxtacis” “The Boy Fidencio and the Roads to Ecstasy.” Monsiváis points out that despite centuries of Christian colonization and governmental secularization, millenarianism and spiritualism persist in Mexico today: “Not centuries of Christianity nor of Enlightenment, nor of official Guadalupismo . . . nor even years of intense secularization, have put a stop to millions of Mexicans believing in spirits and faith healers, conceiving of the coming of the new millennium in anything but the most portentous terms, and thus offering themselves up to the most unlikely beliefs” (Monsiváis 119). Millenarianism movements tend to appear in societies or groups going through changes, catastrophes, and discontent. In such crises, end of the world prophecies promise the restoration of an idyllic past or the establishment of a utopian future. In Mexico the millenarianism phenomenon tends to occur when Indian beliefs come in contact with the writings of Saint John’s Book of Revelation. Subsequently, indicates Monsiváis, local eccentric preachers attract people on the margins: The promise of an eternal light-to-come is made by prophets who create microreligions out of groups of chosen ones, putting themselves forward as the instruments of expiation and grandeur, and organizing a system of disciples that is, for the most part, made up of women. Through these messianic prophets, millenarianism penetrates significant sectors of the population, revealing to them a “changing sense of life” that religion no longer offers them (or, perhaps, never has). (Monsiváis, Mexican Postcards 129)

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Monsiváis uses the term marginal mysticism to refer to the type of Mexican popular folk religion practiced by millenarianism groups and people on the fringes. This syncretic practice combines popular Catholicism, faith healing, cult to the Virgin Mary and Guadalupe and spiritualism, with the strident personality of a preacher guiding his/her flock (Monsiváis, Mexican Postcards 127). Marginal mysticism expects pilgrimage to sacred sanctuaries as a religious goal as performance professor and folklorist Kay Turner explains: “The arduous journey of pilgrimage functions as a kind of purifying penance the reward for which is an intense feeling of religious revivification and an opportunity to forward prayers, thanksgiving, and petitions to a saint at his or her primary shrine” (121). Some of the most important characteristics of marginal mysticism are: a) Corporal signs: faith is displayed through dramatic representations. These religious practices are physical, marginal, and challenge authority—healings, trances, miracles, rituals, songs, dances, ceremonies, pilgrimages; b) Verbal signs: Catholic orthodoxy and hierarchy must be obeyed. If rules are broken the authorities might view group/person as delinquent and opt to excommunicate or even wage war; and c) Hope Signs: faith is the only weapon for the dispossessed. Sometimes communities will try to attain their imagined ideal community by means of an armed struggle. Marginal mysticism offers the possibility of envisaging a better life in a utopian plane (Duran 232; 236; 238). Borderlands’ santones are located between mystical religiosity and social marginality. They arise from the depth of the social imaginary and captivate the thoughts and minds and the prayers of the poor. A. EL NIÑO FIDENCIO: THE POPULAR THAUMATURGE OF ESPINAZO The Cristero War (1926–1929) occurred during a troubling time in Mexico. The closing of Catholic churches by the Mexican government opened the possibility for many parishioners, who felt a great void, to seek alternative ways to have their concerns and prayers heard. This was the time when news of El Niño Fidencio spread throughout Mexico. Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino (his last names are sometimes inverted because he liked using his mother’s last name first) was born in Iránuco, Guanajuato on October 17, 1898. He came from a large family of twenty-five children, and was the fifteenth son of Socorro Constatino and Mari Síntora. He became an orphan at an early young age. El Niño Fidencio received his first calling during childhood; he had a vision of a man with a beard (Jesus Christ) who “showed him a book containing many herbal cures, enabling Fidencio to cure his brother, who was sick at the time” (Griffith 128; León La Llorona’s Children 152).

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El Niño or Niñito “Child of God” is an example of a lifetime dedication to serving the sick, poor, and despaired. Fidencio’s reputation as a faith healer increased in the 1920s and 1930s as thousands of people made the journey to his home in Espinazo, Nuevo León. During those years he kept a busy schedule: he ate and slept little, worked nonstop for forty-eight to seventy-two hour periods curing the sick and afflicted. He said his healings were the work of divine forces. Niño Fidencio is a popular Mexican mystic of the Borderlands because of his extraordinary religious faith, ascetic lifestyle—he maintained the vows of poverty and chastity—and unflinching support for his people. El niño del diamante en la cabeza: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino is a one-act play divided into four scenes loosely based on real life incidents of Niño Fidencio. It opens with a long epigraph by Carlos Monsiváis from his book of essays Los rituales del caos “Rituals of Chaos” (1997) explaining the reasons why the legend and ritual to El Niño Fidencio still persist today. The play introduces characters such as Fidencio, his mother, Mijo, Mija, Elías (President Plutarco Elías Calles), Teo (Teodoro Von Wernich), Padre adoptivo (Enrique López de la Fuente), Locos “the insane,” Tullidos “physically disabled,” Fidencista followers, Judas, Materias, and many more. They tell of the life and healing works of Fidencio from diverse points of view. The small town of Espinazo is the center of the story, and playwright Enrique Mijares uses the town like a theatrical stage, sometimes as a hospital, an insane asylum, or a pilgrimage center. This is a story of intrigue, love, jealousy, healings, religion, and rituals. In the final scene of the play, the religious collides with the political revealing the failure of the Mexican Revolution and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the devastation both have caused to their citizens. During tumultuous times the downtrodden cry out for true and lasting sociopolitical change. They have Fidencio as the most famous popular saint capable of interceding on their behalf. El niño del diamante en la cabeza introduces a fusion of two myths from northern Mexico. One is the story of the most popular faith healer of the Borderlands. The other myth talks about sahurinos, the hydrocephalic children with extraordinary powers of prediction (Galicia 23). His mother also recognizes Fidencio’s sahurino gift: MARIA. (camina hacia Fidencio) Yo siempre supe que eras un sahurín. (Le toca la mejilla) Mi sahurinito. Mi niño del diamante en la cabeza. Mi niñito. ¡Quédate conmigo! (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 22)

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“MARIA. (walks towards Fidencio) I always knew you were a foreteller. (She touches his cheek) My little foreteller boy. My boy with the diamond in his head. My little boy. Stay with me!”

The lines uttered by Maria help explain the title of the play and provide a possible explanation for Fidencio’s gift of faith healing and divine inspiration. Niñito Fidencio was a personal healer or curandero who was “gifted by God” and his mission was to “gift others” and these people had to “reciprocate and return the gift to the healer, to God, and to others” (León, La Llorona’s Children 138). El Niño Fidencio cannot remain with his mother because his destiny is to fulfill God’s will and help his followers. Fidencio’s ministry is visible in El patio de la pasión “The Courtyard of Passion.” In this scene Fidencio executes unorthodox treatment modalities in the courtyard of the big house where he lives to cure diseases.2 El Niño’s restorative practices were physically amusing: “He used play, drama, and

Figure 3.1.  Niño Fidencio El tronito “Little Throne.” Source: Museum of New Mexico Press from the book Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open by Dore Gardner © 1992. Niño Fidencio El tronito “Little Throne.” Reprinted by permission of Museum of New Mexico Press from the book Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open by Dore Gardner © 1992.

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catharsis in the act of curing” (Turner 123). He throws food and other objects at the sick and long-suffering from the top of a cross, located in the middle of the courtyard, to remedy their afflictions (Mijares 17). He also throws cold water at the insane, or uses Concha, a toothless puma, to force los tullidos to walk (Mijares 18; 21). He performs individual and group therapeutic medical treatments on the patio, the swing, the cross, and the puddle “El charco.” The stage directions also ask for a type of tree from the region of Nuevo León called El pirulito “Pepper Tree” where it is believed that Fidencio received his second calling.3 His curative work was very playful and physical, but effective. Fidencio’s therapies cured people’s bodies as well as their souls. Luis León likens the healing work of famous curanderos such as Niño Fidencio or Don Pedrito Jaramillo to “a public allegory for healing the broken Mexican national body” which takes on a “cosmic, national, and individual meaning” (La Llorona’s Children 138). On February 8, 1928, Fidencio gained national recognition for his healing powers with the visit of then President Plutarco Elías Calles—his most famous cure. This meeting symbolized the acceptance of two diverging beliefs, scientific and popular, during the Cristero Wars (Monsívais, Ritules del caos 103). Calles’ visit raised Fidencio’s fame and increased the number of believers who came to Espinazo (from 7,000 to more than 30,000) that year. During the first encounter between Elías and Fidencio, both say they knew of one another and Fidencio assures the president that he is only doing the work commanded by God since he is not a doctor: ELIAS. No sabía nada de ti . . . más que de oídas. FIDENCIO. Yo también sé mucho de usted. ELIAS. No me gusta hacer caso de habladurías. Por eso vine a cerciorarme por mis propios ojos. Me llegaron rumores de que curas con yerbas del campo y con agua serenada. FIDENCIO. Yo nunca he dicho que soy médico ni presumo de tener título. Soy un humilde siervo de mi padre Dios. Él es el que cura, yo nada más le sirvo de instrumento. Solo reparto la medicina que mi padre Dios pone en mis manos. Y hasta ahora no tengo ninguna queja, todos mis enfermitos se sienten muy aliviados con los molestos remedios que les doy. (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 11) “ELIAS. I didn’t know anything about you . . . just by hearsay. FIDENCIO. I also know a lot about you. ELIAS. I do not like to rely on gossip. That is why I came to see things with my own eyes. Rumors came to me that you cure with herbs of the fields and still water.

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FIDENCIO. I never said that I was a doctor nor do I presume to have the title. I am a humble servant of my father God. He is the one that cures, I serve as nothing more than an instrument. I only distribute the medicine that my father God put in my hands. And until now I did not have one complaint, all of my little sick people experience great relief from the annoying remedies I give them.”

Little is revealed from Calles’ visit to Espinazo. In addition to having applied healing compresses to Calles to cure what appeared to be leprosy, the two of them had another private conversation. El Niño suggests to the president that he start a new political party: “Aconséjeles que formen un club,/ una convención,/ una sociedad de participación común, un partido o como quieran llamarlo;/ donde todos los sectores estén respetados/ y que las decisiones las tomen todos de manera colegiada” “Advise them to start a club/ a convention,/ a society with common ownership,/ a political party or whichever way they want to call it;/ where all sectors will be respected/ and the decisions will be taken by everyone in a collegial manner” (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 16). Whatever was discussed and its importance for Mexico’s future is not mentioned again until the final scene of the play. Plutarco Calles’ visit pulled el Niño out of anonymity. His name gained recognition and Fidencio’s marginal syncretic ministry achieved national prominence. Fidencio had a complex personality. On one hand he was innocent, pious, and dedicated to his work as a healer. On the other hand he had a very flamboyant personality and a yearning for fame and spectacle. El pabellón de la dicha “Pavilion of Joy/Happiness” presents Fidencio and his admirers in Espinazo in 1928. The tone of the scene is jovial, theatrical, and happy. He wears an outfit resembling Rudolph Valentino—Gaucho pants, Flamenco shirt, boots, and a hat (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 7). Fidencio also plays the piano and sings like a soprano in an unusually high-pitched woman’s voice (he was a physically ambiguous young man who tended to be effeminate). He laughs, smokes, drinks, and jokes with his followers, most of whom are women who idolize him, but he says that he must remain chaste. Because of his playful and childlike personality that exuded virtue and purity, Fidencio became the center of Espinazo’s social life (Monsívais, Rituales del caos 98). The play depicts Fidencio’s preoccupation with self-image and how he will be remembered for posterity. Griffith has written that: “Above all, el Niño encouraged people to photograph him” (130). In the play Fidencio frequently changes outfits.4 In scene three he requests that his helpers, Mijo and Mija, dress him as the Virgin of Guadalupe. He orders the photographer to take his picture to be remembered for posterity: “¡Retrátame!/ ¡Quiero que la gente me recuerde siempre!/ ¡Vestido como la Santa Virgen Guadalupana!” “Take my portrait! I want the people to remember me forever! Dressed like the holy

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Virgin of Guadalupe!” (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 33). Monsiváis believes that Fidencio assumed postures that “evoke the divine—be it in the place of the Virgin of Guadalupe blessing converts, or as the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or dressed in a linen carrying the cross” to have his image manipulated and reproduced through photography (Mexican Postcards 120). Kay Turner regards these actions as Fidencio’s recognition of “the potential of the camera as a device for rendering his miracles more believable” (122). Many photographs of Fidencio are still preserved—they capture him curing patients, posing with children and animals, posing alone dressed up in religious robes or in everyday clothes. El Niño’s photographs bear resemblance to ex-votos or retablos, “small folk religious paintings similar to an ex-voto,” of Catholic saints and virgins (Griffith 130; Turner 130). During Fidencio’s lifetime, his photographs were used to document, preserve, and enhance the “powers of this holy man” (Turner 122). Although the theme of El adoratorio “Ancient American Temple” is somber because it presents Fidencio’s death, it is also theatrical and festive. The stage directions describe Fidencio dying in his bed but still worrying about his appearance. Yet despite his moribund state, he requests to be dressed to pose in a series of pictures: “con dificultades de moribundo, da indicaciones para que las mujeres lo desnuden, y lo bañen con un lienzo húmedo” “as a dying man, he gives directions to the women to undress and bathe him with a damp cloth” (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 32). Later in the scene, although still very ill, he is helped by Mijo and Mija to get into different outfits: “Sin perder el sentido del humor, Fidencio, ayudado por Mijo y Mija, se disfraza de diferentes maneras” “Without losing his sense of humor, Fidencio, aided by Mijo and Mija, disguises himself in various ways” (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 32). In this scene Fidencio shrewdly poses for photographers in different costumes to show him off from his best angles, and he speaks to them in a sharp voice: FIDENCIO. (Al fotógrafo, con voz aguda) ¡Sí, sí, sí, sí! ¡Tome muchas fotografías de mi agonía! Pero ya sabe: si no me regala una copia de cada una, uno por uno se le han de borrar los retratos… (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 32) “FIDENCIO. (To the photographer, in a high pitched voice) Yes, yes, yes, yes!

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Take many photographs of my agony! But be forewarned: if you do not give me a free copy of each one, one by one the portraits will be erased…”

Fidencio constructs his own image of suffering and threatens retribution if he does not get free copies of these pictures. Even though he is moribund, Fidencio does not stop building his image of saint. The media reports of the time helped spread accounts of his powers and cures and in doing so helped disseminate the myth of El Niño. Fidencio’s followers indicate that he predicted his own death and that before dying he told them that there would be others who would claim to be him, but that he was the only Fidencio. He also told that he would return in other bodies. Fidencio’s self-promotion led many critics to accuse him of being a charlatan and a liar: “¡[F]arsante! ¡[B]lasfemo!” “Phony! Blasphemous!” (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 33). In the play Judas represents all of Fidencio’s critics. He insists that Fidencio does not cure the majority of the sick, but that instead they die and spread

Figure 3.2.  Niño Fidencio Death Photo. Museum of New Mexico Press from the book Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open by Dore Gardner © 1992. Niño Fidencio Death Photo. Reprinted by permission of Museum of New Mexico Press from the book Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open by Dore Gardner © 1992.

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illnesses: “¡Y luego todos van regando la enfermedad por distintos rumbos! ¡Van regando la muerte que es un escándalo! “And then they all go spreading disease every which way! Go spreading death which is a scandal!” (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 35). Fidencio’s enemies—the press, medical community, government, and the Catholic Church—contended that he took advantage of the naive and needy people of Northern Mexico during an extremely unstable and anarchic period.5 “Espinazo” is simultaneously a reflection on Fidencio’s legacy and Mexico’s socio-political situation since his death in 1938. A fictional encounter between Fidencio and President Plutarco Elías Calles, now disguised as a shadow, also takes place in this scene, seventy years after their first meeting in Espinazo. The scene presents in counterpoint the voices of characters (El Materia, adoptive father, consultant, and Fidencio’s brother) discussing Fidencio’s life and contemporary Mexican history from the creation of the PRI to the present. A big screen displays the Fidencista religious celebrations of Espinazo, and afterwards it shows the presidential campaign of Luis Donaldo Colosio of 1994.6 Of this scene theater critic Armando Partida says “speech fragmentation that takes on a polyphonic, grouped, character” is used to create “an ellipsis that allows us to synthesize a series of situations, as well as a series of characters, that would require several scenes” (81). The scene builds up in intensity as “prayers and hymns of the suffering ones” become louder. Climax and purification are reached when “the music and dances intensify” to atone for sins and cleanse the impurities (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 55). Instead of concluding with a positive resolution, unexpectedly a gunshot is heard revealing a homicide. A man resembling Christ the Nazarene, who is actually Fidencio, is captured. Even though Fidencio is innocent, he is blamed for the crime and must die on the cross to atone for the sins of others (Mijares, El niño del diamante en la cabeza 55). The poor and voiceless demand change and accountability, while the rich and powerful resist, stall and ignore to retain their power. The tone of the scene is extremely religious and ritualistic. El niño del diamante en la cabeza displays José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino’s route to folk sainthood. Several scenes present Fidencio’s curative power, which is depicted by means of photography. Like other important saints, Fidencio’s images have greatly increased people’s devotion to him and contributed to keep his memory alive (Turner 121). Another tradition that ensues a saint’s popularity is religious pilgrimage to a holy site. Turner concludes that by participating in this pilgrimage devotees: “participate in an ancient migration that step by step and mile by mile brings them to the physical and historical source of their belief” (Turner 121). In the final scene of the play, Fidencistas who must commemorate two important dates in Espinazo—day of

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Saint Joseph, Fidencio’s patron saint (March 19th), and his birth/death (October 17th and 19th). El Niño del diamante en la cabeza introduces Fidencismo to new audiences, while at its core it continues to strengthen from all the Fidencista followers: Not only is his spirit alive in the performance of healing miracles but his very presence—his image, his voice, his embodiment, his heart—is constantly renewed and made available through the materias who accept the call to serve the Niño. Unlike other saints who after their death can be recalled only through pictorial representation, Niño lives through photographic documentation and in the living bodies of those who accept his spirit and minister not only his name but in his likeness. (Turner 132)

Fidencio is the representation of a power that comes from the depths of a collective subconscious. His voice represents a collective voice and his life’s mission is a poetics that intertwines marginality, violence, and hunger with religious exaltation (Monsiváis, “El Niño Fidencio” 113). Niño Fidencio, The Thaumaturge of Espinazo, cured the afflicted with the power of God. B. TERESITA URREA: THE SAINT OF CÁBORA El Niño Fidencio is a santón whose life and cures were well documented, and members of his church continue to channel his energy in Nuevo León, the Borderlands, and beyond. Another well-known santa is Teresita Urrea, “La Santa de Cábora” or the “Mexican Joan of Arc,” who in her heyday acquired the fame of curandera “healer or medicine woman” and attracted thousands to her home in Cábora, Sonora. Loved by her followers and hated by authorities of the time and the Catholic Church, Teresita was a polarizing character living at the end of the nineteenth century in the Borderlands. The end of the century brought worries of the end of the world and fanatical religious groups carrying out revolts in their fight for change. In Mexico, ordinary folks in poor mestizo and Indian communities also worried that Porfirio Díaz was determined to seize their land and destroy their primitive worlds in his aim of modernizing Mexico and making it a progressive new republic. In the mining towns of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the government and international companies hoped to survey their land and exploit it. The figure of Teresita Urrea, a young woman who represented these disenfranchised groups, was explosive at the time because she could directly intercede and give voice to the weak, while congregating multitudes of followers to fight in God’s name against the authorities. In her struggle, Niña Teresa was able to achieve both recognition and repudiation “Through physical and psychological healing

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and political encouragement, Teresa Urrea became an inspiration to indigenous groups of Northern Mexico, as well as to people in the United States during the reign of Mexico’s dictator, Porfirio Díaz, and the years prior to the Mexican Revolution” (Rosales). Teresa Urrea lived part of her life exiled in the United States and cured people on both sides of the Border. Many books of fiction and non-fiction have been written about her life and the incidents that transpired in the town of Tomóchic, Chihuahua in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Perhaps the book that most inspired other studies and works is Heriberto Frías’ Tomóchic (1906). This Mexican classic is a combination of fiction and memoir that was first published in 1893 anonymously in the El Demócrata newspaper in twenty-five installments. The novel went through many editions and Frías’ identity was subsequently revealed. Tomóchic can be considered a precursor of one of the first novels of the Mexican Revolution for its naturalism in describing the events at Tomóchic. It narrates the story of Second Lieutenant Miguel Mercado—who is believed to have been Frías himself—who was one of the soldiers sent to the Tarahumaran town of Tomóchic to exterminate the combative peasants resisting Porfirio Díaz’ forces in 1892. Since Frias’ version was published, many more books and articles have examined Teresa Urrea and the incidents that took place at the turn of the century in villages in the north of Mexico. For instance, in the early 1970s, influenced by the new Chicano movement, Richard and Gloria Rodríguez published “Teresa Urrea: Her Life, As it Affected the Mexican-U.S. Frontier” in El Grito magazine so that “Her part in the history of Aztlán should be known” (48). One of the most complete accounts on the life of the Santa de Cábora and the rebellion in Tomóchic, The Power of God Against the Guns of Government, was published by Paul Vanderwood in 1998. The most important works of fiction show authors well versed in the details of Santa de Cábora’s life, as well as and Frías’ work and many other historical sources. Some of the most significant novels are: Teresita (1978) by William Curry Holden; Porfirio Díaz contra el gran poder de Dios “Porfirio Díaz against the Great Power of God” (1985) by José C. Valadés; La insólita historia de la Santa de Cábora “The Unusal Story of the Saint of Cábora” (1990) by Brianda Domecq, which manages to include a feminist slant to the well-known story of Teresita; and The Hummingbird’s Daughter (2005) by Luis Alberto Urrea, a distinguished Chicano writer born in Tijuana and a distant relative of Teresita.7 Niña García Nona María Rebeca Chávez, who later became known as Teresa Urrea, was born on October 15, 1873 in Ocoroni, Sinaloa. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Don Tomás Urrea, a wealthy land owner, and Cayetana Chávez, a fourteen–year-old Tahueco Indian peasant girl. Teresa’s

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first years were spent in extreme poverty. Her mother left her with an abusive aunt, and the aunt inflicted corporal punishment. Eventually, Don Tomás found out about Teresa and brought her to live on his ranch in Cábora, Sonora. There she met and became the pupil of Huila, a respected Yaqui medicine woman, mastering tribal rituals and the use of two hundred herbs. Considering herself Catholic, she also labeled herself a curandera because of her healing powers. Soon Huila took her to visit the sick and realized that Teresa’s gift was stronger than her own. In 1889 Teresa was assaulted and had a seizure or perhaps a cataleptic attack resulting in a coma. She died on the thirteenth day and arose the next day, on the night of her wake. She told the attendees “she had spoken to the Virgin Mary and had been given much work to do. For months thereafter, she slipped in and out of trances. At the end of this time, she was a changed person” (Griffin 45). During this initiation step in which Teresa experienced a symbolic death she was given the gift by God and arose as a curandera (León, La LLorona’s Children 138). Consequently Teresa was said to have magical powers and abilities. People said she cured many illnesses such as blindness, deafness, strokes and paralysis, some cancers, tumors, mental insanity, and even relief of pain for women during labor. Additionally, she used earth from Cábora, wetting it with her own saliva to put it on different parts of the body to heal. People said that Teresita had a distinct smell of fresh roses, could levitate, travel through time, predict the future, and read people’s minds. After her trance Teresa achieved “a mystical union with God” thus becoming a new person, “a religious shaman and prophet who speaks for the poor and the oppressed and delineates fresh modes of exchange—or, better, reiterates and revives classical ethical norms” (León, La Llorona’s Children 144). Upon hearing the news of the Santa, thousands made the pilgrimage to Cábora daily seeking Teresa’s help. Journalists, politicians and Church officials scrutinized her ministry. But Lauro Aguirre, a newspaper reporter, engineer and an enthusiastic Spiritist, hoped Teresa would share his beliefs and help him fight the unjust and repressive dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Soon Aguirre found himself living with the Urreas and tutoring Teresa. Shortly thereafter Teresa found herself being blamed for instigating the local Yaqui and Mayo tribes and the mestizo peasants to resist takeovers of their land. In 1892 she was deported to the United States by the Díaz’ government and was asked never to return. Her later years were spent living in the U.S., carrying out cures for the faithful and needy. She also found love and gave birth to two daughters. At the time of her death, her powers had dwindled, making many believe that she was a charlatan trying to take advantage of the needy. She died at the tender age of thirty-three of tuberculosis on January 11, 1906 in Clifton, Arizona.

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Figure 3.3.  Portrait of Teresa Urrea. Source: Arizona Historical Society-Tucson. Portrait of Teresa Urrea #1671, Arizona Historical Society-Tucson.

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One hundred years after the Tomóchic massacre Arturo Castillo, a poet and dramatist from the state of Tamaulipas, wrote La fuerza divina (1993). The play is divided into twenty-five cuadros “scenes.” They are mostly short and fast paced, but a few cuadros are more extensive. The play is not a chronological presentation of Teresita’s life but a dramatic interpretation of her most important period as a healer and promoter of peace and liberty. It begins in 1889 with her near death experience and ends with her forced exile to Nogales, Arizona in 1892. The characters include a young Teresa Urrea (age 17), Josefina Félix (Teresa’s best friend), Tomás Urrea, Cruz Chávez, Ingeniero Lauro Aguirre, Porfirio Díaz (presented only as a deformed face), El general (presented as a shadow), and the Procesantes (a chorus made up of the penitents, groups of believers, and the faithful). The stage has three planes: the first one is an open floor stage, almost bare except for a corner to the right where there is a small and rudimentary living room. The second plane is located on a platform to the right and shows a very simple bedroom with Teresa and Josefina. A descending ramp connects levels one and two. Located at the center back third level is a platform even taller than level two. A cold light presents Díaz in a deformed silhouette and the General as just a shadow.8 In scene 16 the props from level two are moved to level three and vice versa thus elevating Teresa to the highest level until the end of the play (Castillo 51). Lights, religious singing, and prayer are prominent, setting a religious tone that will clash with the dark and mysterious political forces of the Díaz’ dictatorship. Teresa appears in a white light and is described as a beautiful young lightskinned girl with black hair and eyes (Castillo 7). She is presented as a gentle soul speaking in poetic and religious language that is sometimes conveyed in monologues (using symbols and metaphors) and other times in song and prayer. Teresa speaks using a poetics of religion, to inform of the main ideas and vision of the religious experience she wanted to share with her Indian and mestizo devotees. She performs paranormal activities with her friend Josefina as witness. During the play she levitates (as seen in cuadro 4), time travels, goes into trances, has visions, and miraculously cures the sick. Teresa is committed to God and her healing ministry yet maintains a youthful and playful attitude typical of her teenage years. Additionally, if need be, she can be tough minded and resilient. Teresa’s personality changes (starting in scene 12) as she is presented not as the healing woman of Cábora but as the heroine who will give Tomóchic the strength to fight. The focus of the play shifts to explain the cause and consequence of the Rebellion of Tomóchic rather than Teresa’s miracles. At the same time it is clear that she has ceased to exist in the private sphere and now belongs to all. Towards the end, Teresa grows disillusioned. She begins

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having doubts about the possible massacre at Tomóchic while moving away from politics. As the play begins, Tomás Urrea and Cruz Chávez, peasant leader of Tomóchic, are seen on the platform in level one discussing the current heated political situation, the possible usurpation of their natural resources and land, and the unjustly high taxes levied against the people of Tomóchic. There is criticism towards the Church as well. This level is reserved for the three men and the Procesantes. It also gives a glimpse of life in the Urrea Estate. Aguirre appears for the first time in scene 8. He begins frequenting the Urrea ranch and slowly influences the people of Tomóchic to resist the unjust measures taken by the government. Rocío Galicia believes that in La fuerza divina, Aguirre is presented as the mastermind of the uprising (Galicia, Tomóchic 281). He is also a great believer in paranormal activities, practices Spiritism also called in Mexico espiritualismo, and is convinced that Teresa is an effective medium who could help his political cause.9 If Lauro Aguirre is portrayed as the outsider who empowered the people of these mining areas and incited a revolt, Cruz Chávez is the insider and leader of Tomóchic who must protect them. He is presented as a simple but pure man with strong religious and political convictions, rather than a religious fanatic who convinced his entire town to follow a hysterical and fanatical girl’s message of resistance and war, as in other versions of the Tomóchic rebellion. A lengthy monologue in scene 22 encapsulates Chávez’ essence in the play: CHÁVEZ. No creas, niña Teresa, que en este momento dejo de pensar en ti; ni pienses tampoco que tengo miedo. Los herejes, después de tres días de disparar sobre nosotros, han tomado ya una parte del pueblo. Bombardearon con su cañón la iglesia y la quemaron luego, junto con todas las gentes que se encontraban dentro; los niños, las mujeres, los viejos. No, no creas que tengo miedo pero estoy lleno de dolor nomás de ver la muerte metiendo tanto frío en todos los sitios donde vivimos tantos años como gente de paz. . . . Nosotros, esperamos, niña, vivir en tu memoria y esperamos también que alguna vez puedas encontrarte a ese Sr. Díaz y preguntarle, por qué tuvo que ser tan duro, tan cruel, tan asesino; no con nosotros que al fin éramos hombres en lucha, sino con nuestros hijos y nuestras mujeres. (Castillo, La fuerza divina 65–66) “CHÁVEZ. Do not think, Niña Teresa, that at this moment I have stopped thinking about you; nor think that I am scared either. The heretics, after three days of shooting over us, have already taken part of the town. They bombed the church with their cannons and then burned it, along with all the people who were inside, the children, the women, and the old people. No, do not think that I am scared, but I am full of pain just to see death growing cold in all the places where we lived for so many years as people of peace. . . . We, hope, my little girl, to live in your memory and we also hope that someday you will find Mr. Diaz and ask

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him why he had to be so hard, so cruel, so murderous, not with us, since we ended up being fighting men, but with our children and our women.”

In La fuerza divina Cruz Chávez is the unlikely hero who accepts his role and destiny with honor. He respects Teresa and God but hates Porfirio Díaz and the Church’s hierarchy. He comes to the conclusion that his way of life and system of beliefs do not fit in the Mexico of the nineteenth century and that he must die fighting for the people’s right to survive and in order for his voice to be heard in posterity. Although the Procesantes are in most scenes of the play, sometimes visible, and other times only heard, they represent the town’s people and faithful who ask Teresa for help. As a group they pray, sing, and read the scriptures. The Procesantes wear tunics, carry large candles, and are identified by a light green color. The Procesantes on level one are able to see and interact with Teresa in level two throughout the play. In scene five all the Procesantes climb up to level two and play a different role, that of sick patients who: “limp, have bandages, and help each other” (Castillo, La fuerza divina 21). In scene six they come to ask Teresa for help and healing. As the requests increase, the green zenith light intensifies. There are miracles and healings done by Teresa and witnessed by all: a woman who walks again and a deaf man who is able to hear. While Teresa’s healing powers strengthen, her family and followers remain in Tomóchic to live, receive the saint’s blessing, and if they are lucky, a cure. In scene 16, the Procesantes are seen arriving (some bloody) with old carbines, machetes, and other rudimentary weapons such as cananas. They now have a new role as the rebellious fighters of Tomóchic (Castillo, La fuerza divina 51). Towards the end of the play, in scene 20, the Procesantes will appear one at a time with a candle and read Teresa’s letter in which she concludes that God’s power will never be given to men because all the paths they create move further away from him (Castillo, La fuerza divina 61–63). As they read, they take on the role of the santa. Towards the end of the play Josefina and some Procesantes become narrators of the last minutes before the massacre and destruction of Tomóchic, they represent the people of the town (Castillo, La fuerza divina 63–64). Luis León writes that “[A] charismatic healer is capable of galvanizing mass sentiments” and that utopian communities emerged around Teresa and other famous Borderlands santones (La Llorona’s Children 138–39). The Procesantes represent all those devotees, be it Mayo or Yaqui Indians or peasants from Tomóchic, who identified the power and symbolism of the Niña de Cábora and used them to transform themselves and their circumstances. Above all the other levels of the stage are Porfirio Díaz and his power machinery. He and his comrades are supreme, they see and know everything and

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dominate the country. Díaz appears in the play as a distorted silhouette but his decisions are the law, and are immediately executed. Once Díaz and El General realize the gravity of the situation, they make an example of Tomóchic, Teresa and her people, for the rest of the country. This ill-prepared and badly trained peasant militia of one hundred and fifty should not have humiliated the Mexican army as they do in several encounters. With no peaceful solution, Díaz expels Teresa, her father and Aguirre from Mexico, and sends more troops to Tomóchic. The fury and ire of Díaz depicted in Scene 18, as he learns that his men have been defeated yet one more time, is extreme. Subsequently he orders El General to annihilate the rebellious and their families in Tomóchic: DÍAZ. Elija usted los mejores hombres de la escuela de cadetes, proporcióneles incluso artillería y, en dos columnas, póngalos al mando de Rancel y el coronel Torres. Quiero no menos de novecientos hombres en pie de guerra. (Pausa) Y no quiero prisioneros, ni juicio alguno. Mátelos en caliente. . . . Allá Dios y su poder, como ellos dicen, se encargará de explicarles las normas que rigen el destino de los hombres en la dura tierra. (Castillo, La fuerza divina 57) “DÍAZ. You choose the best men from the cadet school, even providing artillery for them, and in two columns, put Rancel and Colonel Torres in charge of them. I want no less than nine hundred men at the start of war. (pause) I do not want prisoners, or a trial. Kill them at once. . . . There God and his power, as they say, will be in charge for explaining to them the norms governing the destiny of men in this hard world.”

After having given numerous chances to the Tomochiteco rebellion, Díaz’ army destroys the town and kills every single person, including women and children, to root out the subversives. The last words spoken by the General reference the title of the play and suggest the improbability of a victory by the Tomochitecos against the governmental forces of Diaz, for this battle was already lost before it started. The Tomochitecos were relics of another time and fought with antiquated weapons against a well-prepared army in a country looking for order and progress at the dawn of the twentieth century. Teresa and her followers challenged and destabilized the Power of Diaz’ and local government and the Catholic Church. They were seen as a fanatic group that needed to be eliminated because they had angered and were in conflict with “both civil and ecclesiastical authorities” and therefore the Tomochitecos “become objects of a policy of extermination” (Monsiváis, Mexican Postcards 131). Teresa Urrea, the folk saint with a mystic message mixed in with politics, was not understood in her lifetime. In the last scene Teresa is seen motionless. The balance of power existing at the beginning of the play is restored in scene 25. Porfirio Díaz continues

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being in control of Mexico as his new manifest is read out loud by a spokesperson: PREGONERO. Tuvimos que actuar, entonces, para hacerles entender que la Presidencia de la República, es decir, la autoridad soberana de la nación, no depende de la voluntad o el deseo de un grupo minoritario de ciudadanos armados, porque ello abriría en nuestra historia un siniestro período de anarquía cuyo imperio y consecuencia nadie puede prever. El gobierno podrá haber cometido errores, pero en cambio, también ha sabido defender a su patria y servirla con lealtad. (Castillo, La fuerza divina 69). “PREGONERO. We had to act, then, to make them understand that the Presidency of the Republic, that is to say, the sovereign authority of the nation, does not depend on the will or wish of a minority group of armed citizens, because it would open our history to a sinister period of anarchy whose empire and consequence nobody can foresee. The government may have committed mistakes, but instead, it has also managed to defend the country and serve it with loyalty.”

Rocío Galicia regards this official statement as a clear example of how close past and present are in Mexico and how government discourse has been unaltered for years even after the Mexican Revolution (Galicia, Tomóchic 279). After this battle Teresa no longer can telepathically communicate with Josefina and her people and feels her power dwindling. Far away in the United States in her new role as an exile, Teresa was not able to effectively lead or help her people. Despite these adversities, she continued curing the sick who sought her and fought for the freedom of Yaquis and Mayos: “Moving from one country to another, then state to state and city to city, Teresa Urrea left a permanent imprint in the minds and hearts of all the people she healed and supported. Urrea’s spiritual guidance is still called upon during the harshest and most desperate times” (Rosales). Even though the American media presented her story more as a curious circus-like act than a religious movement, it was not completely forgotten. Teresita was rediscovered in the 1960s by the Chicano movement, but interest in her has continued with the descendants of Cruz Chávez and other indigenous tribes. Over the years she lived in Texas, Arizona, and California. She had an impact in the neighborhoods she lived as in the case of El Paso’s El Segundo Barrio where: “Teresa Urrea continues to unite people of all races and classes. Many of Segundo’s residents have come together to form Colectivo Rezizte, a group protesting against the politicians and business owners involved with the plans to destroy their community” (Rosales). Teresa’s reputation in the U.S., seen as one of resistance, is that of a woman who learned to live in between two or perhaps more worlds.

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The events of the insurrection of Tomóchic and the role of Teresa Urrea are the focus of other plays. Tomóchic (el día en que se acabó el mundo) “Tomóchic (The Day the World Ended)” (1993) by Joaquín Cosío Osuna, and Tomóchic: la voluntad de un pueblo “Tomóchic: The People’s Will” (1991) by Humberto Robles, were written to commemorate the centenary of the Tomóchic tragedy. The plays explore this event as a precursor to the Mexican Revolution and the prominence of the state of Chihuahua as the cradle of social dissatisfaction (Sierra Soto 290–91). Once the facts of the revolt are presented, playwrights such as Cosío presume readers/spectators will view this as an unjust tragedy (Sierra Soto 291). In Robles’ play, the women who participated or witnessed the events as a group reclaim justice for the massacred of Tomóchic. Female playwrights have also written about Teresita’s life and story. The one-woman show La hechicera del norte, “The Witch of the North” by Úrsula Tania Mansur, was well-received. Teresita by Elena Díaz Bjorquist, written in English, is also about the life of the Santa. Sonoran playwright Roberto Corella has also written two plays about Teresa Urrea, Juego de naipes (2005) and Por siempre rosas: Santa de Cábora “For Ever Roses: The Saint of Cabora” (2004). Juego de naipes is a political thriller about the Tomóchic massacre. In the play, Teresa Urrea is described as political, ready and willing to promote the Tomóchic Rebellion. Yet upon hearing news of the massacre, she loses faith in her ministry and in Lauro Aguirre’s writings. Her personality changes as she is presented as a hysterical young girl unable to cope with the impact of her message on the people of Tomóchic and the Indian Border communities. Juego de naipes begins with the premise that all events taking place in Tomóchic and Cábora during Teresa Urrea’s time were played like poker cards by Porfirio Díaz and his machinery and by Lauro Aguirre, Teresa, and supporters. It also presents Santa Teresita Urrea as capable of falling in love and being a sensual young woman. The play offers a more accurate view of the historical Teresa Urrea, who was not only a revolutionary saint curandera, but also a mother and a lover. The Teresa Urrea of the literary and historical works mentioned in this chapter is a contradictory figure who does not seem to have fit in well during her time and who appears to have practiced a different kind of religion. According to Alex Nava, Teresita’s spirituality was a mixture of “Mexican, indigenous shamanism, and folk Catholicism, rather than traditional Christian mysticism” (503). This form of religiosity was only practiced and defended by fringe groups formed by the indigenous and poor descendants of the Spanish conquerors living in isolated mountain communities. Teresita and her followers believed they did not need the Church to receive any of the sacraments since her power came from God and she communicated directly with him. These issues aggravated and challenged her relationship with the

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Church. Nava indicates that Teresa’s uniqueness and power stemmed from her healing ministry and spiritual authority that allowed her to become “a powerful representative of these overlooked [indigenous] traditions” (508). The poor and discontented clamored for Teresa Urrea’s message of change and her healing hands because: “Through her mystical experiences, her healing ministry, and through her apocalyptic judgments, these groups had a voice that comforted many as well as disturbed and threatened the powers that be” (Nava 508). Teresa Urrea was a Mexican folk saint that lived “in between” cultures, nations, mysticisms, and millenarisms, she is an example for Norteños and Chicanos alike. C. EL TIRADITO The foundational stories of santones involve coincidences guided by a subconscious nomadic journey that makes a people want to revive these bodies or transform them into psychic characters that later will become the folk saints of the desert Borderlands—El Niño Fidencio, Juan Soldado, El Tiradito, Malverde, and the Santa de Cábora (Yépez 5). To carry out this mythical journey, hero-saints must descend into the depths of their being through a great epic adventure but at a disadvantage because they are somehow tied down. These saints are heroes who suffered punishments and defeats by the authorities of their time and rejected these accusations. The majority of the santones’s journeys mentioned in this chapter remain incomplete because, as indicated by Yépez, when alive there were no miracles “officially” attributed to them. Popular saints do not demonstrate their power until after death—with some exceptions like El Niño Fidencio and Teresa Urrea. Both Fidencio and Teresa were able to be reborn because of the gift of healing given to them, and to carry out journeys of hope in Espinazo and Cábora to finally complete their voyages with their deaths and subsequent rebirths through mediums. Juan de Olivera “El Tiradito” and Juan Castillo Morales, also known as “Juan Soldado,” are other santones who intercede for the poor and meek by granting miracles. La Capilla de los Deseos, “Shrine of Wishes,” is located on the southern side of the city of Tucson, Arizona in the Barrio Viejo neighborhood. People from all parts of the southwestern United States visit the shrine to honor El Tiradito and to pray to receive his magic powers. They ask El Tiradito to intercede on their behalf and leave him handwritten messages in small rolls of paper. According to the local legend, Olivera was a shepherd living during the second half of the nineteenth century (1870–1880) who fell in love with his mother-in-law. When the jealous husband discovered them having the

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affair, Juan fled. Finally the husband caught up with Juan and killed him leaving the body tirado “thrown away” in a vacant lot and lit candles at the location of his body. Most people believed that Olivera was killed in cold blood. The Catholic Church did not allow the neighbors to bury him in a cemetery due to his cardinal sin, and there was no option other than placing stones to cover his body. With time the townspeople began talking of the miracles that “El Tiradito” had performed. Antonio Zúñiga wrote one of the more interesting works discussing this santón. In El Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador, Antonio Zúñiga utilizes a mosaic of scenes showing the universal journey to the “Capilla de los Deseos or Capilla del Tiradito” undertaken by the protagonist, Irving. In the play the shrine’s location is shifted from Tucson to Phoenix, Arizona. This is a cyclical one-act drama with the last scene presented as a postscript. Zúñiga creates a mythical work that is both universal and local by utilizing a mixture of U.S.Mexico Border signifiers such as corridos, religious processions, the Border Patrol and militia (Minutemen), coyotes, combined with Border speech and native geography. Irvin’s journey represents all mojados “wetbacks” who cross the Border and his death is that of all tirados who are unsuccessful. The inhospitable desert between Sonora and Arizona plays a critical role in El Tiradito. The characters constantly mention the difficulties and dangers they encounter: MARY. Hemos de estar a 120 grados . . . GLYNNIS. Es que es el ombligo de la tierra. MARY. ¿Y? GLYNNIS. Ah, morra, como qué ¿y? Que este desierto está derechito al Sahara y tiene el mismo color del infierno . . . IRVING. Yo conozco el Sahara y no está tan caliente como aquí. (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 97) “MARY. It must be 120 degrees . . . GLYNNIS. Because it is the center of the earth. MARY. And? GLYNNIS. Ah, girl, what do you mean, and? Because this desert is going straight to the Sahara and it has the same hellish color of hell . . . IRVING. I know the Sahara and it is not as hot as here.”

Many illegal crossers have been abandoned in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in an area of the Arizona desert known as El camino del

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Diablo, “Devil’s Highway.” The name refers to the inhospitable areas with daily temperatures around 115º F. If a person were to lie down on the ground (normally some 30º F to 40º F hotter) to rest or pass out he/she will start to burn almost immediately (Cahill 5). Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge are located in the southeastern part of the state of Arizona adjacent to the state of Sonora (Cahill 2), and are likely scenarios for Irving’s misadventures in the play.10 In El Tiradito, an unknown man covered in a yellow tarp is found on the U.S.-Mexican Border. Subsequently, men, most likely from the Border Patrol, pick up his body. This incident opens and closes the play. Soon after, a helicopter is heard and a stretcher with a canvas covering the undocumented dead man is seen: “Luego se escucha un helicóptero de la Border Patrol que inspecciona el lugar. Hay voces de radio que llaman a la alerta. La cuadrilla de guardianes de la Border Patrol entra con una camilla, traen lámparas en la cabeza, trabajan sobre el cuerpo del indocumentado muerto, lo cubren con una lona y lo suben a una camilla” “Later a Border Patrol helicopter is heard inspecting the place. There are radio voices calling an alert. The crew of guardians of the Border Patrol arrives with a stretcher wearing headlamps, they work on the body of the undocumented dead man, cover him with a tarp and place him on a stretcher” (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 131). Then, a procession of women is seen carrying Irving to the Shrine to El Tiradito: “Levantan a Irving quien parece dormido. Avanzan hasta la orilla de la tierra en donde ahora se puede ver la Capilla de los Deseos. Ahí colocan a Irving en el centro” “They pick up Irving who seems asleep. They advance until the edge of the earth where the Capilla de los Deseos can now be seen. There they place him up in the center” (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 131). The “Ode to El Tiradito” is heard as it was heard at the beginning of the play. El Tiradito presents a man’s journey as a cycle, first as an unknown person wandering in the desert who then becomes Irving. In the end he is gunned down like an animal by Billy the Kid, a militia “minuteman,” suffering the same destiny as the many unknown “Juan Does” that die in the Arizona desert. The cycle is completed once the body being put on a stretcher is no longer that of Irving’s but instead has transformed into the body of an undocumented man. The women of the procession pick up the body and take it to the Capilla de los Deseos so that he can also be united in death with Juan de Olivera “El Tiradito.” The unknown body represents the thousands of anonymous bodies on the Border that require burial. The play focuses on the ten-year journey undertaken by the enigmatic Irving. A native of Ithaca, Irvin represents the modern Ulysses of the Borderlands. In the play he is described as a young man who wears a jacket and baseball hat (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 73). He has been forced to leave his homeland (the poorest country in the area). Irving is seen carrying a heavy suitcase containing a

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doll through most of the play. It represents his daughter, and when she speaks, his memories materialize. During his journey he passes through El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 89). His trajectory mirrors that of many immigrants who are forced to emigrate to Mexico and the U.S. During the play Irving meets many of the local people of the region such as Honokan of the Tohono O’odham Nation.11 Honokan helps undocumented migrants by setting up water stations along crossing paths in the desert and by giving them directions in this vast, inhospitable, and arid space. He will appear to Irving in key moments of the play. In the first dialogue between Honokan and Irving, it is possible to guess the final outcome of the traveler: HONOKAN. ¿Y ahora para dónde vas? IRVING. A Phoenix primero, ya luego me regreso a Ítaca. HONOKAN. Estás errado . . . este desierto no lleva a Ítaca. IRVING. ¿Adónde lleva? HONOKAN. A la Capilla de los Deseos. IRVING. ¿Y eso qué es? HONOKAN. Donde vive el Tiradito que todos dicen que es un santo, pero yo digo que no (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 89). “HONOKAN. And now where are you going? IRVING. To Phoenix first, then I’ll return to Ithaca. HONOKAN. You’re wrong . . . this desert doesn’t go to Ithaca. IRVING: Where does it lead? HONOKAN. To the Capilla de los Deseos. IRVING. And what is that? HONOKAN. Where the Tiradito lives, whom everyone calls a saint, but I say he is not.”

In this encounter Honokan convinces Irving to change his course, and instead of going to Ithaca, he goes to the Capilla de los Deseos, a place from which the women will later carry his dead body. Honokan howls when Kid guns down Irving. During his travels, Irving also encounters the dangerous characters about whom he was warned by Honokan. Rocío Galicia believes that in this desert odyssey of the twenty-first century, Irving encounters updated mythical characters faced by Ulysses in a distant past (26). He first meets two mermaids,

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Glynnis and Mary, who are both marijuana traffickers. Billy the Kid is a hunter and member of the Minuteman militia, a group that patrols the Border with large weapons and technology. Toribio and Juan are Cyclops who work as human traffickers and as santones planning to take Irving’s money. He also sees a procession of women that march towards the Tiradito shrine and meets Hellen Miller. She is described as a modern Circe of the Borderlands who is a psychic and fortune-teller (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 117). She also can go into a trance and communicate with Irving’s family: his mother and his wife Dolores (Lola), who unlike Penelope did not wait for him, even after knitting for many years. El Tiradito is a play that involves sounds—music, songs, prayers, howls, nature, noise. The incessant cacophony of the play culminates in Toribio’s murder as explained by the stage directions: Todo es ahora lamento. Un arrastrar de voces que son el viento. Un viento triste que viene del sur. El rugir del viento se mezcla con las voces de los personajes que aparecen para decir algo y otras que se escuchan en el ambiente como ecos. Van en crescendo hasta la locura estridente. (Zúñiga, El Tiradito 111). “Now everything is lament. A trail of voices which are the wind. A sad wind comes from the south. The roar of the wind is mixed with the voices of the characters that appear to say something that others can hear in the environment like echoes. They reach a crescendo towards shrill insanity.”

Irving kills Toribio by stabbing him fifteen times and blinding his only eye while Juan the Cyclop curses Irving. In this menacing and hybrid desert the sounds of Mexican and American songs, gunshots and helicopters come and go. American commercials, voices of protesters and friendly voices can be heard in the distance in an environment that appears to be a mirage. There is a contrast between the vastness and serenity of the Arizona desert as opposed to the intrusion and chaos of modern life created by the new travelers who traverse the landscape. Zúñiga’s play forces its readers to reflect on the true meaning of the word immigration. According to theologian Dan Groody to immigrate has meant having to go, for thousands of years, through periods of privation, hunger, confusion, poverty, loneliness, uncertainty and enormous vulnerability so that we can be more sensitive to today’s immigrants (435–36). In El Tiradito, Antonio Zúniga focuses on the journey made by thousands of immigrants until they reach la Capilla de los Deseos to see how the santón influences the present. He also shines a spotlight on the journeys of devotion and gratitude made by Juan de Olivera’s devotees rather than representing his life in a dramatized form. El Tiradito is not the only saint or miraculous anima to

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secure his immortality by a tragic death; Juan Soldado also died an unjust death and became a well-known and venerated santón in some parts of the Border. Southwestern folklorist James Griffith calls both santones “victim intercessors.” Their followers believe that they intervene and mediate for them directly to God but unlike the other saints, their stories are not known (Griffith 40). D. JUAN SOLDADO PATRON SAINT OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND OTHER SANTONES Borders of all types are formative places for religious production. In “Metaphor and Place: The U.S.-Mexico Border as Center and Periphery in the Interpretation of Religion” Luis León views the Borderlands as a metaphor and place that is, and has been, simultaneously a center and a periphery for the religions of Mexico and the U.S. The religions and folk saints emerge through patterns of Border crossings where the two borders, symbolic and physical, crisscross to produce variations in the religious formations. Some scholars refer to this process of ferment as the creation of to a poetics of religion at the Border. To complete the discussion about religion in the Borderlands, it is necessary to examine Border Santo by Virginia Hernández. This work discusses illegal and dangerous Border crossings and encapsulates the essence of the faith and culture that nurtures this area of the world. Border Santo presents the artificial man-made system capable of creating Border folk saints in a compelling and encompassing way. The author criticizes preachers and religious agents who take advantage and swindle the poor with their talk about the existence of popular saints and their ability to protect, intercede, and fulfill their petitions. Border Santo presents topics with a variety of signifiers. There are two clear themes that simultaneously coexist in the play: illegal immigration and the popular beliefs of the people. Secondary topics included are illegal drug trafficking, the Border Patrol, and Mexican-Americans in the Borderlands. This chapter focuses on the religious aspects of the play, while chapter 1 discussed the topic of illegal immigration. Kirsten Nigro has described the unique blend of Border Santo: “es un híbrido teatral que mezcla el mito y la historia, lo cómico con lo trágico, lo metafórico con lo literal, el teatro de carpa con otros de corte realista, lo lírico con lo prosaico” “Border Santo is a theatrical hybrid that mixes myth with history, comedy with tragedy, the metaphorical with the literal, teatro de carpa ‘itinerant tent theater or show’ with realistic theater, the lyrical with the prosaic” (Nigro 20). Genres and themes are mixed in order to form a melting pot. The play masterfully

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presents these layers, and opens and explores them. These coatings brilliantly display the contemporary religion of the Borderlands. Border Santo is composed of twenty-six scenes of different lengths. They discuss the crossings that take place at or near the Border fence and present the devotees of many saints praying and asking for protection. These scenes happen inside a chapel located under the big top of a circus. According to the religious-narrative line, a new saint has emerged, the Saint of the Migratory Pilgrims, and persons follow the figure of the saint from town to town. “El Santo Peregrino” or “El Santo” represents any entity that people believe can intercede on their behalf. His figurine is displayed on an altar traveling across the small towns of the Northern Mexican Border while the faithful follow on foot. The saint’s altar has many uses in the play—a mausoleum, chapel, and circus. Stage directions in scene VI describe the multiple-task altar: “El lugar está lleno de flores y veladoras, como panteón en día de muertos. Es el altar una especie de carpa como las de las ferias, ya vieja de tanto trajín, como en esas carpas en donde exhiben a los fenómenos o a mujer que se convirtió en araña por desobedecer a sus padres” “The place is full of flowers and candles, as a pantheon in the day of the dead. The altar is a sort of tent similar to those used in fairs, already worn out from so much hustle and bustle, as in the tents where they exhibit oddities such as a woman who became a spider for having disobeyed her parents” (Hernández, Border Santo 166). Therefore the Santo and his followers are presented within an artistic environment that is a mixture of religion, ritual, and commercialization where everyone and everything is guided by financial profits. El Santo Peregrino is the sum of all folk saints of the Border and official saints of the Catholic Church. His main mission is to help the undocumented cross the Border to the U.S. illegally. Virginia Hernández creates an ambiguous atmosphere by constructing a saint that has qualities of Juan Soldado, Malverde, Virgin of Guadalupe, and Saint Death. Nigro believes El Santo in Hernández’ play bears closest resemblance to Juan Soldado: “Tomando como punto de partida la fe popular en figuras como Juan Soldado, patrón de los emigrantes (quien aquí se convierte en el Border Santo), Hernández condena la explotación de la religiosidad del pueblo mexicano a manos de impostores y fanáticos” “Taking as a starting point popular faith in figures such as Juan Soldado, patron saint of emigrants (who in the play becomes the Border Saint), Hernández condemns the exploitation of religiosity of the Mexican people in the hands of impostors and fanatics” (Border Santo 20). In the play one can observe el Vendedor 1 “Seller 1” shouting aloud the many exceptional talents of the Migratory Saint and in doing so revealing his uncanny resemblance to Juan Soldado: “El santo lo escucha todo. Le adivina el pensamiento. Pero tenga cuidado, si una duda le atraviesa. No cruza” “The

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saint hears everything. He reads people’s minds. But be careful, if a doubt crosses you, you won’t cross” (Hernández, Border Santo 167). The Santo Peregrino is there to help his followers cross the Border and to intercede on their behalf each time a believer needs a favor. Juan Soldado “John The Soldier” is a Borderlands’ santón who provides help on health and criminal matters, and on grave challenges, such as crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. He has a large number of devotees on both sides of the Border. In an environment characterized by unemployment and rivalries between unions, the unspeakable occurred when young Olga Camacho died on February 13, 1938 in Tijuana, Baja California. She was the daughter of one of the union leaders. The perpetrator of this heinous and sensationalist crime was found to be a young army private by the name of Juan Castillo Morales, twenty-four years of age. He had moved with his wife to Tijuana in the 1930s. During that period, Prohibition (1933) had just ended in the U.S. and Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas had declared all casinos illegal in Mexico (1935), including the famous Casino Agua Caliente located in Tijuana. The closing of this institution created instability and fragility in a city that was also suffering from high unemployment. When it was announced that Olga’s assassin had been captured, a crowd demanded his death. A multitude gathered outside the prison where Castillo Morales was being held and preceded to burn it along with the municipal palace. In order to calm the mob, the army held a short and quick military trial and Castillo Morales was found guilty. On February 17, 1938 the army applied the “ley fuga” “Law of flight” (the lynch law of Latin American justice) to Juan Castillo Morales in the cemetery of the city and riddled his body with bullets as he tried to escape the scene. His body was left in the same place where he fell to his death. People began leaving rocks to bury him in a way similar to El Tiradito. Soon after, strange events began happening around his tomb. Cries were heard and blood was seen. Castillo Morales’ followers started preaching that a sergeant, not Juan Soldado, was Olga’s assassin and he had framed Juan by making him go to the crime scene to incriminate himself. At this time people started to speak of Juan as a victim: “víctima de un sistema injusto que culpa al inocente indefenso y pobre” “a victim of an unjust system that blames the defenseless and poor innocent” (Ungerleider) and recounted the miracles he had performed. The people believe that Juan Soldado intercedes for the poor and helps them with their health. Ignored by the Church and government, he helps the people successfully cross the Border illegally, improve family relations, and more. Presently, there are two chapels that have been built in his honor at the same cemetery where he is believed to have died. It is customary for his followers to go to the chapel and steal a rock near the candles and make a petition. Once the petition has been fulfilled, the person must return it. His followers

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consider Juan Soldado more than a saint. He is an anima that intercedes on their behalf directly to God. Hernández writes in the introduction to Border Santo that her play is loosely inspired by other literary sources. Specifically, she credits works and characters of Juan Rulfo and Oscar Liera as an inspiration of Border Santo: “Algunos textos y personajes han sido extraídos del imaginario de Oscar Liera y Juan Rulfo” “Some texts and characters were extracted from the imaginary of Oscar Liera’s and Juan Rulfo” (161). The short story “Anacleto Morones” by Rulfo, included in the collection El llano en llamas (1953), discusses the topic of false saints. A group devout churchwomen, Las Congregantes, visits Lucas Lucatero because of Niño Anacleto. The women expect Lucas to reaffirm the sanctity of El Niño without realizing that Anacleto is buried in Lucas’ house. One day Anacleto tried to rob from Lucas and then flee to El Norte. To protect himself Lucas accidentally killed him in self-defense. In the story Anacleto is described ambiguously as a miraculous boy saint and as an abuser and charlatan. Towards the end of his life, Anacleto was sent to prison and Lucas Lucatero called him a liar, thief, false saint or santero, and a true devil: “era el vivo demonio” “was the devil incarnate.” The Beatas or crazy devout or pious women from Border Santo and the Congregantes in “Anacleto Morones” resemble one another.12 Their overly devout ways and blind faith lead them to want to canonize Anacleto and El Santo respectively. Even though Lucas tries to explain the unsaintly ways of Anacleto, impregnating his own daughter and using his sainthood as an excuse to sleep with women, no one seems to believe these accusations. Another source of inspiration for Border Santo is the character of Susana San Juan from the novel Pedro Páramo (1955). She represents a religion that combines superstition and popular beliefs to save humankind. Realizing her situation, Susana uses her insanity as a refuge from the Church, her reality, patriarchy, and the violence of the Mexican Revolution. Oscar Liera’s dramaturgy, characters and themes, is also a source of Border Santo and will be discussed in chapter 4. Border Santo mixes musical and burlesque shows with religious processions, and human smuggling with drug trafficking. Beneath the religious theme of the play there is great serious satire of all the unscrupulous swindlers who exploit the beliefs of people in need. In one of the many parallel stories of the play, a group of actors is preparing a burlesque show with Martha Sarabia, the star of the performance, along with a group of strippers called the Triatas de San Clemente. Implausibly, the same individuals are in charge of two other performances: “the Santo Peregrino Show” and “the illegal crossings at the border show,” but the faithful followers of the Santo and the emigrants who want to cross the Border don’t seem to see the connection between any of these “happenings.” Every time the altar arrives at a new town for the “Santo Peregrino

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Show,” its production requires the use of lights, spotlights, platforms, decorations, a ticket office, and tickets. For instance in Scene IX the same big top is used for “The Martha Sarabia Show” and “The Santo Peregrino Show,” yet the public that attends does not find this fact strange. El Gabacho is the manager of all the shows and oversees the Santo Peregrino itinerant shrine. Beneath all these displays there is a hidden purpose: these people use the trailer truck where they carry the Santo through towns to smuggle humans and drugs across the Border. El Frontera acts as commentator and master of ceremonies and, at times towards the end, directly addresses the audience. In Border Santo the theatrical show is emphasized, as it does not hide that what it presents is but an artifice created simply to take advantage of simple people in northern Mexico with beliefs in local legends and syncretic practices. In Border Santo a new santón has surfaced. A new virgin, the Santa Virgen Partulenta de la Asención de los Álamos “The Saint of Childbirth and of the Ascention of the Alamos,” has appeared to a group of religious fanatics (Hernández, Border Santo 199). The unlikely name of the new saint illustrates how irrational the religious fervor surrounding new folk saints can be. James Griffith suggests this model of dissemination for special devotion to a saint is logical and done in certain areas of the Borderlands: “The pattern is a familiar one in folk Catholicism. One finds oneself in great need and hears of a saint or spirit by whom a friend or relative has been helped. One tries him or her out, and if the miracle is delivered, one passes the information onto one’s own circle of friends” (36). The same way that a new folk saint may emerge in a certain region, so can he/she lose popularity and devotees as in the case of “El difunto Leyva.” He was a popular santón in Ojinaga, Chihuahua in the 1920s, who is virtually unknown today (Griffith 39–40). In Hernández’ play, all the characters realize their need for a brand new saint to fulfill distinct goals. In Border Santo the local townspeople desperately need a new saint to take the place of the missing Santo Peregrino. This necessity leads Comandante Artemio to ask the town’s priest if he can possibly invent another santo in order to stop the mob of crazy beatas, church fanatic women, from attacking the authorities and causing problems in their town: COMANDANTE. Mire, Padre. Estas mujeres ya hasta apedrearon al fuereño que viene a investigar. Uste sabe que los Álamos es ejemplo de gobierno en todo el estado y está bajo mi responsabilidad que lo continúe siendo. No podemos permitirnos el que se nos marque de alboroteros allá en la capital. ¿Pa qué quiere que se arme luego una guerra civil y luego con qué cara yo los puedo defender? Yo pienso que a usté sí le van a hacer caso. Hable con las viejas y póngalas a rezar pa que se aplaquen. Invénteles otro santito o saque alguno que tenga por ahí empolvado. El chiste es que dejen de moler.

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EL PADRE. No seas cabezón, Artemio. Los santos no se pueden sacar de la manga así como así. Eso sería sacrilegio. Con la fe no se juega. (Hernández, Border Santo 184) “COMANDANTE. Look, Father. These women have even stoned the outsider who has come to investigate. You know that Los Alamos is an example of the government throughout the state and it falls under my responsibility. We cannot afford to be labeled as rioters in the capital. Why do you want a civil war to start and then how can I have the power to defend them? I think they are really going to listen to you. Talk with the old bags and have them pray so that they calm down. Invent another saint or take out a dusty one for them. The joke is that they stop grinding. EL PADRE. Don’t be big-headed. A saint cannot be taken out from a sleeve just like that. That would be sacrilegious. You don’t play with faith.”

But the devout women cannot be satisfied until there is a new saint to fill the void left by the Santo Peregrino. The dialogue between the Comandante and the priest indicates that the practice of inventing saints in the north of Mexico is very common, and sometimes, unscrupulous. In Border Santo the beatas are certain that Soledad, the poor moribund woman who is also in labor, will give birth to the Santo Peregrino. Everyone believes that the santo will be reincarnated in this town. In a scene full of irony and black humor, Soledad feebly whispers her husband’s name (Asunción) but the beatas are convinced that she is instead saying Ascención or “Ascension.” They see this as a sign of sanctity without trying to find more logical explanations. Despite the priest’s pleas, the women refuse to take Soledad to a hospital to deliver her baby: EL PADRE. Por amor de Dios, recapaciten. ¡Esa mujer se está muriendo! ¡Bájenla de allí y llévenla a la clínica! BEATA 2. ¿Cómo va a ser, padre? Si las señales no se equivocan, ¿Qué no ve que en cuantito desapareció el Santo Peregrino, a luego se encontraron sus santísimas huellecitas dirigiéndose para acá, y eso lo dijo el chamaco de mi compadre que siempre está enterado de todo lo que pasa en el pueblo? EL PADRE. ¿Y eso qué tiene que ver con esta mujer? LA BEATA. ¿Pos cómo qué? ¿Qué no ve claramente las señales? El Santo Peregrino ha escogido a este pueblo pa volver a nacer del cuerpo de la ungida, pa que le pongamos su nicho. Y a eso vamos, padre, a escogerle su lugar en la iglesia. (Inician la procesión y salen cantando. El Padre sale tras ellos) (Hernández, Border Santo 188–89). “EL PADRE. For the love of God, reconsider. That woman is dying! Let her down from there and take her to the clinic!

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BEATA 2. How it is going to be, father? The signs are not mistaken. Do you not see that as soon as the Santo Peregrino disappeared, then holy little footprints were found heading towards here, and this was said by my buddy’s kid who is always aware of everything that happens in the town? EL PADRE. And what does that have to do with this woman? LA BEATA. What do you mean? Don’t you clearly see the signs? The Santo Peregrino has chosen this town to be born again in the body of the anointed woman, so that we can set his holy glass niche here. And that’s what we are getting to, padre, we want to choose his place in the church (They start the procession and exit singing. El Padre exits behind them).”

When the play ends (scene XXV) the devout women have created a monstrous being of Soledad and still refuse to listen to the priest. They have transformed her into a “maniquí de cartón de piedra alzada en un nicho” “cardboard mannequin made of erected rock raised in glass” (Hernández, Border Santo 198).13 This scene demonstrates how folk saints are born in small Borderlands communities. For example, the beatas will mention the new santo to their family and friends. When the santo grants them a wish or performs a miracle, people begin adhering to the cult of the new folk saint. El Frontera explains, as a final irony, that the beatas also died in a church fire and instantly became martyrs and saints. The play proposes that an unending number of individuals will almost continually be asked to perform the endless Border Santo persona. Armando Partida writes that in Virginia Hernández’ play, audiences are asked to observe the change of a myth: “Aquí asistimos al cambio del mito y por ende al cambio del rito, consecuencia de las transformaciones de la realidad fronteriza, determinadas por la necesidad de la gente de sobrevivir a como dé lugar al igual que por la penetración religiosa estadounidense” “Here we witness the change of the myth and therefore the change of the rite, a consequence of the transformations of border reality, determined by the need of the people to survive in whichever way possible, just as they have done because of the religious penetration from the United States” (90). The people of the Borderlands live in the liminal state where religions and beliefs are transformed to display a history of shamanism, colonization, violence, and marginality and give a voice and identity to those living in these communities along the U.S.-Mexican line. In Border Santo the characters pray for the coming of new saints and subsequently have ceremonies in their honor. Much has been written about “ceremonies within plays” and their use as metatheatrical devices. In Drama, Metadrama, and Perception (1986) Richard Hornby mentions five distinctive types of metadrama seen in plays. Hornby states that ceremonies are part of us because they are “vestiges of our primitive past.” We can only

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find ourselves or verify our past if “we too employ ceremony to understand our world and ourselves” (Hornby 52). “Ceremonies within plays” may function to orient human beings because they “are cultural guide-posts to the important issues for that culture” (Stoll 1343). For critic Laing Fei, “Ceremonies within plays” show a contemporary world where they no longer have the same significance: “but the characters attempt to make meaning out of their trivial life by inventing their own ‘ritual’ or ‘ceremonies’” (100). In Border Santo the “ceremonies within the play” observed create unity within groups of believers. Their santones, even if invented, serve to create group cohesion and even social change and to reach an unconscious mysticism of the Borderlands. As already observed, santones and their followers all practice a syncretic type of marginal mysticism that has gone through much transition: the indigenous shamanic traditions (since Conquest) mixed in with Christianity (since the Reformation) creating a spiritual and revolutionary religious practice. El niño del diamante en la cabeza: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora Constantino, La fuerza divina, El Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador, and Border Santo are plays that show how spirituality is lived in deserts and Border-towns at the U.S.-Mexico periphery at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century. In this vast, desolate, irregular, dangerous, and uneven terrain it is necessary to cling to dogma coexisting in a media-like desert of changing reality and technology. The popularity of religious figures such as El Niño Fidencio, Teresita Urrea, El Tiradito, or Juan Soldado represents and confirms the large-scale dissatisfaction and uneasiness among the people, and has simultaneous religious, social, political, and economic dimensions (Nava 514). The santones are of the same social and geographical origin as the people who follow them so that he/she may intercede for all of those new “tiraditos.” The stories of these santones (Teresita Urrea and El Niño Fidencio) are found in their famous lives as curanderos full of miracles and cures for multitudes of believers. Upon receiving the gift of healing Teresita and Fidencio suffer a transformation that they must make available to all who seek their help, so that after their deaths their gifts by means of the “mediums” or “Cajitas” may continue. The stories of other santones (Juan Soldado and El Tiradito) are informed by the fact that hardly anything is known or can be proven about their real lives except that they suffered horrible deaths and miracles started to be attributed to them posthumously. People still go on long or short pilgrimages to visit the tombs of Niño Fidencio, Juan Soldado, and El Tiradito. The poor and sick in Mexican society will not cease to gravitate to the unofficial santones until their situation improves and authentic socio-political

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Figure 3.4.  Animas y Santones. Source: Libros de Godot. Animas y Santones, Reprinted by permission of Libros de Godot. Compiler, Rocío Galicia. Designer, Alejandro Magallanes. Playwrights, Enrique Mijares, Antonio Zúñiga, and Alejandro Román.

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change has occurred. Other Border santos not mentioned in this chapter such as don Pedrito Jaramillo, Pancho Villa, and Selena Pérez Quintanilla have many followers.14 New santos continue appearing and will surely attract a following of faithful devotees in the future. Such is the pattern of myth and religion on the U.S.-Mexico Border. As stated by León, the migratory movement between Mexico and the U.S. will continue the unending cycle and blending of faiths (Catholicism, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Curanderismo, and espiritualismo) with economic and political systems. By placing Borderland santones in the “in between” space of the sacred and the marginal, they offer the possibility of hope to a common people that live at the margins of society and suffer of poverty and sickness. NOTES 1.  I have borrowed the term from Carlos Monsiváis. The term “mística de la marginalidad” is discussed in his book Los rituales del caos (Mexico City: Era, 1995) 106–107. 2. James Griffith, Folk Saints of the Borderlands: Victims, Bandits & Healers (Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo P, 2003) 134, describes how Fidencio had organized the location where he cured people in Espinazo: “A room was dedicated for surgery, and another room held glass jars containing tumors that had been removed. . . . There was a maternity ward, a place set aside for the insane, a separate place for the lepers, and a school. And there was also a cemetery.” 3.  Griffith 129, mentions that at 3:00 a.m. on August 15, 1927 Fidencio was sitting underneath a pirul tree praying to God and contemplating human suffering in opposition to God’s true love. It was at this moment that Fidencio received instructions from the Divina Providencia to have a big encounter in cerro de la Campana on March 19, 1928. This is the way that Niño Fidencio’s true calling and mission as a healer started. 4.  Griffith 130, says that “many of his [Fidencio’s] costume changes were captured on film.” 5.  Griffith 134, indicates that Fidencio was under the constant watch of the health authorities of the state of Nuevo León and of the Catholic Church: “During the last years of his life, Fidencio was under almost constant attack. . . . He was twice arrested and taken before tribunals in Monterrey, but without conviction.” 6.  Colosio’s death reflects the decay and corruption of the Mexican political parties and of Mexico’s revolutionary project. Sergio González Rodríguez, El hombre sin cabeza (Barcelona: Anagrama, 2009) 62, believes that Colosio’s assassination in 1994 closed one cycle (seven decades of domination by the PRI party). Griffith includes Luis Donaldo Colosio as a new santón. 7.  A cinematographic version of Urrea’s book was to start filming in April, 2011 starring Antonio Banderas and Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth) and directed by Luis Mandoki.

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 8. Rocío Galicia thinks that these three spaces allude to the Urrea ranch in Sonora, Teresa’s exile in the United States, and Porfirio Diaz’ office in Mexico City. Rocío Galicia “Tomóchic y la santa de Cabora: ficciones y fricciones” Mecanismos de fabulación en la dramaturgia mexicana actual y la identidad revolucionaria, Ed. Rosa María Sáenz (Chihuahua, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, 2010) 277.   9.  Griffith 49–50, Spiritism followed the writings of Allan Kardek who in the middle of the nineteenth century “claimed that the spirits of the dead could maintain contact with those of the living through dreams. There were both good and bad spirits. . . . Mediums were individuals whose spirits were specially attuned for this task of communication.” The Catholic Church thought of Mediums as frauds. The spiritists believed that Jesus Christ had been a famous medium but they denied the existence of a God. Griffith is of the idea that the Mexican working class has adopted and incorporated Spiritist beliefs in their Catholic faith. 10. Tim Cahill, “Border Patrol: Along the Devil’s Highway,” National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Aug. 2006 http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/border-patrol/tim-cahill.html. In this article Cahill informs that Cabeza Prieta is an area almost the size of the state of Rhode Island with seven mountain chains and only two paved roads. “El Camino del Diablo” is the most traveled of these roads. Illegal human trafficking exploded in this area in the year 2002 when coyotes started bringing groups of up to 100 persons. If someone from the group is weak or suffers any type of problem, the coyotes will abandon him/her. This intensifies even more in a place such as Cabeza Prieta because drug runners often use this route to carry some forty pounds of marijuana in backpacks in groups of 5 to 15 persons. Some humanitarian groups indicate that the number of persons who died crossing the Border in the sector covered by the Tucson Border Patrol (and that includes two areas already mentioned) in 2009 was 279 and that since 1995 more than 4,000 persons have perished. Similarly, the documentary Crossing Arizona (2006) illustrates many of the aforementioned points and indicates that it is estimated that around 4,500 persons cross the Arizona Border in these extreme desert areas daily. The number of dead cannot be verified because bodies are not always found due to the severe conditions and total isolation of the Arizona desert. The majority of the dead and missing are men searching for jobs. Recently there has been an increase in the number of women and children crossing the Border illegally in these areas. Zuñiga’s play takes place in an inhospitable spot of the Arizona desert similar to “El camino del Diablo.” 11. I find the name of the character Honokam interesting because it was the name of an ancient Arizonan tribe that used to cross the Devil’s Highway as a form of cyclical journey. Tim Cahill mentions in his article that The Honokam were “a historic tribe that lived near what is now Phoenix, used to pass this way on annual shell-collecting pilgrimages to the Sea of Cortez. They flourished from about a.d. 300 to 1400, then mysteriously vanished.” Cahill http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ adventure/border-patrol/tim-cahill.html. 12. Carlos Monsívais, Mexican Postcards. Trans. John Kraniauskas (London: Verso, 1997) 127, thinks that the story of Anacleto Morones is a clear example, even if exaggerated, of Messianic cults in Mexico and their impact in contemporary society: “This is only a caricature. Today, however, now that the belief in the cult of

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progress has been seriously dented, it may be possible to begin to understand such popular phenomena.” 13.  Similar to this recounting of Soledad’s fate, so has Juan Soldado been transformed with the passage of time from his original picture of army private to an almost comic-like bust not resembling the real man at all. 14. Hugo Salcedo’s Selena: La Reina del Tex-Mex (1999) and Enrique Mijares’ trilogy ¿Herraduras al centauro? (1997) are two plays that present popular heroes of the Borderlands. Some of these heroes are also considered as belonging to the new pantheon of Border saints. In this chapter the most important Border saints or santones were discussed. Even though many now speak of the young Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla Pérez and Mexican revolutionary leader and bandido Pancho Villa as saints, there have not been enough miracles credited to them yet to include in the pantheon. Salcedo first used a Chicana character, the young Selena, in his play Selena, la reina del Tex-Mex: Obra en doce cuadros (1999). In the play, Selena, achieved her “cross over dream” and is hailed by her people, but ironically succeeds only after her death and Lake Jackson, Texas becomes the new Galilee where Abraham Quintanilla and his people have returned. Like the characters in these works, U.S. Hispanics and those living in Border areas are continually forced to cross geographical, political and cultural boundaries. The trilogy Herraduras al Centauro “Horseshoes to Villa Centaur of the North” (1997) by Mijares questions whether it is necessary to revise the image of General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, the Centaur of the North, for history’s sake and future generations. Additionally, Mijares chooses one of the most important myths of the U.S.-Mexico Border to define itself as a people and as a geographical area.

WORKS CITED Booth, William, and Cheryl Thompson. “Border Patrol Continues Search for Missing Migrant: 14 Died in Arizona Desert After Being Abandoned by Smugglers.” The Washington Post. 25 May 2001, national ed.: A3. Print. Cahill, Tim and John Annerino photographer. “Border Patrol: Along the Devil’s Highway.” National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Aug. 2006. Web. http://www .nationalgeographic.com/adventure/border-patrol/tim-cahill.html. Castillo, Arturo. La fuerza divina. Mexico City: CONACULTA/INBA, 1994. Corella, Roberto. Juego de naipes. Dramared.com. 2005. Web. Jan. 15, 2011. http:// www.dramared.com/JuegodenaipesCorella.pdf. Crossing Arizona. Dir. Dan De Vivo and Joseph Matthew Dir. Rainlake Film, 2006. Domecq, Brianda. La insólita historia de la Santa de Cabora. Mexico City: Planeta, 1990. Print. Duran, Javier. “La mística de la marginalidad: Jesusa Palancares, la Santa de Cabora y los límites de la nación en la narrativa de escritoras mexicanas contemporáneas.” Texto Crítico: Centro de Investigaciones Lingüístico-literaria de la Universidad Veracruzana. 10 (enero-junio 2002): 225–241. Web. 10 Aug. 2014. http://cdigital .uv.mx/handle/123456789/7924. Frías, Heriberto. Tomóchic. Mexico City: Porrua, 1968. Print.

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Galicia, Rocío. “Introduction.” Ánimas y santones: Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde. Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Libros de Godot, 2008. 15–32. Print. ———. “Tomóchic y la santa de Cabora: ficciones y fricciones.” 267–85. Mecanismos de fabulación en la dramaturgia mexicana actual y la identidad revolucionaria. Ed. Rosa María Sáenz. Chihuahua, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, 2010. Print. Gardner, Dore. Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico P, 1992. Print. Graziano, Frank. Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America. New York: Oxford UP, 2007. Print. Griffith, James S. Folk Saints of the Borderlands: Victims, Bandits and Healers. Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2003. Print. Groody, Daniel. “Communion Without Borders: In Eaucharist, we all Become Immigrants Again with Jesus Christ.” Celebration 32.10 (Oct 2003): 435–36. Print. Haelle, Tara. “El Niño Fidencio” Audio Slideshow. N.d. Web. http://www.tarahaelle .net/el-nino-fidencio-audio-slideshow/. Hernández, Virginia. Border Santo. Virginia Hernández. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de frontera 15. Durango, Mexico: Espacio Vacío/UJED, 2005. 161–201. Print. Holden, William Curry. Teresita. Owings Mills, MD: Stemmer House, 1978. León, Luis D. “Metaphor and Place: The U.S.-Mexico Border as Center and Periphery in the Interpretation of Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 67.3 (Sept 1999): 541–71. ———. La Llorona’s Children: Religion, Life, and Death in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands. Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 2004. Mijares, Enrique. El niño del diamante en la cabeza: José Fidencio de Jesús Síntora. Drama 2. México, D.F.: Facultad de Artes Escénicas U Autónoma de Nuevo León, 1999. Monsiváis, Carlos. Los rituales del caos. Mexico City: Era, 1995. Print. ———. Mexican Postcards. Trans. John Kraniauskas. London: Verso, 1997. Print. ———. “El Niño Fidencio.” Entre la magia y la historia: Tradiciones, mitos y leyendas de la frontera. Ed. José Manuel Valenzuela Arce. Tijuana: COLEF & Plaza y Valdés, 2000. 107–18. Print. Nava, Alex. “Teresa Urrea: Mexican Mystic, Healer, and Apocalyptic Revolutionary.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 73.2 (June 2005): 497–519. Nigro, Kirsten F. “Apaches, el deseo y mujeres que beben vodka: Una lectura personal de tres novedades rasconbandianas.” El teatro de Rascón Banda: Voces en el umbral. Eds. Jacqueline E. Bixler and Stuart A. Day. Mexico, D. F.: Escenologia, 2009. 137–40. Print. Partida Tayzan, Armando. “La cultura regional: Detonador de la dramaturgia del Norte.” Latin American Theatre Review 36.2 (Spring 2003): 73–93. Rodríguez, Richard and Gloria Rodríguez. “Teresa Urrea: Her Life, as it Affected the Mexican-U.S. Frontier.” El Grito: A Journal of Contemporary Mexican-American Thought. 5.4 (1972): 46–68. Rosales, Armando Jr. “Teresa Urrea: La Santa de Cabora Inspired Mexican Revolution.” EPCC Borderlands. 28 (2010) Web. http://lgdata.s3–website-us-east-1.ama zonaws.com/docs/2368/407820/urrea_comp_6713.pdf.

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Sierra Soto, Luis Heraclio. “Tomóchic, preámbulo de la Revolución Mexicana.” Mecanismos de la fabulación en la dramaturgia Mexicana actual y la edentidad revolucionaria. Eds. Rosa María Sáenz and Manuel Talavera. Chihuahua, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, 2010. 287–300. Print. Stoll, Anita K. “Teaching Golden Age Drama: Metatheater as Organizing Principle.” Hispania (1992): 1343–1347. Print. Turner, Kay F. “‘Because of This Photography’: The Making of a Mexican Folk Saint.” Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open. Ed. Dore Gardner. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico P, 1992. 120–34. Print. Ungerleider, David. “La religiosidad popular en Tijuana: La devoción a Juan Soldado.” El Bordo: Retos de Frontera 4. N.d. Web. http://www.tij.uia.mx/elbordo/ vol4/bordo4_soldado.html. Urrea, Luis Alberto. The Hummingbird’s Daughter. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005. Print. Valadés, José C. Porfirio Díaz Contra el gran poder de Dios: La rebeliones de Tomochic y Temosachic. Mexico City: Leega Jucar, 1985. Print. Vanderwood, Paul J. The Power of God Against the Guns of Government: Religious Upheaval in Mexico at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1998. Print. ———. Juan Soldado: Rapist, Murderer, Martyr, Saint. Durham: Duke UP, 2004. Print. Yépez, Heriberto. “El ciclo inconcluso del mito.” Ánimas y santones: Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde. Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Libros de Godot, 2008. 5–14. Print. Zúñiga, Antonio. El Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador. Ánimas y santones: Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde. Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Libros de Godot, 2008. 71–134. Print.

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Chapter Four

Narcoteatro An Aesthetic of Fear

Cuando se tiene impunidad garantizada no basta con ejercer el poder, hay que ostentarlo. Vicente Alfonso “La narcocultura echa raíces”1

Saints and santones not always protect the poor and downtrodden, in the Borderlands some are believed to be on the side of evil. The current violence due to nacotrafficking in Mexico appears to be spearheaded by individuals who use santones to cause destruction, violence, pain, and death. On Friday June 11, 2010 while millions of Mexicans waited anxiously for the inauguration of the World Cup in South Africa and the outcome of the first game between the Republics of Mexico and South Africa, others were victims of acts of violence. Between Thursday night June 10 and Friday June 11, there were eighty-five murders in Mexico, making this the most violent day in six years (“El país sufre el día”). It is clear that in Mexico the war between the drug cartels and the government has intensified. The year 2011 was the bloodiest to date in this war, with more personal and material losses than ever before. The official figures reported by INEGI (Intituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía Mexicano) indicate that close to 27,213 were victims of violent homicides in that year, and that 176,124 people lost their lives to this conflict since former Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, initiated his war against drug trafficking in December of 2006 (Proceso; INEGI). The INEGI stopped reporting homicide figures at the end of 2011 and many groups in Mexico have estimated the numbers to be upwards.2 There are still thousands of people missing and not included in INEGI’s total numbers. The majority of fatalities are of members of rival cartels, but government officials, businessmen, journalists, police, and guards have also been killed. 115

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Lately, the murders of innocent civilians have risen due to intensified terrorist tactics used by cartels. There was an attack in the city of Morelia in September 2008 where members of a drug trafficking organization threw a grenade at a group of people during Independence Day celebrations causing eight deaths and wounding one hundred, and another attack in the Casino Royale in the city of Monterrey in August 2011 where a group of about fifteen individuals threw a gasoline bomb that caused a fire killing fifty-two people inside the establishment.3 In a first of its kind, a car bombing was carried out in the city of Juarez on July 15, 2010 that killed three police officials and wounded eleven others.4 One month later seventy-two Central and South American undocumented immigrants were kidnapped and massacred by los Zetas in the town of San Fernando, Tamaulipas for refusing to work for the organization. However, a more disturbing incident has shaken Mexico to its core because of its savagery and blatant impunity. On the evening of September 26, 2014 three buses with students of the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos arrived in the town of Iguala in the state of Guerrero in route to a demonstration in Mexico City. José Luis Abarca, the town’s mayor, thought they were there to disrupt an event being presided by his wife. Angry for the disturbance, the mayor, with links to a local drug cartel, asked the police to detain the students. Violence ensued and policemen opened fire on the buses whereby six persons were killed and many were wounded. The remaining forty-three students were transported to the police station and later turned over to the local Guerreros Unidos drug cartel. They have not been seen since that day and evidence points to a gruesome murder and cover-up. In addition to the increase in the number of deaths, in the last eight years violence has intensified and become more brutal. The intimidation by cartel members of the police, guards and rival cartels is frequently displayed on banners, in advertisements (even in newspapers), narco-messages, narco-blogs, and weaponry.5 Beheadings and dismemberments, often staged for terror effects, have become the signature crimes of the most violent drug cartels. The phrase ¡Ya me cansé! “I’ve had enough, I’m tired” began circulating after a press conference given by the Mexican General Attorney, expresses the collective outrage being felt across Mexico. The latest incident in Iguala has galvanized a country accustomed to death and violence to protest the government handling over the students disappearances. They ask for an end to violence and impunity, and for a crumbling Mexican government to fight for its people and regain its credibility. According to Jonas Hatelius of the Swedish Carnegie Institute, narcoterrorism is another step in the development of organized crime in the postcold war period. Hatelius defines narco-terrorism as: “part of an illegal complex of drugs, violence and power, where the illegal drug trade and the illegal

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exercise of power have become aggregated in such a way that they threaten democracy and the rule of law” (iii). Experts on narco-terrorism claim the conflict’s origins lie in the subtle collapse of government’s authority while the growth of the cartels’ power and authority continue to rise (Sullivan 1). The violence seen in Mexico, indicate journalists Fernández and Ronquillo, is power that has spilled over from the drug trafficking organizations into Mexican governance: “es un desbordamiento del poder del narcotráfico sobre las instituciones de gobierno del estado y también del ejército” “is an overflow of the power of drug trafficking on the institutions of the state government and also the army” (102). The struggle between these power conglomerates, the government, the armed forces, and the drug cartels, takes place in an open forum where civilians suffer the consequences of these great atrocities. But how did it reach these levels of instability and how is it possible that the Mexican drug cartels wield so much power and enjoy such acceptance by some segments of the country? Throughout the second part of the twentieth century, Mexican drug traffickers successfully presented themselves as models of capitalism by gradually appropriating economic language and structures of power to explain the successes and accomplishments in their professions and businesses. By reporting the wealth, power, and charitable works of narcotraffickers, the media romanticized them and in doing so enhanced the cartels’ new image. Through music, film, literature and fashion, the power of drug cartels has been publicly justified, displayed, and compared to that of the government, church, and industry. Researchers worldwide have studied the new definition and image of the narcotrafficker. Some of the most important scholars studying Mexican narcotraffickers’ social transformation and religious influences include: Luis Astorga, Armando Partida Tayzan, Jean Franco, Rocío Galicia, Hermann Herlinghaüs, Mark Cameron Edberg, and Jungwon Park. Several researchers focus their attention in Jesús Malverde, a popular and religious folk saint. Literary critic Jean Franco believes the drug cartel members continue practicing a folk religion in which death is worshiped and a total indifference for human life and suffering is encouraged and rewarded. In similar fashion, the country’s three branches were transformed and collapsed allowing political parties to retain hegemony of the country without any concern for national security. In his research Armando Partida studies how Malverde has transformed over the years, from a positive image as protector of the poor, to a negative one as defender and godfather of Mexican drug traffickers. Herlinghaüs, Galicia, and Park also study the conversion undergone by Malverde but insist that the people in the periphery, the Mexican lower classes, of which low ranking drug traffickers are part, have transformed his story and made it part of their culture and myths.

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Astorga and Edberg study the figures of narcotraffickers as archetypes of social deviancy but also of courage and intelligence. Narcotraffickers’ status has been justified through the acquisition of economic and political power, the country’s corruption, and narco-culture. The first plays portraying drug violence in Mexico appear at the end of the 1980s. The earliest are Guerrero negro “Black Guerrero” (1988) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, Lobo “Wolf” (1990) by Jorge Celaya, and the collection entitled De los peligros que ocasiona el narcotráfico “Of the Dangers caused by Narcotraffic” (1996) by Felipe Santander. These plays discuss the controversial and violent worlds of narcotraffickers without delving into the metamorphosis they have experienced as characters living on the fringes of society that move to the mainstream. In the new millennium, Mexican playwrights embrace this responsibility of change by writing plays of violence and narcotrafficking in Mexico and its impact on their society in dramas like Yamaha 300 (2006) by Cutberto López, Cielo rojo “Red Sky” (2006) and Malverde, día de la Santa Cruz “Malverde, Day of the Holy Cross” (2008) by Alejandro Román, Rompe-cabeza “HeadBreaker” (Crossword Puzzle) (2007) by Antonio Zúñiga, and Música de balas “Music of Bullets” (2012) by Hugo Salcedo. The playwrights question the character of Jesús Malverde and the place of religion to redefine the contemporary Mexican society of narcotraffickers. The violence and fear exerted by Drug Trafficking Organizations is one of the weapons they have to destabilize Mexico. The innovative theater created by López, Román, Zúñiga, and Salcedo presents a twenty-first century Mexico overtaken by drug trafficking organizations while it denounces the violence and atrocities caused by the drug cartels and the military. A. HISTORY OF MEXICAN DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATIONS Illegal cultivation and trafficking of drugs in Mexico dates back to the end of the nineteenth century, when opium plantations were most numerous. It is believed that Chinese workers coming to build the railroads in the northern states, especially in Sinaloa, implemented traffic routes and taught farmers how to grow opium poppies. Cocaine appeared in these locations at this time due to its introduction to the world pharmaceutical market. Drug traffickers were first referred by the term of gomero and mentioned for the first time in México at the start of the twentieth century with the enactment of two laws that prohibited the cultivation and commercialization of marijuana in 1920 and poppy in 1926 (Astorga, “Los corridos de traficantes”

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245). The most important Mexican drug trafficking organizations also date back to the 1920s. During Prohibition, the poppy cultivators in the northeastern Mexican states, Sinaloa being the most important, reacted to the laws by immediately sending supplies to the U.S. market. Most farmers in the Sinaloa region, and some urban inhabitants of cities like Culiacán, had experience cultivating and raising marijuana and poppies. Without delay these local gomero growers realized they had leadership and entrepreneurial qualities to become part of the drug contraband business (Astorga, “Drug Trafficking” 18). At this point, the corrupt government started playing a role in the growing power of the smugglers. The term “narcotrafficker” was first used in 1956 to refer to these individuals instead of the term gomeros. The sixties saw a boom in the cultivation of marijuana because of a large demand from the United States. However, in the seventies there was a decrease due to successful raids carried out by the federal Mexican police. It was not until the 1980s that a “second wave” of Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) started gaining power and notoriety as they expanded their connections with the very lucrative Colombian cartels. Cocaine would arrive from Colombia and Mexican plazas or drug routes, set up from old marijuana and opium trails, were used to deliver drugs to the United States. There are some common factors that have contributed to the creation, expansion, and growth of DTOs in Mexico: 1) The lucrative drug trade can fund any illegal organization and enterprise; 2) the social inequalities and abhorrent poverty in Latin America and Mexico are essential conditions for marginalized people and rebel groups on the fringe to arise, develop, and gain strength; and 3) a fractured Mexican state, whose corrupt organizations are vying for power, presents a weak stance whereby it is not capable of imposing supremacy in the war against DTOs (Barria Issa 31). As the Colombian cartels lost power, Mexican cartels strengthened because: “Instead of being intermediaries in the cocaine route . . . Mexican DTOs became main providers and started to control the entire cocaine network” (Barria Issa 42). During these years the drug traffickers still adhered to an unwritten code of honor or behavior making it highly unusual for them to engage in shootouts, kidnappings, and torture of other traffickers. The Mexican territory was eventually divided up amongst the DTOs and incessant turf wars started as the new millennium approached with a third wave of drug traffickers running these organizations. The new Mexican DTOs have drastically changed their operations from earlier decades. The cartels still show characteristics of organized crime syndicates but increasingly they also have engaged in tactics better linked to insurgent and terrorists groups. One very significant event changed the drug cartels’ dynamics. It was the creation of Los Zetas, the military arm of the Gulf cartel, in 1999. Military arms of groups use violence as a tactic to wreak

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havoc in geographical areas. Therefore DTOs are fighting an irregular warfare with the government in which fear has become a well-founded weapon: “As invisible as subjective, fear can turn to its maximized expression, terror. The ‘size’ of terror waged as a weapon can be a substitute for a physically smaller and weaker arsenal” (Barria Issa 13). Some DTOs try to “give legitimacy to their brutal methods” by explaining that they are providing justice for the local population such as the case of the Knights Templar organization of Michoacan, an off spring of La Familia Michoacana. It was reported on May 9, 2014 that the Mexican government will allow for self defense militia groups to continue operating and fighting the Knights Templar and other DTOs as long as they register their weapons with the Mexican army or they join a peasants’ police force. As the new Peña Nieto administration searches for a lasting solution to the narco-war, scholars and analysts deliberate whether the ideals of the Mexican Revolution have been forgotten and diverted. These are the ideas also expressed by Jean Franco in Cruel Modernity: The fabric of Mexico, the ideologies and practices that had propelled the nation during the decades following its revolution, are in crisis. A showcase for neoliberal policies pasted onto a corrupt society in which institutions were already compromised and offered collusion rather than resistance to the drug trade, it is now the showcase for disaster. (Franco 215)

B. A NARCO MYTHOLOGY In Mexican regions where drugs were cultivated and sold, the perception of growers and traffickers changed as smugglers got richer and gained power. Furthermore, people from the region learned to live as outlaws and this became their day-to-day existence. For a period of time it was believed that the socio-historical construction of narcotraffickers was a myth created by the Mexican state because little was known about them and their lives. At the beginning only official versions describing these traffickers circulated, and were further propagated by legal and law enforcement vocabulary (Astorga, “Los corridos de traficantes” 246). The few glimpses occurred when the authorities apprehended one of them. The archetype of the drug trafficker, the narcotrafficker, presented in the official version was that of a common criminal and of evil: “Los traficantes son dibujados como seres malos, corruptores, viciosos, desalmados y asesinos” “Traffickers are drawn as evil beings, corrupters, dissolute persons, fiends, and murderers” (Astorga, Mitología 85). With the popularization of narcocorridos and strengthening of the DTOs, narcotraffickers’ image has changed over time:

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Narcotraffickers have been, for the most part, people with low levels of formal education, people from the subaltern strata in Mexican society who have, on occasion, become famous, rich, and powerful—even if only for a short time. And they have done so against a background of poverty, economic instability, and a glaring chasm between rich and poor. (Edberg 105)

Narcotrafficker’s new representation resembles the social bandit, and is accompanied by more positive attributes. The social bandit myth in contemporary media has presented these characters as either rural outlaws or as urban gangsters. However, in contemporary Mexico this image has been substituted by the narcotrafficker-hero (Astorga, Mitología 92). By engaging in deviant activities as a group, drug traffickers have been labeled as outsiders. When an individual begins to participate in an organized “subculture” that revolves around illegality a vision of this world is assimilated and recreated. Eventually the individual is recognized and recognizes himself as a member of the group. In all his identity has been created and modeled to the image and likeness of his coworkers (Astorga, Mitología 20–21). By self-constructing as a drug trafficker: “The narcotrafficker becomes a symbol, a persona who represents a whole aggregation of values and meanings. As such, one does more than just model behavior after the persona; one seeks to construct one’s self, one’s being, as an iteration of the persona in order to express the same relationship to the larger world that the persona does” (Edberg 120). A narcotrafficker’s journey is not complete until dying a tragic death. For it is in death that the “complete narco-persona” is achieved: “death is not the ending, but the ‘launching’ of an individual into a timeless existence as an iteration of the persona whose life will float in the popular imaginary” (Edberg 117) The stories told in the corridos about drug traffickers, the narcocorridos, talk about this way of life but from within, from the standpoint of the inhabitants of the regions. Astorga feels the composers of corridos are the true creators of the narcotrafficker myth because they present their vision of the world, philosophy, and journey to the top; in all they describe their way of life (Astorga, Mitología 38). Narcocorridos function as historic memory of a people and are an ethic compass for those new recruits to the narco business cause (Astorga, Mitología 39). The narcocorridos retell stories of valor of the men and women of the narco world and explain why these attributes—courage, fierceness, boldness, cleverness—make them deserving of a seat in the pantheon of traffickers and in historic memory (Astorga, Mitología 40). Narcocorridos give an objectified image of drug traffickers and their lifestyles. Eventually individuals will “instantiate the values presented in the [narcotrafficker] persona” by projecting their selves into the narco persona (Edberg 119).

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Narcocorridos are sometimes commissioned by the drug traffickers to talk and glorify themselves; other times the themes are chosen by the musicians and performed as música norteña, with tamboras or mariachis.6 Narcocorridos offer the listener an invitation to sympathize and share the same point of view as those who have been declared outlaws or outcasts (Alfonso). It was not until the 1970s that positive stories and deeds of narcotraffickers were recorded and broadcast. These narcocorridos used a common language and helped change the Mexican perception of the narcotraffickers. “El señor de los cielos,” “La banda del carro rojo,” “Contrabando y traición,” and “El jefe de jefes” are famous narcocorridos interpreted by Los Tigres del Norte, Ángel González, Paulino Vargas, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Valentín Elizalde, Chalino Sánchez, and Ramón Ayala. This genre has now gained great popularity outside of Mexico in the United States, Colombia, and Central America. Sooner or later the narco-world permeated diverse spaces of Mexican society until it converted the narcotraffickers into “common societal figures” dressing in their own style showing allegiance and membership to a powerful group and with that, the rest of society would eventually imitate (“México en la era del narco” 8). The images presented of the narcos are generally stereotypes: traffickers using expensive Texan sombreros, sophisticated jeans, silver belts with diamond buckles, jewels and other accessories, cowboy boots made of ostrich skin, dark sunglasses, shirts with designs of marijuana leaves or powerful weapons, always carrying AK-47s and driving tinted SUVs or Hummers. The narco, narco chic, or narco style culture is exhibitionist in nature. The narcos, their families and friends need to be seen, in discos, nightclubs, on the streets and other public places, showing off their clothes. They derive enjoyment “settling scores” or ajustes de cuentas and conducting their executions in public places of high transit to demonstrate power and impunity (Alfonso). These characters and their exploits are often reported by the mass media in sensationalist stories, police reports, narcocorridos, movies, altars, Internet websites, bars, and literature (“México en la era del narco” 8). Gradually even the words and the language of the narcoworld have been integrated to the colloquial discourse of Mexican society creating new definitions of the social imaginary.7 The current generation of narcotraffickers is younger, stronger, and prouder, regularly boasting their riches and control publicly. C. RELIGIOUS SYNCRETISM—THE MALVERDE CULT Narcotraffickers need a moral justification for their trade and the cult to Malverde has provided validation. Vicente Alfonso indicates that their condition as outsiders propitiated this fascination with Malverde and other folk saints

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and heroes: “Es precisamente la condición de ilegalidad en la que actúan los narcotraficantes lo que propicia la construcción de figuras como Malverde y otros héroes populares del narcomundo” “It is precisely the condition of illegality in which drug traffickers act which favors the construction of figures like Malverde and other popular heroes of the narco world” (Alfonso).8 Historians cannot find strong evidence to prove if Jesús Malverde truly existed, but this does not concern his followers. It is believed that his real name was Jesús Juárez Maso and that he was born on December 24, 1870. Some accounts state that he was born in Jalisco and moved as a child to the state of Sinaloa. Other versions say he was born near Mocorito, Sinaloa (a town located north of Culicán). He received his nickname Malverde being that he would hide in the green bushes when he was about to rob someone. Another version had him dressing up in banana leaves to carry out his robberies. Many people believe that Malverde is the conflation of stories by two of the most famous outlaws of Sinaloa from the nineteenth century, Heraclio Bernal and Felipe Bachomo, known for stealing from the rich and giving back to the poor. The third version says that Malverde was an invention of the governor of that era, Francisco Cañedo, created to keep the other landowners at bay and have complete control of the state (Griffith 66). There are also influences of Zorro and Robin Hood in the Malverde story. His legend states that after being provoked by the governor and having a price on his head, Malverde entered his mansion, stole his sword and wrote on the wall “Jesús M. estuvo aquí” “Jesus M. was here” (Griffith 67). The Jesús Malverde legend became more popular in the 1920s and his nickname ended up becoming his last name. Experts do not agree about Malverde’s passing. Some believe he was betrayed by his partner Baldemar López. Others thought men cut off his feet and dragged him around the town to claim a 10,000 pesos reward. Another almost saintly version has Malverde with gangrene in his leg asking a friend to kill him, cut off his head, ask for the reward, and distribute it to the poor. The authorities then cut up his body and put it on display in a big mesquite tree (Griffith 66–67). The people of the town were afraid to pick up his remains and bury him. Governor Cañedo died suddenly about a month later. According to the legend, it is believed that after Malverde’s death, people started leaving rocks to cover the body and bury him. The inhabitants of the town began informing others of the miracles performed by Malverde. The first miracle involved helping an older woman find her lost cow after she had invoked his name. Other stories include the time that Malverde helped a man find his mules and lost load. Today, it is not known where his remains are buried even though a chapel was built by Eligio González in 1980 to honor him in the city of Culiacán.9 Malverde’s followers can be found every day at the thirty-foot long by fifteen-foot tall chapel located in the center of the

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city of Culiacán (Griffith 69–70). The very colorful chapel has a popular feel with norteña music playing and people selling all kinds of items—flowers, candles, busts of Malverde, and ex-votos: The original concrete shrine is now covered by a tin-roof building with windows of colored glass and a neon sign that says “Jesus Malverde Chapel.” The altar is full of flower arrangements sent by worshippers. The walls are covered with plaques, photographs and handwritten notes. On a side altar, someone has put a newspaper clipping about recent drug killings and a note saying “Oh Malverde, protect me.” (Hawley)

Since the end of the nineteenth century Jesús Malverde has represented the good bandit and popular folk saint who helped the poor and homeless. Sinaloan Dramatist Oscar Liera was one of those responsible for promoting the figure of Jesús Malverde from local to national prominence. Rocío Galicia believes that Liera’s play El jinete de la Divina Providencia “The Rider of the Divine Providence” (1987) helped disseminate Malverde’s story: “Si bien su culto [por Malverde] fue local durante muchos años, Oscar Liera, con su obra de teatro El jinete de la Divina Providencia, lo colocó en la cartografía nacional” “Although the worship [of Malverde] was local for many years, Oscar Liera, with his play El jinete de la Divina Providencia placed him on the national map” (27). El jinete is a two-act play that takes in place two temporary realities; one interior space and one exterior space. The interior world is that of the nineteenth century and is described as “el mundo mágico de recuerdos imprecisos” “the magic world of imprecise memories” (Liera, El jinete 8). The contemporary (exterior) world is very colorful with lots of hallways. With respect to the theatrical space of the play, Ronald Burgess indicates that: “There are two concentric physical spaces on stage and two time frames: the exterior ‘present’ narrates the interior ‘past.’ Malverde’s story comes in pieces, according to whoever is testifying. The testimony simultaneously establishes facts and creates doubts about them” (100). The play is groundbreaking for this unconventional structure as well as for its discussion of Jesús Malverde’s importance in Mexican and Sinaloan society at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. As the play begins various priests and bishops are interviewing Martha. They are attempting to determine how many miracles can be accredited to Jesus Malverde. Martha believes Malverde granted her family the miraculous cure of her husband’s cancer and helped them find things that were lost. Differing versions are provided by the people interrogated about the life and death of Malverde emphasizing his need to help the poor and championing their cause (Liera, El jinete 12). The bishop and the priests do not believe these popular expressions of faith described by the people of the town. Mar-

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tha explains to the priests that Malverde wants stones instead of prayers to which the priests reply that wanting stones has nothing to do with Catholic faith highlighting that the Malverde cult has little to do with the official church and more to do with folk religion (Liera, El jinete 11). The second scene of the play takes place in the interior world at the Governor of Sinaloa’s house. Cañedo is a cold blooded despot detested by his servants. Because no one can legally punish the governor, the two servants, Hilario and Adela hope he will listen to their conversation and subsequently die from fear of the “green-devil.” This scene is frequently shown and repeated during the sequences of the interior world in a series of flashbacks that will help explain the history of Malverde and his town. In his obsession to figure out Malverde, find him, and stop him from causing more misdeeds, Cañedo loses his mind and his state rule turns into a brutal dictatorship where those who protest receive a terrible death. The characters in the play are local townspeople using colorful and colloquial language of the region. Their lives are guided by the supernatural in the brutal world of the Porfiriato (1877–1911). Their beliefs are a mix of pagan rituals and the Catholic faith. Invocations to folk saints such as Don Pedrito Jaramillo and processions to the Virgin Mary are made during the play. Religious syncretism permeates all layers of life in Culiacán. In this society the poor do not have rights and are alone and defenseless against the big lieutenants who govern with a firm hand and violence if their orders are not met. The one thing in common that unites them as a group is Malverde. He is seen not as a religious symbol per se, but as a redeeming figure for the popular classes and the needy, and his criminality connects with the marginality of the people and emerges as a political position (Park 98). In El Jinete de la divina providencia the witnesses at the trial explain who the real Malverde was. He robbed for twenty years and throughout the play is described as: the green devil or “mal-verde” (a play on words in Spanish). Beto, one of the witnesses, explains the meaning of his nickname: “le decían Malverde porque se vestía con unas hojas verdes de plátano para esconderse entre los matorros y los chiribitales” “He was called Malverde because he dressed with green plantain leaves to hide among the matorros and chiribitales” (Liera, El jinete 27). Malverde was probably a peon or a bricklayer. The exterior reality presents opinions for and against Malverde. Claudia, another witness explains to the priests why Malverde began to steal: CLAUDIA. A mí me contaba mi abuela que Malverde comenzó a robar porque veía la injusticia que había en ese entonces; decía que el gobernador era un sinvergüenza, bueno las cosas no han cambiado mucho, decía que los ricos acusaban a un pobre y que lo fusilaban por nada. Entonces Malverde robaba a los ricos y corría en su caballo y se iba aventando las monedas cerca de las casas de

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los pobres. Por eso la gente decía que era un jinete enviado por la Providencia Divina. CLAUDIA. My grandmother told me that Malverde began to steal because of the injustice that existed back then; he used to say the governor was a crook; well things have not changed much, he said that the rich could accuse a poor man and would shoot him for anything. Then Malverde would rob the rich and ride in his horse and throw coins near the homes of the poor. That’s why people said it was a horseman sent by Divine Providence. (Liera, El jinete 23)

Other witnesses sympathetic to the rich like Fernando give a different view of the green bandit: “Malverde era un ladrón de siete suelas, un ladrón vulgar al que le celebran que les aventara el dinero a los pobres” “Malverde was the worst kind of thief, a common thief celebrated for throwing money to the poor” (Liera, El jinete 39). The Malverde described in Liera’s play was a person who robbed from the rich to help the poor and who fought injustice. The second act of El jinete de la divina providencia focuses on the different church officials in charge of the interrogations to canonize Malverde. At worst, The Vatican would remove them from office if they were to present the material compiled because it did not fit their image and doctrine. Many locals warn the church officials investigating Malverde to leave the santón to the people as the doctor explains: MEDICO. Quiero decirle que en nuestro país las instituciones no funcionan, son un asco, están corrompidas. No sé si esté de acuerdo.

PADRE JAIME. Sí, casi totalmente.

MEDICO. Pues bien: la iglesia, como institución, está en el mismo caso. Yo le pediría que no trataran de institucionalizar a Malverde, es un santón y un héroe del pueblo, no traten de arrebatárselo de las manos, la realidad es que está allí, la gente lo quiere, le tiene fe y lo más maravilloso es que (muestra las radiografías) hace milagros. (Liera, El jinete 42) “MEDICO. I want to say that in our country institutions do not work, they are a mess, are corrupted. I do not know if you agree. PADRE JAIME. Yes, almost totally. MEDICO. Well, the church, as an institution is in the same case. I would ask you not to try to institutionalize Malverde, a big saint and a hero of the people, nor try to snatch it out of his hands, the reality is that he is there, people like him, they have faith and the most wonderful thing is that (shows the X-rays) he performs miracles.”

This very important dialogue summarizes the ideas of Malverde’s followers in the present and explains why he is the subject of a cult. In El jinete de la

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divina providencia the church is criticized and compared to the decadent Mexican government of the Porfirian era as well as to the corrupt Mexican government ruled by the PRI most of the twentieth century. The final scene in the interior world takes place while Adela bathes Governor Cañedo. The men and women of the town start making a noise, hitting rocks against rocks outside his house. The last person seen is Adela who is said to grab a big rock and walk towards Cañedo to give him one last mortal hit or a scare causing him into having a heart attack (Liera, El jinete 51). In the final exterior scene Father Javier, Father José, and Father Jaime doubt they can ever validate Malverde’s existence: PADRE JAVIER. hasta el momento ni siquiera puedo precisar si Malverde existió o es un producto de las circunstancias sociales. PADRE JOSE. Yo creo que en esa época todos eran Malverde. PADRE JAIME. ¿Y cómo explicaríamos los milagros? PADRE JOSE: Es que el pueblo, cuando quiere, hace milagros. (Liera, El jinete 50) “PADRE JAVIER. So far I cannot even say whether Malverde existed or is a product of social circumstances. PADRE JOSE. I think that at that time everyone was Malverde. PADRE JAIME. And how would we explain the miracles? PADRE JOSE: Well the thing is that the people, when they want to, create miracles.”

The dialogue speaks of a Jesús Malverde capable of uniting an audience and a society and making them believe that they can create social changes benefitting all, not just a minority. For critic Ronald Burgess “El jinete de la divina providencia is a call for such a miracle. It is a comment on contemporary society, a challenge to change it, and an example of how change can be accomplished” (Liera, El jinete 103). The Jesús Malverde presented in Liera’s play is an individual fabricated by the people to serve the lowest and most desperate with good deeds. He is their protector and saint. D. THE NEW FACE OF MALVERDE The Malverde of the narcoculture represented in many plays of the Teatro del norte in the new millennium is a character that no longer belongs to the category of popular saint. The outlaw of these new versions, says Partida,

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has stopped fighting for the social injustices and the abuses of the Mexican government and its leaders. Instead he has morphed into a saint that is at the service of the narcotraffickers and uses his powers for their benefit and misdeeds: “Al pasar a la categoría de protector por obra y gracia del narcotráfico, en su faceta de héroe ‘malvado,’ y ya no como imagen de la rebeldía del pueblo; al habérsele conferido poder mágico, al invocarlo para que les sea propicio en sus fechorías, invalidando así su categoría de santo popular” “By being elevated to the rank of protector thanks to drug traffickers, in his facet of ‘evil’ hero, [Malverde] is no longer an image of the people’s rebellion, having bestowed him with magical powers, narcotraffickers can call on him to help them in their misdeeds, thus nullifying the popular category of a saint given to him” (Partida, “Malverde” 47). Because narcotraffickers have given new meaning to Malverde’s legend and molded it to fit their own way of life they have in effect appropriated the figure and the story of Malverde, thus making him their new narcosaint. On the other hand, Jungwon Park argues that because narcotraffickers are individuals living at the margins of society and considered to be enemies of the new world order, they are related to Malverde and stand out as criminals and heroes of the people (105). The subject of Alejandro Roman’s play is the new Malverde. In the introduction to the Anthology Animas y santones. Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, El Tiradito y Malverde, Rocío Galicia explains why Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz (2008) contrasts Liera’s play. In this play the author explores a darker side of Malverde, his connection with narcotraffic and thus creates a new version of the Malverde myth (Galicia 29–30).10 Alejandro Román Bahena is one of the newer writers leading the Mexican theater of the new millennium. Román breaks traditional molds and presents a new narrative theater made up of images where stage directions are non-existent. His theater uses extraordinarily poetic language and images as well as local slang. Since there are neither stage directions nor punctuation, internal monologues and stream of consciousness are common. Sometimes the characters develop slowly and other times quickly without chronology. Galicia believes that the characters’ lines function similar to an acting score: “en apariencia gráfica hay una propuesta actoral que implica una separación de ideas y el señalamiento de palabras enfáticas o silencios” “In graphic appearance there is an acting proposal that implies a separation of ideas and the indication of emphatic words or silences” (3). Therefore, an actor, a director, or a company may interpret this score differently. In Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz the author presents the same format and formula of the narcocorridos but with a critical voice rather than praise for the narcotraffickers.11 Another difference between the play and a narcocorrido is: “The narcocorrido has become a song of gestation of the narcos, whilst the theater of Roman does not collect the

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deeds from anyone but the pain of everyone, sometimes it is muted and other times barely comes out of the throat” (Enríquez, unpaginated article). Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz presents three anachronically interspersed stories exposing the violence caused by drug trafficking located in a microcosm in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa. The three characters do not have dialogues; they don’t talk to each other but instead have continuous monologues during the play. Partida contends that in Roman’s play, the santón Malverde develops through the story as told by the characters: “a través del relato y del monólogo interior de estos antihéroes que han invadido el panorama nacional” “through the narrative and interior monologue of these antiheroes who have invaded the national panorama” (Partida, “Malverde” 8). The trio of characters have only a name or nickname and come from a world of illegality and drugs from the state of Sinaloa: Julio (twenty-nine years old), El Gavilán “the Hawk” (thirty-six years old), and Leonel (twenty-two years old). The play retells the Malverde story in a non-traditional manner as the three characters reveal: “a surprising cartography of violence that afflicts our social body” (“Malverde”). The men are in the Jesús Malverde Chapel in Culiacán, on the third of May, the day on which Malverde is said to have died. They independently come to worship and thank him for saving them from death and helping with their “business.” They speak of premonitions, fears, and feelings of revenge and hatred. They trust no one and know that even if there is an unspoken truce between narcotraffickers at the chapel, once they leave there are no guarantees of peace. Popular memory and religion mix in Malverde as drug traffickers and townspeople come from the same area and are in essence the same, but successful due to the drug business. The play’s three characters share stories of narcotrafficking and Malverde. Julio recounts how his father, the region’s most powerful drug lord, set out to have him murdered. He had betrayed his father by selling seven tons of cocaine behind his back. To teach his son a lesson, Julio’s father orders him shot and then thrown to the sharks (Román, Malverde 138). First, a group of thugs captures Julio and puts him into a helicopter. Julio describes his anguish before being thrown into the blue sea, not able to distinguish the sky from the sea, Malverde miraculously saves him: Mis ojos se clavan en una nube gorda Desde el zancudo negro de mi apá Herido de muerte Miro con detalle esa canija nube Escoltado por esos matones de mi apá Cortejo fúnebre a un camposanto de agua salada Vuelo en mi cajón con hélices negras Tarabillo infernal que lleva por los aires a mi último Aliento

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Desde las alturas miro esa nube gorda ¡Salta una imagen, man! ¡Ah, cabrón! Malverde Ahí se aperece clarito, man Miro su busto solamente Tan sereno me mira. (Román, Malverde 142–3) “My eyes are nailed to a fat cloud From the black gnat belonging to my dad Mortally wounded I see with detail that huge cloud Escorted by these thugs of my dad Funeral procession to a cemetery of salt water I fly in my crate with black propellers Infernal stonechat that wafted up to my last Breath From the heights I see that fat cloud An image leaps out, man! Ah, fucker! Malverde There it appears clearly, man I only see his bust So serene it sees me.”

This passage from the first scene mixes poetic tone and meter with everyday language. The helicopter from where the thugs throw Julio is referred to as a “zancudo negro” “black gnat,” “cortejo fúnebre” “funeral procession,” “tarabillo infernal” “infernal stonechat,” and “cajón con hélices negras” “crate with black propellers.” All of this occurs under “una nube gorda” “a fat cloud” from which one sees his piercing view. The use of time, indicated by the present indicative of the verb, creates a rhythm and tempo that makes the scene seem as if things are taking place in front of the reader/viewer’s eyes. Later, Julio (nicknamed “Rodolfillo” or “El Niño de oro”) turns into the region’s most powerful boss and orders that a paramilitary group kill his father.12 In this passage Julio seeks to construct himself as a drug trafficker, thus resembling the “narcotrafficker persona” described by Edberg. Miraculously Malverde also rescues him. The mysterious circumstances in which Julio is saved from a certain death, create the possibility his life be taken away from him when least expected. The second character, el Gavilán, is a bodyguard and escort. He was in charge of protecting narcotrafficker “Rodofillo” (Julio) on the day when both he and his wife were brutally assassinated. He had also been a member of the Sinaloa state police. El Gavilán represents the corruption of the armed forces and the police, who often work in conjunction with the drug cartels.

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During the attack he was shot four times and recounts his harrowing trip to the hospital. By some miracle, Malverde interceded and saved him. Gavilán uses language that tends to be poetic; while in other parts it is colloquial reflecting the language of narcoculture. Metaphors and onomatopoeia are used to explain the ambulance carrying him as it “howls” on the way to the hospital, like a “wounded coyote.” The scene focuses on the color red as it describes Gavilan’s own blood “bubbling” in a hemorrhage (Román, Malverde 138–39). Lastly, Lionel, the youngest character is a sicario “hit man” from Rancho Limoncito de Ayala, Sinaloa. He seeks revenge and demands the killer of his two brothers, ironically Julio, to be killed. Julio, Gavilán, and Leonel are characters that exemplify the narcotrafficker archetype or persona. Their path to power involves breaking rules to “achieve status and influence,” such behavior is expected by those “who feel powerless” (Edberg 121). These characters are aware that in the criminal world, one can rise quickly and become a hero, but this glory will not be long lasting. As explained earlier, for a person to be immortalized in a narcocorrido, he must die violently. Only when the cycle is complete, a narcotrafficker’s life can become the topic of a corrido. But can they leave the drug “business”? The play ends with ambivalence. The three characters are brought together in the last two scenes of the play. In the sixth scene they reflect on their reasons for joining a narcotrafficking organization. Rather than belong to a drug cartel and suffer the fateful consequences of being in this profession, the men aspire to be something better in life. They know they could fall prey to tragedy, violence, and death. The hit men and drug bosses believe they are the new heroes of Mexico’s underclasses because they can obtain wealth, cocaine, weapons, automobiles, and women quickly through violence and the business of illicit drugs. The last scene of Malverde considers the randomness of narco violence. Regardless of a person’s position in a DTO, whether he/she is a hit man or a narco boss, anyone can become a victim of the narco war.13 The play suggests that the myth of Malverde, now a narco-saint, blurs with present day Sinaloan drug culture. It mixes and transforms with Malverde’s past, early twentieth century Culiacán. Leonel is set to carry out his plan for revenge. In order to succeed, he takes a rose vendor from Malverde’s chapel hostage and points his gun at her without anyone knowing: Una morra que vende rosas rojas A lado mío bosteza Una virgen se me figura Ahora es el momento nadie me ve La amago La encañono con mi escuadra. ¡No te muevas!

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¡No grites! ¡Haz lo que digo y vivirás! Tengo que acercarme a ese bato de blanco (Román, Malverde 186). “A girl who sells red roses At my side she yawns A Virgin I figure Now is the moment nobody sees me I force her I point at her with my pistol. Don’t move! Don’t scream! Do as I say and you’ll live! I must get near that dude in white.”

The scene invokes religious imagery, religious syncretism (between Catholicism and local beliefs), reincarnation, and the image of “La Santa Muerte” “Saint of Death” (187).14 As Julio begins his transformation; he is described with less human characteristics as he starts to resemble an action hero or even a santón.15 In this game of “narco-lotería” “narco-bingo” whomever wins the lottery of death and immortality will be the subject of new narcocorridos. For this reason, el Gavilán calls the lottery cards out loud until he realizes their real meaning too late: La bala El alacrán Malverde Un carton de lotería se va llenando en el horizonte … El Sinaloense La bala El cuerno El sicario La muerte… ¡Lotería! (Román, Malverde 192) “The bullet The scorpion Malverde A lottery card is filling up in the horizon The Sinaloense The bullet The horn The hit man Death… Bingo!”

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This enigmatic ending culminates with Jesús Malverde’s potential reincarnation into the body of Julio, the drug lord (Román, Malverde 193–94). Just like Malverde, Julio is hung on a mesquite tree and dies. In Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz Julio, el Gavilán, and Leonel live by different rules, obey free will, and accept without question the results of their actions. In the final image of the play, Julio dies and stones are placed on his impromptu grave. Malverde, wearing a black scorpion tattoo, has come back to take Julio away and make him suffer. He also kills Leonel. The narcosaint has now become a narcotrafficker who sometimes kills to seek revenge, and sometimes kills without provocation. The possibility of Julio’s reincarnation is in the cards. Yet within this randomness, there is order. The play suggests a destiny within the chaos. Is the law of the narcotraffickers the same as that of Malverde? The stories of Julio and Malverde fuse and the two become one, and the real life story of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes becomes Julio’s story. It’s implied that when corrido bands play melodies in Malverde’s honor at his shrine in Culiacán, something inexplicable happens that makes people believe that these adventures could happen to them because as stated by Herlinghaüs: “the mechanism is paradoxical. A phantasmatic sensation unfolds, an experience through which desires and fears are displaced and affectively assumed” (54). In Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz, Julio, the big narco boss of the region who exerted power ruthlessly, is tragically killed after visiting the Malverde chapel. Even if he had just prayed to Malverde on the anniversary of his death, he is not protected and is killed by the violent law of narcotraffickers. Corridos will retell Julio’s story, and will commence a new cycle of Malverde’s life and Julio’s. In essence their stories are those lived by every narcotrafficker. Alejandro Román has indicated that the most recent facet of his dramaturgy is narcoteatro. Over twenty years ago a group of Mexican dramatists began using their surroundings as a topic of dramatic creation to analyze the complex relations between those on the fringes of society as opposed to those in power. Presently, most writers writing narcoteatro come from the north of Mexico. However, new dramatists in other parts of the country such as Román are exploring the same topics and aesthetics (Galicia, “Historias a contrapelo” 10– 11). Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda commented on the brilliance of the playwright and his play: “así como hay compositores de narcocorridos y arquitectos de la narcoarquitectura, hay algunos nuevos dramaturgos, muy pocos, que llevan la pesadilla de la narcoviolencia a la metáfora del escenario. Alejandro Román es uno de los principales exponentes de este nuevo teatro” “like there are composers of narcocorridos and architects of narco-architecture, there are some new playwrights, very few, that carry the nightmare of narco violence to the stage. Alejandro Román is one of the principal exponents of this new theater” (cited by José Ramón Enríquez). Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz is an innovative drama that brings to light the controversial themes of narcoteatro.

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E. THE NARCO’S NEW WEAPONS: FEAR, TERROR, AND DECAPITATIONS Intimidation and fear are two of the most successful weapons of the narcotraffickers, who believe Saint Malverde and Saint Death protect them. Armed with high caliber weapons and small armies of hit men, these DTOs are capable of facing bigger and stronger foes (such as the Mexican army and/or other cartels). They are able to cause enormous physical damage to whomever opposes them, including civilians. These horrendous crimes serve as lessons to those who do not respect the cartels and are clear examples of the “acts of sovereignty” now occurring in many Mexican states controlled by the DTOs—northern Borderstates and the states of Guerrero and Michoacán (Franco 225). In 2006 Alejandro Román decided to write Cielo rojo “Red Sky” to talk about an unspeakable crime perpetrated by one of the newer Mexican drug cartels. Cielo rojo is based on the horrific events that took place in Uruapán, Michoacán on the morning of September 6, 2006 at the Club Sol y Sombra. Following orders from La Familia Michoacana Drug cartel, twenty armed men dressed up in black and wearing ski masks interrupted a show that night with multiple gunshots in the air.16 The authorities believe this attack occurred as reprisal for having tortured and killed a pregnant woman who was the girlfriend of one of the drug cartel bosses, who worked in the nightclub, and leaving her severed head at the edge of a river. The men took out five decapitated heads from black bags and threw them on the dance floor, leaving a message that read: “La familia no mata por paga, no mata mujeres, no mata inocentes, se muere quien debe morir, sépanlo toda la gente, esto es: Justicia divina” “The family does not kill for money. It does not kill women or innocent people. Those who die are those who must die. Everyone should know that this is divine justice” (Márquez J; “Human Heads Dumped in Mexico Bar”).17 This now famous narco-message starts Román’s play whose words are spoken by Zaira, a prostitute from Sol y Sombra, who flees the scene and adds: El cementerio es la pista del bar. . . La cartulina blanca es la lápida El sello de la casa. Es la sentencia. La firma. La factura del ajuste de cuentas. (Román, Cielo rojo 4) “The cemetery is the bar’s dance floor. The white cardboard is the headstone The seal of the house. Is the sentence. The signature. The bill for the debt settlements.”

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The beheadings in Uruapán gave rise of a new wave of cruel acts never seen in Mexico before and pointed to the ascension into power of the DTOs. In El hombre sin cabeza “The Headless Man” (2009), Sergio González Rodríguez presents an analysis of beheadings and their significance in world history. Since ancient times decapitations were carried out with the purpose of winning over the enemy by completely possessing the spirit of the defeated granting the winning party: “poderes supremos que tienen su ingrediente catártico y un efecto intimidatorio en el resto de las personas” “supreme powers that have a cathartic ingredient and an intimidating effect on the rest of the population” (González Rodríguez 59). Decapitation as a tactic sends a message of complete disdain for order and norms of any type. The torturer sets himself as messenger of the dark side of humanity and as the one who reintroduces savagery and destruction to the world (González Rodríguez 60). Cielo rojo retells this crime in the form of unconventional dramatic poetry. The play mixes fourteen hypersensorial scenes with fast and slow tempo, and the playwright presents a different theatrical proposal: “[the work] demands a theatricality devoid of realistic devices and artifices . . . the force [of the work] is concentrated in the word. . . . Román knows well that is through the flow of ideas, profound emotions, and temporal and spatial transposition that the breadth of this drama reverberates in the contemporary viewer” (Galicia, “La Misa” 2). The main characters involve two prostitutes from the nightclub, Zaira and Eva, and two brothers from both sides of justice, Rey and Johny. The frantic speech of the two female witnesses is written phonetically, this technique makes their fear more palpable and real. The conflict between the two brothers, one a narcotrafficker and the other a policeman, gives the scene a feeling of “red” as a metaphor for blood. Their horrendous torture and deaths fills the scene with blood, tragedy, and betrayal. Two years later the same crime would inspire Antonio Zúñiga to write Rompe-cabeza “Head-Breaker (crossword puzzle).” The play is composed of seven piezas “small scenes” ordered and performed in any way a director pleases. The initial stage directions describe the men and women of the play as lonely human beings in pain: “les duele vivir, y les es natural morir” “it is painful for them to live, and it is natural for them to die” because they have been covered by the tentacles of crime (Zúñiga, Rompecabeza 3). This is the issue that inspired the author to write Rompe-cabeza. Zúñiga has indicated that narco-terrorism, narco-culture, and news of disappearances in his home state of Chihuahua have affected him as a person and influenced him as a dramatist. Narcocorridos by groups such as Los Tigres del Norte have been another source of reference for Zúñiga adding: “No es que los [a los Tigres del Norte] admire ni que los repudie ni que les ponga ninguna connotación moral, simplemente están presentes” “It is not that I admire them [the Tigres del Norte] or repudiate them or place upon

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Figure 4.1.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Rompe-Cabeza by Antonio Zúñiga. Chihuahua City, September 2014. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Rompe-Cabeza by Antonio Zúñiga. Chihuahua City, September 2014.

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them any moral connotation, they are simply present” (Galicia, Dramaturgia en contexto I 223). In his plays Sol blanco (1999), Coctel Margarita (n.d.), Zona del silencio (2002), and even Mara o de la noche sin sueño (2008), a link is noted between the characters, criminal organizations, and the repercussions they can cause in society. Antonio Zúñiga is a playwright, actor, director, producer, and scriptwriter.18 Originally from Parral, Chihuahua, Zúñiga now works and lives in Mexico City as an actor and playwright for the group Carretera 45 Teatro A.C. “Highway 45 Theatre Civil Association.” According to Zúñiga, playwrights of the Border have a great power: “What we do has a lot of vitality coming from the earth and having the habit of living in an ambiguous and wide space . . . [to create theater is] the investigation of languages, and the fables and short stories with a richness from the north” (Zúñiga, Personal Interview). While his work appears to be rooted in themes related to the violence in Northern Mexico and the deaths in Cuidad Juárez, his other plays revisit the history and historical figures of these territories. Rompe-cabeza is fast-moving and filled with action scenes. There are several characters in the play, hombre 1 and 2 “Man 1 and 2,” Muchacho “Kid,” Licenciado “Mr. College graduate,” Pez gordo “Big Fish,” Mujer 1 and 2 “Woman 1 and 2,” and many more that have ambiguous and universal names. The spaces where the action takes place require minimal construction and props. The men and women of the play are somehow involved in the criminal world. They live in a sub-world of narco-violence which governs the population of many parts of Mexico on a day-to-day basis. The language in each scene is colloquial, playful, sometimes strong, and in general uses slang typical of the world of narcotrafficking. In some scenes the tempo is quick with brief, repetitive phrases.19 Additionally, there is evidence of dark humor. The scenes are presented in a somewhat ambiguous form so that the reader/spectator has to guess a character’s profession and his/her relation to the characters in other scenes. In this way, one completes the rompecabezas “puzzle” of the play. The play’s dialogues are brief, sometimes in monosyllables with phrase repetitions and silences. In each scene clues are left in the form of repetitive sentences and situations. Part of the game is to match these pieces until they complete the entire puzzle: “Es en vano quebrarse la cabeza pensando” “It is in vain to break your head thinking” says Mujer 2 (Zúñiga, Rompecabeza 4). This play on words comes from the play’s title but also refers to something that literally takes place after the first scene ends.20 Mujer 1 and Mujer 2, the Quintero sisters, are the main characters of scene 1: Dos gotas de sangre “Two drops of blood” in which the two frantically try to hide

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from someone in an enclosed location. This scene also opens and closes the play. Mujer 1 constantly asks Mujer 2 if the shooting has stopped so that she can flee. Her other obsession is to yell but Mujer 2 suppresses her, because if she does, they will be discovered. The scene ironically ends when Mujer 1 is allowed to scream but isn’t able to. She can no longer feel her throat and the stage directions say that, “un hilo de sangre corre por su cuello, sus ojos quedan blanqueados por la muerte” “A thread of blood runs down her throat, her eyes turn white due to death” (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 7). In Horrorismo: Naming Contemporary Violence philosopher Adriana Cavarero explains the physical reaction of the body when a person’s head is removed: In contrast to what occurs with terror, in horror there is no instinctive movement of flight in order to survive, much less the contagious turmoil of panic. Rather, movement is blocked in total paralysis, and each victim is affected on its own. Gripped by revulsion in the face of a form of violence that appears more inadmissible than death, the body reacts as if nailed to the spot, hairs standing on end. (Cavarero 8)

The reaction of Woman 1 is similar to what Cavarero describes. The front cover of Rompe-cabeza also displays the illustration of a woman’s face in horror as blood is spilling from her neck. It resembles Medussa’s face after being decapitated by Perseus.21 The physical reaction of the face in revulsion as it realizes that it has been detached from the rest of her the body, is of pain and shock. The facial expression gives the impression that the body is still alive but resigned to a bodiless fate. The play shows how all who participate in the drug cartels, from drug bosses to hit men, infringe fear in the population. Similar to the first scene, scene four: Soy de sangre azul “I am a blue blood (an aristocrat)” is fast paced. The dialogue contains monosyllables and short phrases. In this scene, the past and present mix. The two men, Hombre 1 (Josué, the taxi-driver) and Hombre 2 (Juan Esparza, the elementary school teacher) must beat up a woman nicknamed La Sirena “The Mermaid” in order to teach her a lesson and “hacerla cantar” “make her sing.” This scene emphasizes the social separation between Hombre 1 and 2 and that of the Pez Gordo and la Doctora “the Lawyer” and the economic need that makes them want to be hired by the drug cartels as hit men to torture and kill: HOMBRE 1. ¿Dónde le firmo? HOMBRE 2. Yo tengo mucha necesidad . . . pero no sé si pueda. HOMBRE 1. Por esa lana yo le saco las uñas una por una a esa puta.

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HOMBRE 2. Un trato es un trato y aunque no quiera lo tengo que hacer. (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 22–23) “HOMBRE 1. Where do I sign? HOMBRE 2. I have so much need . . . but I don’t know if I can HOMBRE 1. For that dough I will rip off that whore’s nails one by one. HOMBRE 2. A deal is a deal and even though I don’t want to I have to do it.”

The boss and his advisor think Hombre 1 and Hombre 2 are alike, and even have the same mannerisms, because they are from the same lower social strata.22 At the end of the scene other linguistic games and clues for completing the puzzle are found. The author plays with the literal and symbolic meanings of the word “decapitation” and with other expressions related the job of contract killers: PEZ GORDO. Son gente que come gente DOCTORA. ¡Tanta crueldad, tanta saña, tanto dolor, tanta violencia! PEZ GORDO. ¡Si pues . . . pierden la cabeza! (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 23) “PEZ GORDO. They are people that eat people DOCTORA. So much cruelty, so much brutality, so much pain, so much violence! PEZ GORDO. Well then . . . they lose their heads!”

Once again irony envelops this scene of the play. Since the beginning, the final situation with Hombre 1 and 2 is well known and the decapitated/“broken heads” on the dance floor in the Club Sol y Sombra prove that they literally “lost” their heads.23 In the last scene of Rompe-cabeza: ¡Ay! ¿Te corté corazón? “Oh! Did I Cut You, Sweatheart?” Lupita and Lisa are found in a place that is a mixture of a beauty salon and a morgue. Once again, the situations and language are ambiguous. The stage directions indicate that the women are dressed with “batas blancas y cubrebocas” “white robes and medical masks” and on the stage there are heads with wigs and a table where a naked woman is found with her head covered (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 36). The dialogue between the two women is trivial. They talk about having to apply light and shadows to the cheeks, hips, eyelids, hair, neck, so that the body appears new, as observed in Lupita’s lines: Luz y sombra en las mejillas. Luz y sombra en las caderas, luz y sombra en los párpados, luz y sombra en la nariz, luz y sombra en el cabello, luz y sombra en las manos entre los dedos, luz y sombra en tus orejitas de niña coqueta, luz y

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Figure 4.2.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Rompe-Cabeza by Antonio Zúñiga. Chihuahua City, September 2014. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Rompe-Cabeza by Antonio Zúñiga. Chihuahua City, September 2014.

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sombra en tu cuello, luz y sombra en toda tú y quedarás como nueva, sin señas particulares visibles. (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 37) “Light and shadow on the cheeks. Light and shadow on the hips, light and shadow on the eyelids, light and shadow on the nose, light and shadow in the hair, light and shadow in your hands between your fingers, light and shadow on the ears of a flirtatious girl, light and shadow on your neck, light and shadow all over you and you will be like new, with no particular marks visible.”

The repetition of the phrase “luz y sombra” “light and shadow” by Lupita is both effective and ironic because of its similarity to the name of the club in Uruapán where the atrocious incident involving the five severed heads occurred. It implies that the woman’s body on the table is that of the dead prostitute that disappeared from Club Sol y Sombra and was found murdered later. The last scene of the play incorporates vocabulary typically used in a beauty salon and (con)fuses it with vocabulary inherent to a funeral home to effectively create a scene that is both ambiguous and illogical. Through the use of irony, black humor, and exaggerated gestures, Lisa and Lupita’s conversation slowly reveals that the treatment they are giving to their client—a hydrating facial, manicure, pedicure and massage—is postmortem makeup to prepare the cadaver for embalming. The women meticulously apply a massage cream to prevent skin from dehydrating, “un masaje en la cara para quitar rictus de cadaver” “a massage to the face to remove the grin from the cadaver,” and makeup to the body (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 39). These unusual facts effectively exemplify the dehumanization of the dead so common in Mexico today due to the constant exposure to killings and the desensitization associated with the war against the drug cartels and drug trafficking. The dialogue between Lisa and Lupita appears superficial and shows the lack of compassion and satisfaction that these women get in telling the victim’s story: LISA. Una hora y media más o menos criatura. En una hora y media ese color de muerta que tenía se fue para siempre de su piel “LISA. In about an hour and a half, child. In an hour and a half that color of death that she had left from her skin forever.” (Zúñiga, Rompe-cabeza 37) Later, Lisa adds: LISA. En todo el cuerpo. Tiene el color ausente, esta mujer. (Zúñiga, Rompecabeza 38) “LISA. On the whole body. This woman has no color.”

The increase in assassinations has given rise to different enterprises; among them is the funeral home business. It is now common to see branches of powerful funeral homes in the most affected Mexican cities of the north: Tijuana,

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Ciudad Júarez, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, etc. In Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State? (2010), George Grayson explains that to compete against each other, morticians distribute brochures outside rival funeral homes and offer to do the makeup on the body for free (1). Rompe-cabeza reveals these common unpleasant occurrences resulting from the turf war between the cartels and the government. Antonio Zúñiga noted the innovative character of Border theater in an interview given to Carlos Márquez of La Jornada de Michoacán in which he likens a dramatists’ duty to journalists at the Border because they both present the harsh reality of the environment. Zúñiga adds that Border theater condemns while it also creates and renews: “no pierde el potencial que está ahí en ese entorno social; sin embargo, al interior de su escritura, en sus estructuras y en sus lenguajes se ha transformado y ya no es un teatro de denuncia específicamente, pues además de la denuncia busca crear formas nuevas” “It does not lose the potential that is there in that social environment, however, within its writing, in its structures and in its language it has transformed and is no longer a theater that specifically denounces, but as well as denounce, it seeks to create new forms” (C. Márquez). In order to create innovative works it is not necessary to write sensationalist dramas with the crimes and actions of the Mexican drug cartels, but it is an appealing platform. The plays must show an artistic mastery: innovation in language, scene structure, and organization. Rompe-cabeza achieves this goal; it is inventive and intriguing, it talks about the victims and their victimizers trapped between narcotraffickers and the authorities that cover up and promote violence in the country (Harmony, “Rompe-cabeza”). As the Sexenio of Felipe Calderón neared to an end and a new president would be coming into office, Mexico grappled with the extent of the war waged by Mr. Calderón against the drug cartels and with the enormous number of victims. The year 2012 saw the publication of a powerful play, Música de balas by Hugo Salcedo, influenced and inspired by Mexico’s narco culture and aesthetic. It received the 2011 National Prize of Dramaturgy in Mexico awarded jointly by the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Universidad de Guadalajara, and the Secretaría de Cultura del Gobierno del Distrito Federal. The jury praised the play for its “innovative dramatic structure, complexity and its link to the reality of contemporary Mexico” (“Hugo Salcedo gana premio nacional”). Salcedo’s one-act and thirteen-scene play embarks on the topic of violence in Mexico. In Música de balas scenes are numbered differently, the first scene begins with the number 29,871 and ends with scene 29,884. The numbers refer to the official fatalities Mexican authorities gave at the time of the writing of the play. The play shows the different outlets involved in reporting drug violence in Mexico—the media, authorities, eyewitness accounts, and the digital world—since December 2006. Through dialogues, internal

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monologues of the victims, and descriptions of acts of violence, Salcedo focuses on what it means to be assassinated in Mexico today. In her review of Música de balas, playwright Estela Leñero writes that Salcedo humanizes the victims by not making them numbers or statistics (Leñero). Critic Juan Carlos Embriz Gonzaga feels that Salcedo accomplishes this feat by doing the opposite, all the scenes originate from the basic belief that the deceased died in complete anonymity and loneliness, the characters presented in the play lack a distinctive personality (8). Música de balas stems from the premise that the thousands of victims of the war against narcotraffick remain, for the most part, anonymous but the play is able to return victims’ humanity and individuality. In Música de balas the murders are recounted one by one in different scenes that vary in length, presentation, punctuation, spacing, font size, and typographic styles. Some scenes are long monologues, others are dialogues, some include fragments of popular songs and corridos, and some are moving poems or segments of speeches or news. Leñero believes that this experimentation with the written format makes the reading of the play more agile and dynamic by emphasizing certain passages (“Premio nacional de dramaturgia”). All in all, these are the different ways of humanizing the victims and their tragic situations and of presenting the war being fought by two abstract and equally powerful entities in contemporary Mexico: the Mexican government and the drug cartels (Embriz Gonzaga 10). The play’s third scene, 29,873, is unforgettable and moving. A dramatic voice invites the reader/spectator to visualize a decapitated head: “una cabeza rodante/ imaginémosla todos:/deslizante/solitaria” “a rolling head/ let us all imagine it:/ slippery/lonely” (Salcedo, Música de balas 9). The scene demands an audience to envision the physical pain caused by the decapitation of a human body upon losing its unique single composition: “ahora es solo una cabeza que se ha olvidado del resto de su cuerpo/ que no ocupa piernas para caminar” “now it’s only a head that has forgotten the rest of its body/ that does not need legs to walk” (Salcedo, Música de balas 10). In Horrorrism: Naming Contemporary Violence Adriana Cavarero writes a treatise on the modern forms of terror in the world. She concludes that a new word is needed, horrorism, to describe acts of contemporary violence and their repugnant quality. One section of Cavarero’s book turns its attention to the rise in decapitations just as Salcedo does in Música de balas: What is unwatchable above all, for the being that knows itself irremediably singular, is the spectacle of disfigurement, which the singular body cannot bear. As its corporeal symptoms testify, the physics of horror has nothing to do with the instinctive reaction to the threat of death. It has rather to do with the instinctive disgust for a violence that, not content merely to kill because killing would be

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too little, aims to destroy the uniqueness of the body tearing at its constitutive vulnerability. What it’s at stake is not the end of human life but the human condition itself, as incarnated in the singularity of vulnerable bodies. (Cavarero 8)

The revulsion that is felt upon seeing a body split and rid of its distinctive form formulated in Cavarero’s book, is also presented in the scenes of Música de balas. Scene 29,873 internalize the pain of a mother upon seeing the son she gave birth, headless. The scene focuses on the shock of seeing a body beheaded, and the spectacle of a head that just keeps on spinning into emptiness. The last scene of Música de balas is aural—moans, laughs, screams, and whispers demand an end to the violence and for Felipe (Felipe Calderón) to stop his “Guerra contra el narcotráfico” “War against narcotraffic” (Salcedo, Música de balas 40). Felipe is one of the few characters that without directly appearing and participating in the action of the play, is the de facto protagonist (Embriz Gonzaga 8).24 The scene is also very visual as two columns are projected onto the stage. One column displays the figures of the dead since December 2006. The other column projects certain words that express and symbolize violence. An endnote at the end of the play explains that 30,196 was the total number of violent deaths reported in Mexico from December 2006 to 2010. A weak voice begins counting from 29,884 until it reaches 30,000. Regrettably, as it was informed at the beginning of this chapter, the number of dead has continued climbing to top 121,000. F. DRUG TRAFFICKERS: HEARTLESS KILLERS OR FAMILY MEN? Another dramatist that writes about the Mexican narcoculture, narcoviolence, and the geographical and cultural environment of the Borderlands is Cutberto López Reyes. Born on March 20, 1964 in Benjamin Hill, Sonora, Cutberto is well known as a dramatist, actor, and cultural promoter.25 Partida Tayzan has spoken of the restorative tendencies of López’ theater: “ha venido a renovar el teatro surgido de la cultura patrimonial regional correspondiente a este Estado [Sonora]” “it has come to renew the theater surging from the heritage of the State’s [Sonora’s] regional culture” (Partida, “La cultura regional” 85). Critic Olga Harmony has also written about López: “Cutberto es uno de los más importantes dramaturgos vivos que tenemos en México” “Cutberto is one of the most important playwrights that we have in Mexico” and adding that it is a pity that his dramaturgy is not better known, giving as a possible explanation the power exerted by Mexico City and its cultural importance as opposed to the Border states (Harmony,

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Figure 4.3.  Source: Archivo INBA, CITRU. © Christa Cowrie. Yamaha 300 by Cutberto López. Foro Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico City, August 2006. Dir. Antonio Castro. Reprinted by permission of Archivo INBA, CITRU. © Christa Cowrie. Yamaha 300 by Cutberto López. Foro Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico City, August 2006. Dir. Antonio Castro.

“Yamaha 300”). Yamaha 300 was written in Barcelona, Spain and staged in Mexico City and throughout the country starting in 2006. The play was also performed as a dramatic reading in November 2008 in Lark Play Development Center in New York City as part of an exchange program for dramatists of Mexico and the U.S. Yamaha 300 was performed bilingually in the Festival Hispano de Teatro de Chicago on July 2010. Many of López’ plays have also been translated into French and German. Yamaha 300 is comprised of thirteen scenes that use dark humor. The short, fast-paced scenes take place on board a speedboat in the Sea of Cortés during a long and cold evening. Other scenes take place in Vero’s home, and places where el Tiburón, the narco-boss, travels or runs his business. López stated the idea of the play arose due to the violence that prevails in Mexico and the fear suffered by its population: “Yamaha 300 surge del miedo. Así de sencillo. Miedo de que las redes de narcotráfico toquen a la puerta de la casa. Miedo a la confusión, a la bala perdida” “Yamaha 300 stems out of fear. It’s that simple. Fear that the drug trafficking networks will knock on the door of the house. Fear of confusion, fear of a lost bullet” (Paul). López’ goals are to denounce the violence and corruption in the war against narcotrafficking and present the human and emotional side of narcotraffickers and their loved

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ones. The story presents the personal stories, anecdotes, and the actions of two narco-fishermen, Cananis and Animal, on board the panga, speed boat, nicknamed “La Vero” one dark and starry night.26 The language used by the two narco-fishermen is ironic, humorous, and a bit cliché while also presenting tension. It is the local jargon typical of Mexican narcotraffickers and narcoculture: ANIMAL. Es que andamos curricaneando pescados voladores. CANANIS. Pinchi Animal, estás bien pasado. Si quiebras la máquina nos vamos a meter en un broncón. Al Tiburón no le gustan las fallas. Acuérdate de las cachetadas que te dio el otro día. CANANIS. Uy, qué picudo. Si no te dejas de pendejadas el Tiburón te va a arrancar la verga. ANIMAL. Pero a mordidas. CANANIS. Cómo eres de hocicón. Te van a coser la boca a puro plomazo. (López, Yamaha 24) “ANIMAL. It’s like we are trolling flying fish. CANANIS. Fucking Animal, you’ve drunk too much. If you break the machine we’ll be in a big mess. Tiburón does not like mistakes. Remember the slaps he gave you the other day. CANANIS. Wow, that is clever. If you don’t stop talking bullshit el Tiburón will rip off your dick. ANIMAL. But by biting me. CANANIS. You have a big mouth. Someone will saw your mouth with gunshots.”

Another example shows Animal talking to his girlfriend Vero on the phone while reproaching his shipmate: ANIMAL. No. No te agüites. No es contigo mi’ja. Es con un pinchi pescadito metiche. Oye ¿fuiste con el putito del vestido? (López, Yamaha 29). “ANIMAL. No. Don’t get upset. It’s not with you my love. It’s with a fucking nosy little fish. Say, did you go see the little faggot tailor about the [wedding] dress?”

Depending on the tone, these statements could offend Animal’s partner or his boss, and be sufficient grounds for an ajuste de cuentas “settling of scores” amongst narcos. Cananis constantly warns Animal of this danger and explains how easy it is to die in the narcoworld. Their dialogues also

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show the sophistication of their systems and weapons: the men mention their “gepeeses, sonares, radares y avionetas Cessna” “GPSs, sonars, radars, and Cessna single engine aircrafts” (López, Yamaha 25). On the other hand, the narco-fishermen’s dialogues can be tender, reflexive, and beautiful, such as the time that Animal tells Cananis about his fantasies and future plans after leaving “el business” or when he is looking at the sky during a starry night. Just as Animal’s dialogue becomes warm and tender, he abruptly changes it to become distasteful with off-color comments and strong cadences similar to the dangerous sounds of bullets (“Finaliza temporada”). Sound effects and music are an important part of the play. They create a “norteño” atmosphere with banda music using famous song lyrics such as the corrido of “La yaquecita.” The characters in the play sing and identify with these themes and life-style as if inviting the readers/spectators to penetrate and observe the world of narcos. In scene I the stage directions state that Animal sings his version of the norteña song “La yaquecita” while injecting his boat’s engine with more fuel: “(Comienza a cantar su versión de “La Yaquecita” mientras canta aumenta la inyección de combustible de motor). Yo tengo una Yamajita que quise mucho en Sonora y cuando ella baila cumbia el que la ve se enamora. Ay mi Yamajita, ay mi Yamajita, tú tienes un cuerpo hermoso que parece sirenita…” “(He begins to sing his version of “La Yaquecita” meanwhile he increases the fuel injection for the engine) I have a little Yamaha that I loved a lot in Sonora and when she dances the Cumbia, who sees her falls in love with her. Oh my Yamajita, oh my Yamajita, you have a beautiful body like a little mermaid” (López, Yamaha 25–26). Animal sings “la Yaquecita” throughout the play but each time changes the lyrics slightly: “y todos los yaquis dicen que el que la ve se enamora. Ay mi yamajita, ay mi yamahita” “and all the Yaquis say that who sees her falls in love with her. Oh my yamajita, oh my yamajita” (López, Yamaha 53–54). In the play all the characters are aware of their importance and power in the world of narcotraffickers, and thanks to the narcocorridos, their lives and exploits will be remembered. Upon his forced hiding, el Tiburón, The drug lord, asks El Capitán to hire a band to play his corrido once in a while: TIBURÓN. De vez en cuando contrate un tacataca y que se pongan en el malecón a tocar mi corrido. No quiero que se olviden de mí. (López, Yamaha 55) “TIBURÓN. From time to time hire some musicians and have them play my corrido on the boardwalk. I do not want them to forget about me.”

It is common knowledge that drug traffickers pay composers to write narcocorridos about their lives or pay for studio time so that their songs can be recorded. Lesser known composers can charge up to $1,000 to write a few

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verses of second tier hit man, while well-known composers may charge thousands of dollars to write the corrido of a notorious drug trafficker. Regardless of the amount, narcos are willing to pay for corridos written about them as financial ventures because “A ballad in their name means prestige, and on the street this can mean respect and contracts” (Grillo 178). Even though narcocorridos tend to expose social and political criticism of the government and the elite, they can sometimes be “hollowed-out versions of corridos for the purpose of making money by working through a ‘thick’ cultural form” (Edberg 127). In Yamaha 300 sounds acquire prominence. They come from the different machines that the narco-fishermen use in their business. In an interview the author said that “the sound of the engine and the cadence of the dialogue refer to another sound that has proven to be more dangerous, that of the famous AK-47 which in narcoculture lingo is called “cuernos de chivo” “goat’s horns” (“Estrenará UNAM obra de Cutberto López en la Ciudad de México”). In Yamaha 300 the sound of the panga becomes one of the main characters of the play. The sound of the speed-boat is described with animal and sometimes human characteristics. For example in the third scene the stage directions indicate: “The Yamaha gives off a purr, that appears to groan

Figure 4.4.  Source: Archivo INBA, CITRU. © Christa Cowrie. Yamaha 300 by Cutberto López. Foro Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico City, August 2006. Dir. Antonio Castro. Reprinted by permission of Archivo INBA, CITRU. © Christa Cowrie. Yamaha 300 by Cutberto López. Foro Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico City, August 2006. Dir. Antonio Castro.

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because of the high speed” (López, Yamaha 33). The stage directions are very specific about the role that sounds and noises will have. Scene VIII shows a pursuit at high sea between two vessels, “La Vero” and the coastguard: “Ruido ensordecedor. Espuma. Diálogos a gritos y motores que dialogan entre ellos” “Deafening noise. Foam. Dialogues screaming and engines that dialogue between them” (López, Yamaha 47). Animal also says that the sound of his Yamaha 300 panga encompass all the Sinaloan music bands, in essence “La Vero” is the soul of Sinaloa (López, Yamaha 23). All of these sounds are somehow related to banda music and narcocorridos as noted later in the same scene: “The singing of engines of the two vessels mixes nearby as if we were in the middle of a Sinaloense band that is playing the loudest song of the wedding night” (López, Yamaha 300 27). The sound of the Yamaha 300 not only reminds of the engine of the panga and the sound of weapons owned by these two narcotraffickers, but also the speeds of their vessels and planes reminds how ephemeral their lives and freedom are. Yamaha 300 links religion to narcotrafficking. Unlike Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz by Román, Yamaha 300 focuses on the relationship between institutionalized religion in Mexico, The Catholic Church, and narcotrafficking. It pays attention to the way in which individuals practice their faith and are able to purchase pardons. As observed in an earlier chapter, Christian practices tend to be syncretic in the Borderlands. In the play new drug traffickers ask the saints for miracles, leave candles, or pay to build altars and churches in memory of a saint (López, Yamaha 26–27; 49–51; 52). The play also focuses on narcotraffickers’ preoccupation with death and dying. For Grayson: “Mobsters are pathologically afraid of dying, and like many other Mexicans are deeply afraid of the consequences for their worldly actions throughout eternity. While many are guadalupanos [devout followers of the Virgin of Guadalupe] and contribute to the Catholic Church, they cover all of their bets and rely on other religious figures to protect them” (125).27 Scene IX exemplifies religious syncretism and takes place in the sanctuary to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Puerto Peñasco. In this scene Tiburón comes to bid farewell to the local priest and to give him a donation: PADRE. Esto es mucho dinero. TIBURON. Es el suficiente. Hágale un altar bonito. Que se vea más chula. Quiero que tenga el mejor altar de toda la costa. (López, Yamaha 49) PADRE. This is too much money. TIBURON. It will suffice. Make her [the Virgin of Guadalupe] a pretty altar. Make her look even prettier. I want her to have the prettiest altar in all the coast.”

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In this scene Tiburón is troubled that someone like him could be blessed. He is not sure if he believes in God because he is not remorseful of the deaths that he has caused: PADRE. Todos somos sus hijos. TIBURON. Yo no. PADRE. Si no crees entonces por qué vienes. TIBURON. Por sí las dudas. Uno nunca está seguro de nada. Sólo de la muerte. PADRE. ¿De verdad no quieres confesarte? Te vas a sentir mejor. TIBURON. Eso es lo peor. No tengo remordimientos. No es que me guste matar pero se siente una especie de placer… (López, Yamaha 51) “PADRE. We all are her children [the Virgin]. TIBURON. Not me. PADRE. If you don’t believe then why do you come. TIBURON. Just in case. One is never sure of anything. Only of death. PADRE. You really do not want to confess? You’ll feel better. TIBURON. That’s the worst. I have no regrets. Not that I like to kill but I feel a kind of pleasure…”

The religious philosophy of narcotraffickers is to protect themselves against every danger and enemy imaginable because “they are very superstitious” (Grayson 125). By purchasing weapons, security systems, and paying for their salvation with narcolimosnas “narco-alms” they hope to beat the odds. Reviews of the play have been mixed because of its obvious plot and use of stereotypical characters. Some critics such as Gonzalo Valdés Medellín insist that the story’s development is predictable and formulaic due to its use of conventional narco characters similar to bad guys from western and urban television series and movies, and of language full of idioms and vulgarities that does not add much to the message of the play (“Yamaha 300: Cutberto López”). This play is comparable to a cinematic script because it uses fast chasing speedboat scenes, helicopters, and Cessna planes. For instance, scene VIII recounts a high speed chase in the middle of the ocean between the two narco-fishermen, one coastguard official, and a captain. The scene is cinematographic in nature and it does not add much to the plot but has echoes of the Miami Vice television series with the groups riding their boats at high speeds. Positive criticism praises the play’s exceptional language, its dark humor, the humanity of its characters, and great geographical knowledge the

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author has of northern Mexico and of narcoculture: “sin caer en ese melodrama corriente, sus personajes generan contrastes: en medio de la violencia tienen la esperanza y sueños. Esta combinación, más un fino humor negro, da un grato resultado: momentos poéticos que nos revelan—con escalofríos—a estos hombres que probablemente asumen su miseria, pero que han aprendido a soñar con ella” (A. Quiñones) “without falling pray to ordinary melodrama, his characters generate contrasts: amid violence they have hopes and dreams. This combination, plus subtle black humor, gives us a pleasing result: poetic moments that reveal to us—with chills—men who probably accept their misery, but have learned to dream with it.” In Yamaha 300 Cutberto López creates a new dramatic language that can penetrate the violence and narcotraffic culture that the country is currently experiencing. From the plays analyzed, Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz, Cielo rojo, Rompe-cabeza, Música de balas, and Yamaha 300, it is possible to infer that narcocultura depends to some degree on a person’s image and attitude. Their image is a construct of many categories. They look the part and wear the right wardrobe, use certain slang, listen to the appropriate music, and worship in a particular way to create and expand the image. Intimidation is a vehicle and tactic the drug trafficking organizations use to cause terror and destabilize society (with weapons, vehicles, and violent acts). Appalling scenes of violence are common in each play discussed such as shoot-outs, killings, and decapitations. These plays penetrate the narcotrafficker’s world and psyche where betrayals, violence, and ajustes de cuentas govern their daily life. The anguish of the people that know someone involved in narcotrafficking is also presented. In scene III of Rompe-cabeza, Carmen and Sofía console each other because of Juan’s death. In Yamaha 300, La Vero, worries because of Animal has a mysterious job and is afraid for his life but fails to notice that she could also suffer an accident. Dramatists play with the concept of silence which is also a code of honor that narcotraffickers must maintain (Espinal 7). Some characters want to scream as in the case of Mujer 1 and Mujer 2 in the first scene of Rompe-cabeza but are not able because they do not have the power to stop the violence that rules their lives. Mexico is a country stalked by narcoterrorist groups whose goal is to establish plazas, transportation routes to the U.S. Presently DTOs carry out a brutal war against the government and other cartels; terror and violence have taken over the country, including the most remote places. The plays discussed in this chapter suggest the emergence of a new dramatic phenomenon that some have named narcoteatro and others call art narco or estética narco. Narcotraffic is not only manifested in the news or in narcocorridos, it has permeated the artistic and literary spheres. Recent art exhibits of estética narco by artists like Rosa María Robles with her mixed art series Navajas (Razors)

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and Alfombras (who uses the blankets that covered the bodies of several “encajuelados”); Teresa Margolles and her installation ¿De qué otra cosa podríamos hablar?; the paintings by Ricardo Delgado Herrera; the theatre-dance performance I Love Tijuana by Teatro de la Alborada directed by Rodolfo Álvarez Leyva, and the opera Únicamente la verdad, which recreates the myth of Camelia la texana performed without musical instruments except for the sound of bullets, have garnered national and international notoriety because they address the problems caused by narcotraffic. Narcoteatro takes from all that happens around—all wasteful elements that oppose the official history to reflect on what is marginal and silenced (Galicia, La Misa de gallo 2). Malverde, Día de la Santa Cruz, Cielo rojo, Rompe-cabeza, Música de balas, and Yamaha 300, are all based on real-life daily occurrences of narcoculture in Mexico.28 The structures used by the playwrights are modern and creative: interior monologues, norteña music, visual devices, and high-speed boats transporting illegal drugs. These dramatic compositions can be risky due to having structures more in common with corridos, cinema, or religious rituals than with theatre itself. These dramatists have been influenced by pioneering playwrights of Northern Border States such as Oscar Liera and Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda. All use language that emanates from violence, narcotraffic, and the ocean. The plays take place in the forbidden world of narcoculture and rescue the spectator from distressing and terrifying environments where Malverde, the narco saint, will protect the narcotraffickers and not the common people. The plays are suspenseful and have unexpected endings due to chance and divine justice. They force the reader/spectator into the horrifying world of narcotrafficking and present excellent examples of narcoteatro. NOTES 1.  “When you have guaranteed impunity it is not enough to exercise authority, one must to flaunt it.” (translation mine). Vicente Alfonso, “La narcocultura echa raíces,” El Mexicano, 31 Jan. 2007. Web. www.el-mexicano.com.mx. 2.  The total number of dead due to homicides for 2012 and 2013 was just released by INEGI on April 15, 2015. 3. For more information regarding the La Familia Michoacana’s attack, see George W. Grayson, Mexico:Narco-Violence and a Failed State? (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2010) 204. For more information regarding Los Zetas’ attack in Monterrey, see Aurora Vega “Terror en el Casino Royale: Los Zetas detrás del atentado” Excelsior, 26 Aug. 2011 http://www.excelsior.com.mx/index.php?m= nota&id_nota=763911. 4.  For more information regarding the car bomb, see “Mexico Drug Gang Hits Cops with Car Bomb,” CBSNews, 16 Jul. 2010 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/ 07/16/world/main6683297.shtml.

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 5. The seizure of weapons by Mexican soldiers has shown that the narcotraffickers are obtaining high caliber military style weapons. These include grenades, rocket launchers, submachine-guns, mortars, and tankless rockets. The cartels continue purchasing the famous AK-47, assault rifles AR-15 and .50, and Colt 38 hand guns. Some cartels have sought out explosives, which some experts fear could be used in car bombs and other improvised devices. See Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson,“Drug cartels’ new weaponry means war,” Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2009 http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/15/world/fg-mexico-arms-race15.   6.  Other studies divide narcocorridos into three categories: those that tell true stories, those that describe and talk of narcotraffickers as heroes, and those that criticize the topic of drug trafficking. Still, some say that there is an additional type of narcocorridos, those that talk of the “mojados” and illegal immigrants. For more information, refer to José Valenzuela Arce and Elijah Wald’s various articles and books on the subject.   7.  The narco-language is filled with a variety of vocabulary that refers to drugs they traffic as “medicines.” For example there are various words for cocaine (el alacrán, la blanca, la blanca nieve, harina, nieve, el perico “scorpion, the white one, white snow, flour, snow, parakeet”), heroine (chiva, goma, negra, piedra negra “female goat, rubber, black, black stone”), and marijuana (gallo, pastura, mota, borrego, yesca “rooster, pasture, speck, lamb, tinder”). There is also vocabulary for the people that work in the profession, such as those who transport drugs (los burreros “mule or dunkey driver”) and the bosses (los chacas, perrones, pesados, los dueños de la plaza, los papás de los pollitos, los jefes de jefes “Narco bosses, big dogs (bad asses), the heavy ones, owners of narcotraffic routes, father of the chicks, boss of bosses”). Additionally there is vocabulary for how the drugs are transported, and the weapons the drug traffickers use such as the AK-47 (las cuernos de chivo “goat’s horns”). The cartels perpetrate “levantones” “kidnappings” to get out information from those who are captured. There are also the “encajuelados,” those kidnapped and hidden in car trunks. The “encobijados” are bodies of assassinated persons covered in blankets to be later thrown and displayed in public places. For more information, see: José Manuel Valenzuela, “Tartamudearon los fierros,” BBCMUNDO.com, 22 Sep. 2008 http://news .bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/specials/2008/narcomexico/newsid_7619000/7619632.stm.   8.  Jesús Malverde is often in the center of altars worshipped by narcotraffickers. To his left is San Judas Tadeo, and to his right, la Santa Muerte.   9.  Another source found indicates that González contructed the Capilla de Malverde in 1969. See Chris Hayley “Mexican Drug Smugglers Embrace Bandit as Patron Saint” USA TODAY.com, 18 Mar. 2010 http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/ 2010–03–17–drug-chapel_N.htm. 10. Alejandro Román Bahena was born in 1975 in Cuernavaca, Morelos and began writing plays at a young age. He was a student of Felipe Santander and Hugo Argüelles. He has been recognized with many accolades including the National award for Dramaturgy from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (2006); the National award for Dramaturgy “Oscar Liera,” and the National award for Dramaturgy “Fernando Sánchez Mayans” (2007). His first staged play was Mastercard in (2006?), his other plays include Cielo rojo “Red Sky” (2006), Misa del gallo “Midnight Mass”

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(2007), Línea de fuego “Line of Fire” (2007), Aullido de mariposas “Butterflies’ Howl” (2008), and Coppertone (2004). 11.  Rocío Galicia has written that Alejandro Román’s personal style invokes the narcocorridos. In his theater Román presents versification similar to epic-musical forms that come from medieval epic poems but that today glorify instead the big “jefes de jefes” of the drug cartels. Rocío Galicia, “Historias a contrapelo: temporalidad, detritus y basurización en La Misa del Gallo, de Alejandro Román,” Unpublished manuscript. 12.  Rodolfo Carillo Fuentes, known as “Rodolfillo” or the “Niño de oro” “Golden Boy,” was the youngest brother of Amado Carillo Fuentes, el Señor de los Cielos and ex-capo of the Juárez Cartel. After Amado’s death, Rodolfillo became the new leader of the Cartel even though he had some opposition. On the early evening of September 11, 2004, both Rodofillo and his wife Giovanna Quevedo were gunned down in the Cinépolis Plaza of the city of Culiacán in the state of Sinaloa. At the scene of the crime, at least twenty gunshots were found. It is said that the couple was walking to their car, driven by their chauffeur Juan Durán, when a blue truck opened fire and shot them all. This later provoked a shoot-out between “Rodolfillo’s” guards. This conflict continued with Pedro Pérez López, the commanding officer of the Policía Ministerial and personal bodyguard or Rodolfillo, and the assassins. These assassins were headed by Felipe López Olivas, “El Calaveras,” an ex-agent of the Policía Ministerial. According to investigations, “El Calaveras” worked for the Carrillo Fuentes family, until he was dismissed for insubordination. He promised to take revenge on Rodolfillo. Other sources indicate that a few months before the assassination, a confrontation between Rodolfillo and Gonzalo Inzunsa regarding the country’s marijuana routes occurred. Inzunsa is the principal gunman of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada (also known as MZ) and partner of el Chapo Guzmán. As a result, Gavilán mentions the following information in Malverde. Día de la Santa Cruz: “Se dice que ya en Monterrey se pactó la caída del Niño de Oro” and adds, “Que allá el Chapo y el MZ firmaron su sentencia de muerte” “It is said that in Monterrey is was decided the fate of the Golden Niño . . . it is said that over there Chapo and MZ signed his death sentence” (Alejandro Román 147). It is said that Pedro Pérez was a devotee of Malverde. Even if he was shot several times, he survived the attack. Rodolfillo’s story appears to be the basis for Roman’s play. For more detailed information regarding the event and the burial of Rodolfillo and his wife, see Jorge Fernández Menéndez and Víctor Ronquillo, De los Maras a los Zetas (Mexico City: Grijalbo, 2006) 109–17. 13. Innocent civilians have also become victims by chance of narco violence. A member of the Milenio cartel confessed to Mexican authorities that the cartels have been systematically killing innocent people to create terror in the population. These victims are usually chosen randomly. For further information please check “Mexico: los Zetas eligen a sus víctimas al azar,” 02 May 2012, Infobae, Web. 14 May 2014 http://www.infobae.com/2012/05/30/1051455–mexico-los-zetas-eligensus-victimas-al-azar. 14.  La Santa Muerte or Saint Death is the personification of death and considered to be a saint of last resort for people going through extreme circumstances in life.

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Many drug traffickers (the Zetas for instance) have increasingly been turning to the cult of Santa Muerte. 15.  See Heriberto Yépez, “El ciclo inconcluso del mito,” Malverde. El día de la Santa Cruz. Animas y santones. Vida y Milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde: Antología dramática, ed. Rocío Galicia (México City: Teatro Ex–Céntrico, 2008) 11. 16.  La Famila Michoacana split up in 2011 after the death of its leader. The organization it’s now called los Caballeros Templarios “The Knights Templar.” 17.  Jean Franco, Cruel Modernity (Durham: Duke UP, 2013) 226 has also written about this horrendous event. She is of the opinion that the message left on the dance floor beside the severed heads summarizes the creed of La Familia Michoacana “The executioners describe themselves as God’s enforcers. Evil has now become good; to kill is a divine right.” 18.  Antonio Zúñiga realized his calling while studying business administration in Ciudad Juárez, having been inspired by the meeting of Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda in a theater workshop. He writes of the Border and its problems. Jesús González Dávila, Vicente Leñero, and Luis de Tavira were some of his teachers and mentors. In 2002 Zúñiga won the Premio Nacional de Dramaturgia de Nuevo León and in 2006 won first place in the XI Certamen Internacional de Guiones Cinematográficos de Cortometraje de la Universidad de la Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. Today, he is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores. 19.  In an e-mail Antonio Zúñiga stated that Rompe-cabeza “no es una escritura ingenua, mi objetivo además de hablar de esos casos que me interesan, está en la investigación del lenguaje, en romper con la forma lineal, en crear una estructura movible, es decir procurar que de todas las maneras que se acomoden las piezas y que la fábula se mantenga intacta” “it is not a naive reading, other than to talk of those cases that interest me, my objective is also to explore with language, brake linear form, create a movable structure, in other words it is to try to fit all the pieces and keep the fable intact.” Antonio Zúñiga, e-mail to the author, June 4, 2009. 20.  Zúñiga says that he doesn’t mind writing an anecdote that is so explicit. What matters to him is that “más que en esta fragmentación los espectadores hagan sus propios enlaces, y ellos también creen en su imaginario su propia anécdota, la obra está escrita con esa intención, la de provocar en ellos un papel más activo después, que también ellos funcionen como una especie de escritores” “is that the spectators create their own links more than focus on the fragmentation of the play, that the spectators create their own anecdotes with their imagination, with the intention to provoke in them a more active role afterwards, and that they also operate as a type of writer, the play is written with this intention.” Antonio Zúñiga, e-mail to the author, June 4, 2009. 21.  Both Adriana Cavararo and Sergio González Rodríguez mention Perseus decapitation of Medusa in their studies of extreme violence in contemporary Mexico and the world. 22.  Hermann Herlinghaüs says that: “drug traffickers, at least those at the lower and most risky end of the business chain, belong to exactly the same class of poor

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people.” Hermann Herlinghaüs, Violence Without Guilt: Ethical Narratives from the Global South (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) 52. 23.  In scene VI: El jinete sin cabeza “The Headless Horseman” a young man, El Muchacho, confronts El Licenciado for killing his dad, Pez Gordo. El Muchacho seeks revenge by killing La Sirena “the Mermaid.” He brings El Licenciado her decapitated head as a birthday cake. El Muchacho tells him it is “mermaid cake.” Antonio Zúñiga, Rompe-Cabeza: (Mexico City: Paso de Gato) 31–36. 24.  Juan Carlos Embriz, “Taxonomía en la obra dramática del Hugo Salcedo,” Encuentro de Dramaturgia y Teatro Tijuana, 27 Sept 2012, Unpublished conference proceedings, indicates in his study of Música de balas that the playwright has said that he considers himself co-author of the play because Felipe Calderón also helped him write it. 25.  Cutberto López began in the theater in 1981 as an actor, mime, technician, and eventually evolved into a director and dramatist. Some of his mentors were Marcela del Río, Santiago García, and José Sanchís Sinisterra. Cutberto is a prolific writer known for his plays: Durmientes (2003), Desierto (1993), Mujer lagartija, Píntame un sueño, Calle del oro 1555, Rosa, casa pa’ los pastores and Terapia intensiva. He has been a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores and jury in many National Theater festivals. 26.  Pangas are light speedboats that have a Yahama 300 engine, said to be very powerful. The motorboats are made of fiberglass and used as a transportation form by many fishers and narco-fishers for their speed and durability. Please see Carlos Paul “Yamaha 300 nace del miedo al narco,” La Jornada, 3 Sep. 2006 www.jornada .unam.mx/2006/09/03. 27.  Guadalupanos are devout followers of the Virgin of Guadalupe. 28.  Mara o la noche sin fin (2008) by Antonio Zúñiga and Expreso al Paraíso (2010), written and directed by Jorge Celaya, are texts part of a new subject about the maras “gangs” which also form part of narco-theater.

WORKS CITED Alfonso, Vicente. “La narcocultura echa raíces.” El Mexicano. 31 Jan. 2007. Web. 5 June 2009. www.el-mexicano.com.mx. Astorga, Luis. Mitología del “narcotraficante” en México. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1995. ———. “Los corridos de traficantes de drogas en México y Colombia.” Revista Mexicana de Sociología 59.4 (Oct-Dec 1997): 245–61. Print. ———. “La cocaína en el corrido.” Revista Mexicana de Sociología 62.2 (Apr–June 2000): 151–73. Print. ———. “Drug Trafficking in Mexico: A First General Assessment.” Management for Social Trasformations—MOST. N.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2009. http://www.unesco.org/ astorga.htm. “Banco de información INEGI: Defunciones por homicidio 1990–2011.” INEGI. N.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. http://www3.inegi.org.mx/sistemas/biinegi/?ind=6300000264.

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Barria Issa, César A. The use of terrorism by drug trafficking organizations’ paramilitary groups in Mexico. MA Thesis. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, 2010. Calhoun Institute Archive of the Naval Postgraduate School. Web. June 2014. Brice, Arthur. “Deadliest Year in Mexico’s War on Drugs.” CNN.com. 31 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/12/31/mexico.violence. Burgess, Ronald. The New Dramatists of Mexico, 1967–1985. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1991. Print. Cavarero, Adriana. Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence. New York: Columbia UP, 2009. Edberg, Mark Cameron. Narcotraficante: Narcocorridos and the Construction of a Cultural Persona on the U.S.-Mexican Border. Austin: U of Texas UP, 2004. Print. “El país sufre el día más violento del sexenio.” El Universal. 12 June 2010. Web. 10 Aug. 2010. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/primera/35076.html. Embriz Gonzaga, Juan Carlos. “Taxonomía en la obra dramática de Hugo Salcedo.” Encuentro de Dramaturgia y Teatro Tijuana. 27 Sept. 2012. Unpublished conference proceedings. Enríquez, José Ramón. “Violencia y dramaturgia.” Reforma. Sección Cultura. 11 Sept. 2009. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. http://teatroymas.com.mx/sitio/panico_escenico/ panico_escenico_septiembre11_2009.html. Espinal, Yarini. “La narcocultura y la narcoviolencia: observadas en la obras Rompecabeza y Yamaha 300.” Unpublished Manuscript. “Estrenará UNAM obra de Cutberto López en la Ciudad de México.” Universidad de Sonora. (14 Aug. 2006). Web. http://www.uson.mx/noticias/default.php?id=3644 Fernández Menéndez, Jorge y Víctor Ronquillo. De los Maras a los Zetas: Los secretos del narcotráfico, de Colombia a Chicago. México D.F.: Grijalbo, 2006. Print. “Finaliza temporada Yamaha 300, de Cutberto López.” Boletín de Medios de Coordinación de Difusión Cultural: UNAM 144 (28 Mar. 2007) Web. http://www.difu sioncultural.unam.mx. Franco, Jean. Cruel Modernity. Durham: Duke UP, 2013. Galicia, Rocío. Dramaturgia en contexto I: Diálogo con veinte dramaturgos del noreste de México. Torreón, Coahuila, México: Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2007. Print. ———. Introducción. Animas y santones. Vida y Milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde: Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Teatro Ex–Céntrico, 2008. 15–32. Print. ———. “La Misa del Gallo, de Alejandro Román.” Círculo Teatral. Mexico City. 22 June 2009. Keynote address. ———. “Historias a contrapelo: temporalidad, detritus y basurización en La Misa del Gallo, de Alejandro Román.” Unpublished manuscript. González Rodríguez, Sergio. El hombre sin cabeza. Barcelona: Anagrama, 2009. Print. Grayson, George. Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State? New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2010. Print.

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Griffith, James S. Folk Saints of the Borderlands: Victims, Bandits & Healers. Rio Negro P.: Tucson, Arizona, 2003. Print. Grillo, Ioan. El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency. New York: Bloomsbery, 2011. Print. Gómez, Silvia Isabel. “Del crimen a la creación: ocupa el narcomotivo del arte.” Reforma Sunday, 16 May 2010. Web. 22 July 2010. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mjv Z4Soo_6o/S_MEz59J7RI/AAAAAAAABWA/qONQ9-xCWeI/s1600/REFORM A+NOTA+. Harmony, Olga Harmony. “Rompe-cabeza” La Jornada. Thursday, 16 Aug. 2007. Web. 17 Nov. 2008. www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/08/16. ———. “Yamaha 300.” Guía para el examen extraordinario Taller de lectura y análisis de textos literarios II. Ed. Consuelo Olivares Fernández. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2007: 8–9. Print. Hartelius, Jonas. Narcoterrorrism. Crime Theatening the Rule of Law. Trans. Jonas Hartelius. Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Carnegie Institute & Langenskiold P., 2007. Print. Hawley, Chris. “Mexican Drug Smugglers Embrace Bandit as Patron Saint.” USA Today. 17 Mar. 2010. Web. 10 Aug. 2010. http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/ 2010–0317–drug-chapel-N.htm. Herlinghaüs, Hermann. Violence Without Guilt: Ethical Narratives from the Global South. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print. “Hugo Salcedo gana premio nacional de dramaturgia con Música de balas.” La Jornada Jalisco. Web. 17 Nov. 2012. http://archivo.lajornadajalisco.com.mx/6 Nov. 2011. 2011/11/06/index.php?section=cultura&article=010n2cul. “Human Heads Dumped in Mexico Bar.” BBC News 7 Sep. 2006. Web. 10 Sept. 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5322160.stm. Liera, Oscar. El jinete de la Divina Providencia Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa: Culiacán, Sinaloa, México, 1987. Leñero, Estela. “Premio Nacional de Dramaturgia a Hugo Salcedo.” Proceso. 29 Nov. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. www.proceso.com.mx/?p=293044. López, Cutberto. Yamaha 300. Mexico City: Ediciones El Milagro-Universidad de Sonora, 2009. “Malverde.” 25 Aug. 2008. Web. 2 May 2009. http://www.ibero909.fm/dfm/2008/ 8/25/malverde.html. Márquez, Jaime. “Decapitan a 5 en Uruapán; tiran cabezas en un bar.” El Universal Thursday, 7 Sept. 2006. Web. 2 May 2009. El Universal.com.mx. Márquez, Carlos F. “El dramaturgo en el norte de México tiene un oficio de riesgo similar al del periodista: Zúñiga” La Jornada de Michoacán. Wednesday, 12 Nov. 2008. Web. 25 May 2009. www.lajornadamichoacan.com.mx. “Más de 121 mil muertos, el saldo de la narcoguerra de Calderón: INEGI.” Proceso. com.mx. 30 Jul. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p= 348816. Mejía Madrid, Fabrizio. “Narcocultura: El misterio del perico, el gallo y la chiva.” N.d. Web. 25 May 2009. http://noticias.prodigy.msn.com/bbc.aspx?cp-docu mentid=10571309&page=1.

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Mendoza, Élmer. “El narcotraje es el mensaje.” BBC Mundo. N.d. Web. 25 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/specials/2008/narcomexico/newsid_ 7619000/7619861.stm. “Mexico Drug Gang Hits Cops with Car Bomb.” CBS News World. 16 July, 2010. Web. 30 July 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/16/world/ main6683297.shtml. “Mexico Drug Violence ‘Still Growing.’” BBC News Latin America & Caribbean. 3 Aug. 2010. Web. 4 Aug. 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latino-america10860614. “México en la era del narco.” BBC Mundo. N.d. Web. 25 May 2009. http://news .bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/specials/2008/narcomexico/newsid_7619000/7619861.stm. “Mexico Says 28,000 Killed in Drugs War Since 2006.” BBC News Latin America & Caribbean. 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 4 Aug. 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world .latin-america-10860614. Park, Jungwon. Imaginar sin frontera: Visiones errantes de nación y cosmopolitismo desde la periferia. Diss. University of Pittsburg, 2008. Print. Partida Tayzan, Armando. “La cultura regional: Detonador de la dramaturgia del norte.” Latin American Theatre Review 36.2 (Spring 2003): 73–93. Print. ———. “Malverde: De santo familiar a protector familiar de narcotraficantes.” Latin American Theatre Review 44.2 (2011): 35–53. Print. Paul, Carlos. “Yamaha 300 nace del miedo al narco.” La Jornada. Sunday, 3 Sept. 2006. Web. 30 May 2009. www.jornada.unam.mx/2006/09/03/index.php?section= cultura&article=a03n2cul. Quiñones, Alicia. “La belleza de la violencia.” Milenio Online. 1 May 2010. Web. 20 July 2010. http://impreso.milenio.com/node/8760140. Quiñones, Sam. True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx. Albuquerque, NM: U of New Mexico P, 2001. Print. Román, Alejandro. Malverde. El día de la Santa Cruz. Animas y santones. Vida y Milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde: Antología dramatic. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Teatro Ex–Céntrico, 2008. 135–97. Print. ———. Cielo rojo. Dramaturgia Mexicana.com. 2006. Web. Jan. 15 2010. http:// espanol.dramaturgiamexicana.com/index.php/profile/573–alejandro-roman. Salcedo, Hugo. Música de balas. Mexico City: Molinos de viento/ Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2012. Print. Seligson, Esther. “Unir los sueños, juntar los juegos.” El jinete de la Divina Providencia. Culiacán, Sinaloa, México: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa:, 1987: 5–7. Print. Stevenson, Mark. “34,612 Drug Deaths; 15,273 in 2010.” 12 Jan. 2011. Web. 12 June 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/12/mexico-drug-war-deaths -2010_n_808277.html. Sullivan, John P. and Adam Elkus. “Cartel vs Cartel: Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency.” Small Wars Journal. 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2009. smallwarsjournal.com. Taniguchi, Hanako. “Cisen: Son 28 mil los muertos relacionados con el crimen organizado.” CNN México. 3 Aug. 2010. Web. 4 Aug. 2010. http://mexico.cnn.com/ nacional/2010/08/03/cisen-son-28–mil-los-muertos-relacionados-con-el-crimen -organizado.

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“Uruapán.” BBC News. Sept 2006. Web. 4 Aug. 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/ni/ 5322160.stm. Valdés Medellín, Gonzalo. “Yamaha 300: Cutberto López.” ¡Siempre! Revista Online 31 Dec. 2006. Web. June 2009. http:www.articlearchives.com/87830–1.html. Vega, Aurora. “Terror en el Casino Royale de Monterrey; los Zetas, detrás del atentado.” Excelsior 26 Aug. 2011. Web. http://www.excelsior.com.mx/index.php?m=nota&id _nota=763911. Wyler, Grace. “Mexico Drug Carnage: Nearly 40 Killed Over the Weekend.” The New York Times. 14 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 July 2011. http://www.businessinsider .com/drug-war-death-toll-nearly-40–killed-in-mexico-over-the-weekend-2011–2. Yepes, Heriberto. “El ciclo inconcluso del mito.” Malverde. El día de la Santa Cruz. Animas y santones. Vida y Milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde: Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Teatro Ex–Céntrico, 2008. 5–14. Print. Zúñiga, Antonio. Rompe-cabeza. México City: Paso de Gato, 2007. Print. ———. Personal Interview. 27 May 2008. ———. Message to the author. 4 June 2009. E-mail.

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The Ciudad Juárez Tragedy Maquiladora Dreams and City Demons

Sangre mía, sangre de alba, sangre de luna partida (“Sangre Mía” by Susana Chávez)1 El imperio trata de ocultar su voracidad, pero este intento ha fracasado; lo que arroja son cuerpos con trazas de violencia exacerbada. Quizá los feminicidios en Ciudad Juárez fueron los primeros síntomas del malestar. Rocío Galicia “Memorias de duelo” Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios 332

In an unfortunate twist of fate Susana Chávez Castillo, poet, political activist of Ciudad Juárez, and one of the leaders of the civil association Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa “May Our Daughters Return Home,” became the first femicide victim of 2011. In the poem “Sangre Mía” “Blood of Mine,” she writes about blood that spills. This blood is hers and others. The last verses of the poem: “Sangre instante donde nazco adolorida/ Nutrida de mi última presencia” “Blood, painful moment of my birth,/ Nourished by my last appearance” foretell the end of her days. Susana was killed on January 5, 2011 just twenty-one days after another social activist of women’s rights, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, was gunned down in Chihuahua City. It was reported that Susana was strangled and raped, and her body, missing a hand, was dumped in the street of a poor neighborhood of Juárez. The hand was later found in a different location. A communiqué by the local chapter of Amnesty International repudiating her murder reflects the irony of the situation in which the author of the phrase “Ni una más” “Not one more” also became a victim of the violence against women she had so hardily fought for more than a decade (“Amnistía Internacional repudia el asesinato de la poeta”). Prominent women activists in the state of Chihuahua have been systematically threatened to be silent on 161

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the lack of protection given by the state to women and girls, and not to speak of the impunity given to the murderers (“Amnistía Internacional repudia el asesinato de la poeta”; “Asesinan a activista Susana Chávez en Chihuahua”; “Mexico: Justice Fails in Ciudad Juarez and the City of Chihuahua”). The femicides, “the killing of women by men because they are women” (Russell xiv), were first observed in Ciudad Juárez in 1993 and continue to this day. The official numbers indicate that between 1993 and 2005 there were 379 to 400 femicides (Engle Merry 120). Julia Estela Monárrez Fragoso of COLEF (Colegio de la Frontera) contends that the numbers skyrocketed between 2007 and 2011 due to the war against organized crime to more than 692, and the estimated number of femicides in the last twenty years exceeds 1,437 victims (“20 Years of Border Femicide”). Has the work done by activists and families of the victims stopped these atrocities or found the killers? In a city ruled by foreign assembly plants and drug cartels, hard-working poor young women are disposable and their murders marred by total impunity. The U.S.-Mexico Border is often rough and violent yet it can also be tranquil and full of opportunities. One of the best examples of such a duality is Ciudad Juárez. Since the end of the nineteenth century people have emigrated to Border towns seeking business opportunities. Specifically, the history of Juárez had two booms that helped it develop and grow. The first one took place after the Mexican Revolution and was abetted by the era of Prohibition in the United States (1920–1933). The second occurred after the creation of the maquiladora “assembly plants” National Border Program (PRONAF) in 1965 and the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement of North America (NAFTA) in 1994. These new economic policies increased employment but also violations of human rights in many Mexican Border towns (Kagan 154). An extreme example of this uneven urbanization and growth due to world trade and globalization is Ciudad Juárez. The city is a success model for its infrastructure and cost effectiveness “now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city” for newly (re)located assembly plants (Chamberlain). The Border city of Juárez represents extreme economic contrasts and is believed by many to be among the most dangerous cities in the Americas, and the world.3 Social and economic disparities and injustices stemming from neoliberal policies of free trade have mixed with a traditionally patriarchal society—misogynous and machista—where gender roles have transformed rapidly over the past decades. These alterations have made poor local women vulnerable to violence and death as observed in the plays Estrellas enterradas “Buried Stars” (2001) by Antonio Zúñiga, Hotel Juárez (2003) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, Lomas de Poleo (2003) by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo, Sirenas del río “Mermaids of the River” (2008) by Demetrio Ávila, Jauría “Pack of Dogs” (2008) by Enrique Mijares, and La

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ciudad de las moscas “City of Flies” (2008) by Virginia Hernández. The characters are either the perpetrators or victims of los feminicidios “femicides,” the atrocious crimes committed against women since the early 1990s. These courageous dramatists propose answers and justice for the disappeared women of Juárez. Besides theater, the feminicidios of Ciudad Juarez have been portrayed in the arts and other literary genres since the late 1990s. Movies and documentaries have helped spotlight the atrocities and acts of sexual terror against females known the world over. Señorita Extraviada “Missing Young Women” (2001) directed by Lourdes Portillo, won awards in national and international film festivals, and is the most recognized work pertaining to the situation in Juárez.4 Powerful and wrenching, Señorita Extraviada is an investigative documentary that exposes the incompetence and complicity that has permitted the femicides in Juárez. The story is told through the words of the victims. Movie studios have also broached the topic of the feminicidios, Bordertown (2006) directed by Gregory Nava and starring Jennifer López and Antonio Banderas, and El traspatio “Backyard” (2009) written by playwright Sabina Berman, directed by Carlos Carrera, and starring Ana de la Reguera and Jimmy Smits, give a true presentation of the crimes, victims, and possible assassins as well as their motives. In July 2013 the television network FX launched the series The Bridge. This drama follows two detectives, one from El Paso and the other from Juárez, who try to solve a double femicide murder. In print there are two fictionalized accounts in the novels 2666 by Roberto Bolaño (published posthumously in 2004) and Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders (2005) by Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Some poetic endeavors have dealt with the topic; most important are Secrets in the Sand: The Young Women of Juárez (2006) by Marjorie Agosín, Jirones y arena (2010) a book of collective poetry and paintings produced by INMUJERES, and Sangre mía. Poetry of Border: Violence, Gender and Identity in Ciudad Juárez (2013) another book of collective poetry edited by Jennifer Rathbun and Juan Armando Rojas Joo. In Secrets in the Sand the author summons her readers to enter the world of the femicides and their families: “Surrounded by the spirits of the living-dead, she probes beneath the surface and searches for clues that lie buried in the desert sands” (KostopulosCooperman 20). In the prologue to Jirones y arena Jorge Fernández Menéndez declares that Ciudad Juárez symbolizes its dead women. Even though newspapers, investigative reports, and researchers have tried to explain the femicides, alternate visions are needed in order to show atrocities that are hard to understand. Consequently, to comprehend the true extent of the Juárez’ femicides, adds Fernández Meléndez, it should be revealed through poetry, painting, cinema, and theater as these mediums can give death a

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more humane dimension (Fernández Meléndez 9). Susana Chávez’s poetry is included in Sangre mía and her memory is paid tribute with the title of the book. The collection contains the work of fifty-three poets and “[T]heir verses make a stand against the indifference, neglect and impunity and they offer their readers alternatives to the simulacra of official discourse surrounding violence in Chihuahua” (Rathbun and Rojas 13). Many songs have also been recorded to honor the victims of Juárez: Radiohead “Maquiladora” (song, 1995); Tori Amos “Juárez” (song, 1999); Los Tigres del Norte “Mujeres de Juárez” (song, 2004); Bugs Salcido “The Juárez Murders” (album, 2004) are some of the most important musicians that have taken the task to internalize these murders. Several important exhibitions have also brought to light the feminicidios. “Ni Una Más: An Exhibition” (May 15– July 16, 2010) was presented at Drexel University, Philadelphia. The exhibition featured seventy works by twenty international artists with the dual goal of creating art and political history (Bilbeisi). In Chicago the National Museum of Mexican Art presented “Rastros y Crónicas: Women of Juárez” from October 2009 to July 2010. It challenges the viewers to grapple with the reality of the Juárez abominable murders and abductions and: “reevaluate his or her role in society and in the world” (“Rastros y crónicas: Women of Juarez”). In addition, there are studies exposing the brutal murders of women in Ciudad Juárez: from gender studies to labor law and academic conferences devoted to the topic. Amnesty international, the Organization of American States and the International Court have conducted extensive investigations on the murders, as well as some important newspapers and magazines. Despite many obstacles, local organizations in Juárez—Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, Justicia para Nuestras Hijas, and Casa Amiga—continue to search for answers to their daughters or mothers’ disappearances and demand punishment for the perpetrators. The origin of the word femicide dates back to 1976. Sociologists Diana Russell first used it when she testified in front of the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women about a misogynous killing (Russell xiv). Years later Diana Russell and Jill Radford co-edited the anthology Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing (1992). Jill Radford defines Femicide as: “the misogynous killing of women by men,” which is a form of sexual violence that emphasizes “sexual aggression by men to be seen in the context of the overall oppression of women in a patriarchal society” (3).5 Recently the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Vienna Liaison Office published Femicide: A Global Issue that Demands Action (2013). This publication germinated as a result from the discussions of the Vienna symposium on Femicide on November 26, 2012. The definition of femicide given by ACUNS is comprehensive:

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Femicide is the ultimate form of violence against women and girls and takes multiple forms. Its many causes are rooted in the historically unequal power relations between men and women and in systemic gender-based discrimination. For a case to be considered femicide there must be an implied intention to carry out the murder and a demonstrated connection between the crime and the female gender of the victim. So far, data on femicide have been highly unreliable and the estimated numbers of women who have been victims of femicides vary accordingly. Femicides take place in every country of the world. The greatest concern related to femicide is that these murders continue to be accepted, tolerated or justified—with impunity as the norm. To end femicide we need to end impunity, bring perpetrators to justice, and every individual has to change his/her attitude towards women. (Laurent and Platzer “Foreword”)

There are at least eleven forms of femicide identified in the Vienna Declaration of Femicide: Recognizing that femicide is the killing of women and girls because of their gender, which can take the form of, inter alia: 1) the murder of women as a result of domestic violence/intimate partner violence; 2) the torture and misogynist slaying of women; 3) killing of women and girls in the name of “ honour”; 4) targeted killing of women and girls in the context of armed conflict; 5) dowryrelated killings of women and girls; 6) killing of women and girls because of their sexual orientation and gender identity; 7) the killing of aboriginal and indigenous women and girls because of their gender; 8) female infanticide and gender-based sex selection foeticide; 9) genital mutilation related femicide; 10) accusations of witchcraft and 11) other femicides connected with gangs, organized crime, drug dealers, human trafficking, and the proliferation of small arms. (ACUNS 4)

Femicides in the Americas appear to be related to domestic violence and to the killing of women due to organized crime. In areas where there is a rise in traffic of illicit drugs there is a correlation with the rise in femicides (ACUNS 68). As Central American nations began to be used as a “drug corridors” for the big drug cartels, femicides began to rise in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The nation with the highest rates of femicides in the world is El Salvador (ACUNS 68). The femicides of Ciudad Juárez tend to be related to narcotrafficking but also “[T]hese murders have different underlying causes, but many of them represent features of gender-based violence” (ACUNS 69). In order to understand what has led to the brutality of the feminicidios de Juárez, it is necessary to understand the city’s history and socio-economic development. Despite its rapid expansion, Ciudad Juárez still shows relics from a not so distant non-industrialized past. These remnants have mixed and coexist

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Figure 5.1.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández.

with the developed and industrialized world to create a complex metropolis. Economic indicators suggest the city is an international business and trade leader. But Juárez is also a place where the different factions test their prowess. Political philosophers Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri speculate that globalization and modern imperialism have repositioned and mixed peripheries and centers: The special divisions of the three Worlds (First, Second, and Third) have been scrambled so that we continually find the First World in the Third, the Third in the First, and the Second almost nowhere at all. Capital seems to be faced with a smooth world—or really, a world defined by new and complex regimes of differentiation and homogenization, deterritorialization and reterritorialization. (Hardt and Negri, Empire xiii)

The process alluded by Hardt and Negri, is labeled by Rosa Linda Fregoso as “denationalization” or “the granting [by nation states] of ‘whole range of rights’ to foreign economic actors as well as the stripping away of ‘nationally guaranteed rights’ from actors (women) whom the state deems ‘disposable’ and ‘undesirable’” (111). Neoliberalism’s political and economic trajectory

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tends to produce uneven geographic development whereby the periphery, instead of disappearing, expands to other areas of the world forming a new large circle of peripheries, and where the state lowers or withdraws the funding of the public sector and increases its support for the private corporations and foreign investors (Fregoso 111; Park 241). Denationalization, adds Fregoso, has eradicated the rights of some women and other “undesirable” groups (111). Rapid societal economic transformations are bound to force conflicts within the sociological makeup of males and females. These alterations, indicates Marianne Hester, destabilize: “when there are changes in the economic sphere, such as changes in production methods, conflict around male-female power relations also take place to ensure male dominance” (28). Economic alterations may lower standards of living, ruin the social makeup of communities, and marginalize minorities and the poor. There are other factors and players that one must consider and include when discussing the topic of femicides in Juárez—multinationals and their involvement with the Mexican government, as well as Drug Trafficking Organizations and their ties with the Mexican government and corruption. The Mexican government is perhaps, the guiltiest entity not performing its appointed duties. In Señorita Extraviada, Lourdes Portillo points out that by omission or submission the Mexican government is responsible for the turbulence and femicides taking place in Juárez and in other parts of the country. Thus the socio-economic and political climate of contemporary Mexico, by oversight, allows for brutality and impunity from the government against its own citizens. Most at risk are the poor and socially marginalized of the country—Poor young women are stripped by force of their basic rights as citizens, such as security and freedom, and their bodies become objects that can be tortured and broken (Schmidt Camacho 4). Is Mexico a country in crisis, then? The unspeakable cruelty of the crimes and systematic marginalization and discrimination of women has made Ciudad Juárez an epicenter for what is wrong with Mexican society. In the last twenty years a variety of studies have tried to shed light on the phenomenon of the femicides of Ciudad Juárez. Some studies focus on the possible causes for the killings. They pay attention on how the spatial makeup of the city has contributed to the geographical, historical, and social city construct (Monárrez and Flores 66). Others have focused on the “black legend” of Juárez, portraying it as a city of vice and sin. The entertainment industry, contraband, and assembly plants have all contributed to tarnish the image of the city. Other factors that contribute to the city’s growth also have caused an increase in violence against women—maquiladoras and the role changes that have taken place in the family, uncontrolled migration, narcotraffick turf

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wars, gangs, and corrupt political environment. The combination of poverty, migratory waves, and assembly plants as well as an increase in violence and lack of public safety differentiate Ciudad Juárez and make its case stand out. A. HISTORY OF CIUDAD JUÁREZ Before the arrival of the Spanish, the native nomad tribes recognized the extraordinary geographical location of what became known as El Paso Grande del Norte—comprised by present day Ciudad Juárez and El Paso. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was most likely the first European to survey the Nuevo México and Nueva Viscaya regions in 1533.6 It was not until April 30, 1598 when local natives showed Juan de Oñate the best place to cross the Rio Grande (called Río Bravo in Mexico), that Spaniards recognized the potential value of the area. On May 4, 1598 Oñate founded the city of El Paso del Río del Norte, an area nestled between the mountains and the Rio Grande. Subsequently two missions were founded: Misión de Guadalupe de los Indios Mansos del Norte was established in 1659 in what is presently Ciudad Juárez. Misión San José was established later. As it was usually the case during colonial times, a presidio was built near the two missions in 1685. El Paso del Norte became part of the state of Chihuahua after Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821 and continued growing in importance. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) established the Rio Grande as the international boundary dividing the zone into two separate cities—El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. During the French invasion, El Paso del Norte became President Benito Juárez’ headquarters and temporary seat of government (1865–1866). The first Border expansion, the period between 1880 and 1910, brought development to the area. For instance, in 1884 railway lines were constructed on both sides of the Border making the area more accessible to migration, exploitation of minerals, and agriculture. This railroad network helped connect the Mexican north and U.S. Southwest more closely than with the Mexican interior (Ganster and Lorey 36). The city’s name was officially changed to Ciudad Juárez in 1888 in Benito Juárez’ honor and a new era began. The first major battle of the Mexican Revolution was fought in Ciudad Juárez in 1911. Even though the city became a strategic center during the war, it experienced difficulties while its sister city to the north, El Paso, expanded exponentially. With the fighting that ensued more Juarenses “local citizens of Juárez” moved across the river to El Paso in search of jobs (Ganster and Lorey 44). When war was finally over, border towns needed federal support for reconstruction. New initiatives in Tijuana, Mexicali, and Juárez focused on developing an entertainment and tourism industry capable of luring people

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from the U.S. side of the Border to come play and relax, enjoy cabarets, racetracks, casinos, and bars. The implementation of the Volstead Act of 1919 provided Mexican Border cities such as Juárez its first economic boom from 1920 to 1933. The entertainment and tourism industry helped Ciudad Juárez expand and develop, but it also contributed to bring vice and violence to the city. The Prohibition era brought much needed improvements to Ciudad Juárez: “The surge in tourism transformed Ciudad Juárez into the most prosperous city along the border, boasting a wide range of urban services, including electricity, sewage, and water services, pavements, and trolleys” (Ganster and Lorey 47). Juárez also saw a proliferation of bars, gambling houses, casinos, parlors, and brothels (Martínez 151–52). The U.S. Consul John W. Dye stated in 1921 that Juárez was the most “immoral, degenerate, and utterly wicked place” he had encountered (Martínez 151). The “sin city” stereotype gave Juárez much needed growth, but also decay. B. NATIONAL BORDER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM IN CIUDAD JUÁREZ In the mid to late nineteenth century, due to their isolated geographical location, towns on both sides of the Border found it extremely expensive to do business with the trading centers of their respective countries. The growing strategic importance of Mexico’s northern states, including the city of El Paso del Norte, made it necessary to establish free trade zones to compete with U.S. Border towns enjoying a duty free status in all products sold: During the mid-nineteenth century, the border region was officially recognized by the Mexican government as a special area with distinct and unique needs. Free zones, where goods could be moved back and forth across the border without paying any duty, were established in Tamaulipas and Chihuahua in 1858. . . . Untaxed trade was eventually expanded to the entire border region in 1885. (Ganster and Lorey 32–33)7

In 1905 the Diaz government eliminated the Free zone experiment. The claim was that the northern territories were now integrated to the rest of the country because of the railways. The U.S. Great Depression and the end of Prohibition marked the end of the first boom in the Border region. Additionally, new rules against gaming activities imposed by the Lázaro Cárdenas administration in 1935 hindered economic development in Juárez and other towns. Northern Mexican local population realized that their geographic isolation was costly, and that more

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permanent free trade agreements needed to be implemented. They argued that: “It was crucial that border residents be allowed to import U.S. goods without having to pay tariffs. Border-state policymakers persuaded the central government that without a free-trade zone there would be a significant decline in both population and commerce” (Ganster and Lorey 78). Locally, Juarenses were convinced that a zona libre “free trade zone” needed to be reinstituted in order to bring back “respectable commerce” to the area. Additionally, they believed that in order to be competitive: “the border region needed to manufacture more products” (Martínez 160–61). As a result of these complaints, the northwest Border region of Mexico became a free trade zone in 1939, and within a few decades the entire northern Mexican Border would follow. Trade expansion contributed to Juárez’ population increase because of the Bracero Program (1942–1964). Growth was reported all along the Mexican Border cities. Migrants used Juárez, and other Border cities, as a temporary hub before making their journeys northward to the U.S. Even after the program had ended, migrants continued arriving. The towns filled to capacity and their residents had to endure food, water, shelter, and transportation shortages (Kagan 155). The end of the Bracero Program resulted in the creation of the 1965 Programa Nacional Fronterizo “National Border Development Program” (PRONAF) which gave foreign companies licenses to import and export materials and machinery, as well as favorable tariffs, thus giving birth to the modern maquiladora zone (Kagan 155–56). The first maquiladoras were established in Juárez in 1964. Ciudad Juárez began the twentieth century as a small sleepy town along the Rio Grande with a population of 8,218. The first boom gave the city population a jump to 19,457 inhabitants in 1930. The Bracero Program brought a larger population explosion reaching 122,566 inhabitants in 1950. By 1970, with the creation of the first maquiladora plants, the city’s population more than tripled to 424,135. In the year 2000 the city’s population reached 1,218,817 (Ganster and Lorey 127). Presently, Ciudad Juárez has a population of 1.3 million inhabitants. It is a city in constant influx and growth—approximately 40,000 migrants move there annually from southern Mexico and become part of the army of cheap labor that is used to produce and transport goods (Weissman 18; Merry 121). Juárez is an economic powerhouse, the city generates 2 percent of Mexico’s GNP; 50 percent of Chihuahua’s Gross State Product with annual industrial growth rates ranging from 9 to 11 percent (versus the national average of 4 percent). Ramsés, one of the characters of the play Hotel Juárez, describes Juárez in a monologue: RAMSÉS. Juárez es una ciudad flotante. Es una ciudad de paso. Pero muchos se quedan. Aquí se van quedando los sin papeles, los fracasados, los débiles,

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los que dudan. Los fuertes pasan. Hay un cinturón color tierra, alrededor de la ciudad. Crecen y crecen las colonias sin agua, sin luz, sin calles. Gente que levanta sus casas de cartón y de láminas. Cuando se resignan a quedarse usan el cemento. Juárez no es la 16 de septiembre, ni Las Américas, ni el Puente de Santa Fe, ni la carretera Panamericana. Hay otro Juárez que invade el desierto y crece entre dunas, chaparrales y mezquites. (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 500) “RAMSES. Juárez is a floating city. It is a transient city. But many stay. The ones without papers, the losers, the weak, the doubters end up staying. The strong ones pass. There is an earth color belt, surrounding the city. The neighborhoods grow, the ones without water, without electricity, and without roads grow. The people there erect cardboard and tin roof homes. When they resign to stay then they make the decision to use cement. Juárez is not the 16th of September, nor is it the Americas Avenue, or the Santa Fe Bridge, or the Panamerican highway. There is another Juárez that is invading the desert and is growing between the sand dunes, chaparrals, and mesquite trees.”

As Ramses indicates, being a transient in Juárez signifies that only the strong and lucky are able to cross the Border. Those who stay must live in substandard housing and endure the city, its desert, and violence. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed on December 17, 1992 and went into effect on January 1, 1994 creating a free trade zone between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Mexico has benefited from NAFTA in that 20 percent of its GDP comes from the trade with the free trade zone. Moreover trade between U.S. and Mexico grew from $81 billion in 1993 to $231 billion in 2002 (Williams 14–15). Mexico’s agricultural market has remarkably grown faster than its partners (Raney and Shagam 22). Therefore Mexico has profited from having signed NAFTA and has had great success. Just as Mexico has benefited from joining NAFTA, so have its other two members. NAFTA provides many advantages—Companies that set up assembly plants in Mexico receive tax exemptions on most imports used in the manufacturing process on products sent back to the U.S. (Weissman 32). While these incentives make it more inviting to set up assembly plants along the Border, it also places a great burden on the cities that host them. The figures indicate that tax collections declined in Ciudad Juárez in the 1990s and that this in turn hindered financing to support an infrastructure in a city experiencing rapid growth (Weissman 33). The lack of urbanization in Juárez has created an extensive number of working-class neighborhoods locally known as colonias or shanty-towns (homes built out of scraps of materials). Since housing is so scarce, some people have now resorted to also living in the city’s dumps (Weissman 29–30). The “NAFTA phenomenon” has seen the increase of trafficking of people, guns, drugs and kidnapping giving the city an atmosphere similar to a militarized zone (Weissman 36).

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There are over 330 maquiladoras in Ciudad Juárez (the largest concentration of such plants in Mexico) employing 178,900 workers most of whom are single young women without children (Maquiladora FAQ). A majority of maquila workers are classified as unskilled labor to “justify low wages, faster output times, excessive hours, and stressful working conditions” (Weissman 21). This classification makes it easier to substitute or fire an unskilled laborer. Real wages have declined and are often insufficient to meet the needs for housing, food, and utilities (Weissman 22–23). In 2010 the minimum wage for maquila workers was $57.46 pesos/day (less than US$5.00) or ($0.60/hour). Working conditions in the factories can be dreadful—workers are often subjected to sexual harassment, pregnancy and urine tests, and dismissal if pregnant. The working environments for the employees can be hazardous because factories lack proper safety equipment that may expose workers to toxic chemicals, smoke, and dust fumes (Weissman 28; 30; Kagan 158). It is also difficult for maquila workers to organize in unions that are not linked to their company. All these rules and regulations are set by management to maintain control and keep costs down. While these companies provide a living to many, the working conditions are less than optimal. Another consequence of the industrial expansion in the maquiladora sector at the Border is the increase in mental illness and other social diseases. When a city like Ciudad Juárez is not able to support its infrastructure, provide basic utilities to all its inhabitants, and have laws to protect the environment and the rights of the workers in most maquiladoras, there can be an increase in cases of stress-related mental illness (Weissman 31). Communities can also become breeding grounds for crime as poverty and inequality increase chances for: “alienated individuals who have little to gain by conforming” to act up against the system (Weissman 41–42). Reports indicate that a majority of the new perpetrators of violent murders and acts are young men who oftentimes are members of gangs and could also be associated with the local drug cartels and crime syndicates. The assassins of poet Susana Chávez were three minors, all of them seventeen years of age.8 The different urbanization processes of Juárez are directly linked with the social and criminal activities of the city. Gender-based violence unquestionably is directly related to these processes as women move from private to public spaces and inevitably may experience different types of violence (Monárrez and Flores 70). C. THE CIUDAD JUÁREZ’ FEMICIDES The anthology Hotel Juárez, dramaturgia de feminicidios (2008) honors the late Victor Hugo Rascón Banda’s contributions to Teatro del norte and his compromise to shed light on the femicides. The collection contains eleven plays as well as two academic studies that deal with the femicides in Ciudad

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Juárez. The plays are engrossing because they give a clear picture of contemporary Ciudad Juárez, industrialization, and globalization in the twenty-first century and present the many theories for the femicides. Although some were published earlier in other publications, this is the first collection that unites the works of so many Mexican playwrights on the topic.9 Some works focus on the victims, others focus on the perpetrators, or even on those investigating the crimes. In “Memorias de duelo” “Memories of Sorrow” Galicia states the plays give the reader/spectator a glimpse into the pain and atrocities of those who are directly and indirectly victims of femicides. Even though the plays have close links with reality, they are a result of creativity against the incomprehension of the meaning of femicides (Galicia, “Memorias” 42). Furthermore, they give voice to the victims and criticize the impunity that has surrounded these atrocious crimes (Martínez 9). Authorities believe that the first murder took place on January 23 of 1993. The body of Alma Chavira Farel was found in an empty lot. She had been raped, both anally and vaginally, and beaten, but the ultimate cause of her death was strangulation (Rodríguez 38). As these heinous crimes began surfacing a pattern emerged as indicated by forensic scientist Oscar Maynez Grijalva—the women were young, petite, poor, and brunette with flowing hair and full lips. Most of them showed signs of having been raped, beaten, stabbed, and strangled. Some of them had severed breasts and in some instances their nipples were cut or bitten off or their bodies burnt. Some victims had marks on their bodies that could have possibly been caused by ritualistic cult-like groups. For instance, Elizabeth Castro had a triangle carved on her back and other victims showed similar marks but the authorities thought the crimes were unrelated (Washington Valdés 49). Most victims were abducted from Juárez’ downtown area, as they waited to board buses or walked home. Some victims disappeared in broad daylight, their bodies thrown in empty lots and ditches in neighborhoods far away from the city—Lote Bravo, Lomas de Poleo, and Anapra. As crimes increased, bodies were later discovered within city limits as in the Cotton Field.10 The population was stunned by the abhorrent brutality and hatred displayed in the bodies of victims and the form in which they were later discarded. In the play Hotel Juárez, Ángela, one of the victims, appears to her sister as a ghost and explains how she will find her lifeless and unrecognizable body: AURORA. No sufras cuando me veas. Me verás sucia, llena de tierra. Me verás con sangre seca en el cuerpo. Me verás desnuda. Me verás con heridas, muchas heridas. Me verás con los dientes rotos. Me verás con el rostro destrozado. Me verás con una marca morada alrededor del cuello. Me verás con un seno cortado. Me verás con una señal marcada en la espalda. Me verás mutilada. Me verás violada. Me verás comida por los animales del monte. Me verás y no me reconocerás. (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 513)

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“AURORA. Please don’t suffer when you see me. You will see me dirty, full of dirt. You will see me with dry blood on my body. You will see me naked. You will see me with wounds, many wounds. You will see my teeth broken. You will see my face destroyed. You will see me with a purple mark around my neck. You will see me with a severed breast. You will see me with a sign marked on my back. You will see me mutilated. You will see me raped. You will see me eaten by the wild animals. You will see me and you will not recognize me.”

It is stunning to hear Aurora’s description of what her corpse will look like when she is found. The repetition of the verb form “me verás” “you will see me” makes this an encompassing description of other victims of femicides in Juárez in a loss, that is both private and public. In the last twenty-one years the families of the victims of these heinous crimes have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions while trying to find the perpetrators. Poor police and state investigators’ performance and lack of professionalism have caused the families frustration and disbelief. Over the years, possible murderers were presented to the public. First it was Abdel Latif Sharif Sharif, nicknamed by the media “El Egipcio.” He was an Egyptian chemist that had been working for one of the American owned maquiladoras in Juárez. He had a sketchy past as a woman batterer and rapist. Latif became the target of the authorities and was dubbed “The Devil of Juárez” and also “The Juárez Ripper.” News of his apprehension relieved the public who thought that the serial killer who was stalking the girls and women of Juárez had finally been caught. Soon new murders were committed with “El Egipcio” locked up in jail. Los Rebeldes “The Rebels,” nine members of a local street gang, were linked to new crimes and apprehended in April of 1996. Their leader was Sergio Armendáriz known as “El Diablo.” The authorities found a link between Latif and Los Rebeldes. They alleged that “El Egipcio” was ordering the crimes from his prison cell, and paying a certain fee to Los Rebeldes for each girl murdered, but they were not able to establish any money trail (Rodríguez 63). Still, the murders continued and in 1997 twenty-five more bodies appeared. A Special Task Force for the Investigation of Crimes Against Women was established and Sully Ponce Prieto was appointed to head the office, but it was clear that this would be a futile “public relations exercise” (Rodríguez 92). There were many mistakes the victims’ families alleged the authorities had made. Crime scene evidence was not secured properly and the victims’ bodies sometimes had clothes that did not belong to them. They also complained leads were not investigated and emergency calls were not given importance. Oftentimes, evidence was planted and information was extracted improperly. In March 1999 “Los Toltecas” “The Toltecs,” a group of bus drivers of factory-sponsored shuttle buses, were detained. The authorities had linked their leader, Jesús Manuel Guardado “El Tolteca,” to crimes against

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maquiladora workers who were raped, strangled, and left for dead. Nancy, a fourteen-year-old factory worker, survived a brutal attack: The bus driver said that he was experiencing mechanical problems and that he needed to find a gas station. Then he laughed in a sinister way and asked her if she was afraid. The bus had stopped in a remote section of Lote Bravo. He beat her up and tried to strangle her. He left her for dead in the desert partially naked. Her assailant was the shuttle bus driver and he had picked her up at the end of his shift. (Rodríguez 139)

Similar scenes are presented in Lomas de Poleo and in the films Bordertown and Traspatio. “Los Toltecas” were also linked to “El Egipcio” as authorities believed Latif continued ordering more murders of defenseless women from his prison cell. They were never able to prove Latif’s involvement. In November 1999 “Los Ruteros,” two local bus drivers, Javier “Víctor” García Uribe and Gustavo González Meza (both twenty-eight), confessed to kidnapping, raping, and killing eight women. Their attorneys vehemently denied that they had committed such crimes and alleged that their clients had been threatened, tortured, and forced to sign statements admitting to their guilt. The state police in a chase mysteriously killed Mario Escobedo, the lawyer for González Meza, in February 2002. The authorities claimed that they had mistaken him for a drug dealer he was also representing. At the time of his death Escobedo was trying to prove that the police had framed his client (Washington Valdéz 57–59). The police stated it was a case of mistaken identity, but it was soon discovered that evidence had been planted on Escobedo to make him appear guilty (Rodríguez 214–15). Sergio Dante Almaraz, lawyer who successfully overturned Víctor García Uribe’s conviction, also suffered a tragic death. A heavily armed man shot down Almaraz in downtown Juárez in 2006. There have been other possible hypotheses for the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. Los Juniors, or sons of wealthy local families, were possible suspects but their influence and clout were such that authorities turned a blind eye to their culpability in the killings (Rodríguez 224). American Cynthia Kiecker and her Mexican husband Ulises Perzabal were also accused of the killings by the authorities who linked them to the death of a wealthy young woman named Viviana Rayas from Chihuahua City in December 2002. There is enough evidence to prove that state police tortured them for two days (Rodríguez 241). The authorities said that Kiecher and Perzabal’s motive was narco-satanism. La Línea, local drug traffickers made up of former officers who belonged to a corrupt gang, have also been linked to many of the crimes (Rodríguez 255). Policemen, local politicians, and businessmen have also been connected to the crimes. Others believe that the so-called assassin is a serial killer crossing the Border to Juárez to commit the crimes and returning to the U.S. afterwards, as presented in Traspatio and The Bridge.

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Figure 5.2.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández.

D. LOMAS DE POLEO The theories of who are the perpetrators of the Juárez femicides abound. Experts indicate that in countries or regions with high or very high homicide rates and with high lethal violence: “women are more frequently attacked in the public sphere, including by gangs and organized criminal groups; in this context, femicides often take place in a general climate of indifference and impunity” (ACUNS 51). Lomas de Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo is a drama that investigates the crimes against women and girls in Ciudad Juárez and questions the social reasons for such impunity. The play is a realist drama also presenting fantasy-like situations describing the in-between state of many of the victims who have yet to be discovered or identified. In the introductory stage directions to Lomas de Poleo (morir con las alas plegadas) “Lomas de Poleo (to die with bent wings),” Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo explains his inspiration: “La obra está basada sustancialmente en el hallazgo de más de ciento cincuenta cuerpos y osamentas, en su mayoría de jóvenes que fueron violadas y asesinadas, de forma brutal, en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua” “The

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play is largely based on the discovery of more than one hundred and fifty bodies and articles of clothing, in their majority of young women that were raped and killed, in brutal fashion, in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua” (Galindo 174–75). Additionally, Galindo gives information about the places where the bodies were found and the physical similarities of the victims and the crimes committed against them. The language in some scenes is raw, while in others is sublime and reflective. Lomas de Poleo is a masterfully crafted tragedy that inserts readers/spectators into a hellish world. Before the lights go down in the theater, during the second call, the audience is forced to feel frightened and uneasy. The stage directions indicate that there must be “a type of dust storm in the performance space,” then the lights of the theater start to blink and fail as branches and brush as well as trash roll to the seats and “windows brake and crystals fall” (178). Thunder and lightning begins while the soundtrack of 1492 Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis is playing. Mother Nature by way of a devastating storm devouring Ciudad Juárez opens the play.

Figure 5.3.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández.

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The first scene shows Maty’s death. On her way to the store she is raped, tortured, and killed by Güicho and Mauro, two young gang members. The scene is shocking as it underlines the unjustness of the situation where a young and defenseless girl is mutilated and killed. The language spoken by the rapists is hideous and lustful. It shows the rapists’ sickly need to control, subjugate, denigrate, humiliate, and disgrace women: MATY. (Asustada tratando de contener el llanto) ¿Qué les pasa, dime, Mauro, dime tú que les pasa? ¿Por qué están así conmigo? MAURO. ¿Sabes qué me pasa. . . ? El sabor de tu pielecita me pasa por la garganta, revuelto con mi saliva amarga, me baja por aquí por el pecho y luego por la panza y se va volviendo dulce, hasta que me llega hasta aquí (Agarrándose los genitales con vulgaridad.) ¡Y entonces te siento toda! ¡Cuando nomás te miro pasar y me aguanto y me trago las ganas! ¡Y te cogo! ¡Y te muerdo! ¡Y te muerdo sin tocarte! (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 179) “MATY. (Scared trying to contain her cries) What’s happening to you both, tell me, Mauro, tell me what is going on with you two? Why are you like this with me? MAURO. Do you know what is happening to me. . . ? The flavor of your soft skin goes through my throat, mixed with my bitter saliva, it goes down through here by the chest and then by the gut and it starts to become sweet, until it gets me over here (grabbing his genitals with vulgarity). And then I feel you all! When I only see you walk by and I have to restrain myself and I swallow my desire! And I grab you! I bite you! And I bite you without biting you!”

Maty’s shock and pleas are moving. The language she uses shows the loneliness and sadness experienced in a death that she accepts, resigned with the tragic dignity of an Antigone of Sophocles. The audience suffers with her heartbreaking screams but her speech is defying and explosive: (Maty se abalanza sobre Mauro y de un brinco enreda sus piernas en la cintura de este, como si estuviera jugando. Mauro trastabillea y cae riéndose). MATY. (Con voz fuerte y clara). ¿Y qué me vas a hacer. . . ? ¿Eh, Mauro? ¡Me vas a rasgar la ropa, me vas a arrancar la piel así!! (Le comienza a arrancar la ropa a jirones.) ¡Luego me vas a llenar de tu baba pegajosa y hedionda. . . ! ¿Eh, Mauro. . . ? ¡Me vas a embarrar de tu semen venenoso e inútil! ¡Me vas a morder los pechos hasta arrancarme los pezones. . . ! ¿Eh, Mauro? (Comienza a llorar con rabia e impotencia.) ¿Qué me vas a hacer. . . ? ¡Vas a callar mis gritos tapándome la boca! (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 180) “(Maty hurls herself against Mauro and in one jump she entangles her legs against his waist, as if she were playing. Mauro staggers and falls laughing).

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MATY. (With strong and clear voice). And what are you going to do to me. . . ? Eh, Mauro? Are you going to tear my clothes, are you going to tear out my skin like this!! (Starts to pull out his clothes in shreds.) Then are you going to fill me with your sticky and foul-smelling slime. . . ! Eh, Mauro. . . ? You are going to cover me with your poisonous and useless semen! You are going to bite my breasts until you tear out my nipples. . . ! Eh, Mauro? (Starts to cry with anger and powerlessness.) What are you going to do…? Are you going to silence my screams by covering my mouth?”

This scene allows for an audience to hear directly from the victim and see the violent act that she had to endure to “emphasize the violence of the two aggressors’ acts” (Galicia 44). Therefore the physical and verbal aggressions against Maty are switched and are instead said and done by the victim of the crime and not her victimizers. The play presents three scenic spaces or levels. Space 1 is reserved for the humble hut where the disappeared young girls reside in a plane that appears not to be of this earth and a bridge that unites spaces 1 and 2. Space 2 includes a

Figure 5.4.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández.

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slope on the hill that connects with the bridge that leads to the hut. Space 3 is multipurpose and shows the maquiladora where some of the victims worked, the police department, homicide division, or the district attorney’s office where crimes were reported and prosecuted. Nancy, Erika, Maty, and Angélica represent the souls of all the murdered young women of the Lomas de Poleo shantytown and of Ciudad Juárez. Without a final abode they hope for their names to be remembered or at least rescued from the anonymity of a mass grave. The women reside in a shack where they have no notion of time. Additionally, they have not seen the sun in a long time as Erika tells Nancy in Cuadro 4: “El sol nunca ha entrado por la puerta” “The sun has never entered through the door” (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 185). This preoccupation of whether it is night or day is one of the recurring themes observed in Lomas de Poleo and in several of the other plays analyzed in this chapter. The women also spend a lot of time putting on makeup to cover the blood and other signs of violence they endured. The dwellers always ask each one of the women newcomers to go get coffee and bread at the store. Audiences can intuit that upon her return, the new girl will be showing signs of having been assaulted. Inside the house the women often repeat the same questions: How long has it been since we arrived? When will dawn come? They cannot distinguish if they are in a dream or if this is their reality. The women are not sure what their names are or why they are in this space. They are inside an eternal nightmare where all of them happen to be united by these appalling murders. When the women realize their situation in Cuadro 12 they start to accept their reality: ÉRIKA. ¿Y . . . el cordón de tu bolsa. . . ? Tu bolsa traía un cordón, ¿verdad? NANCY. Sí . . . traía un cordón. ÉRIKA. ¿Y dónde está? ¿Dónde lo dejaste? NANCY. (Pensando): No sé, no sé dónde quedó después de que me ahorcaron con el. … ÉRIKA. (Acosando a Nancy): ¿Por qué no me dejaste ir con las demás? ¿Para qué querías que me quedara contigo? ¡Pudriéndome contigo! Tú siempre lo supiste, ¿no? ¡Tú siempre lo supiste! (Llorando). Por eso mi sangre seca. Hecha costra en mi cara y en mi cuerpo . . . ¡Por eso ese dolor adentro y esta voz sin eco. . . ! ¡Todas las tiendas cerradas y esta noche que no se acaba. . . ! ¡Tú lo sabías, Nancy. . . ! ¡Tú lo sabías . . . por eso tanto amor por mis piernas descarnadas, por mis pechos mutilados! Mis dedos sin uñas. ¡Por eso la ternura por mi vagina destrozada y mis ojos secos! (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 213–14) “ÉRIKA. And. . . your bag’s cord . . . ? Your bag came with a cord, right? NANCY. Yes . . . it came with a cord.

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ÉRIKA. Where is it? Where did you leave it? NANCY. (Thinking): I don’t know, I don’t know where it was left after they choked me with it. … ÉRIKA. (Pursuing Nancy): Why didn’t you let me go with the others? Why did you want me to stay with you? Rotting with you! You always knew it, didn’t you? You always knew it! (Crying). That is the reason for the dry blood. Now it has crusted in my face and body. . . . That’s the reason for such pain inside and voice without an echo. . . ! All the closed stores and this night that never ends. . . ! You knew it, Nancy. . . ! You knew it. . . . That is why I feel so much love for my legs without any skin, for my mutilated breasts! My fingers without any nails. And that is why I feel such tenderness for my destroyed vagina and my dried eyes!”

Still with the lace with which she was strangled and the bag that was used to suffocate her, Nancy realizes that she is a femicide victim. In the last scene, Cuadro 13 the crime scene is recreated and the four bodies are placed exactly as they were found in real life in Lomas de Poleo.

Figure 5.5.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Lomas del Poleo by Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo. Dir. Alondra Hernández.

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Two male actors, Güicho and Mauro, perform a variety of roles related in some capacity with the femicides—forensic doctors, nurses, and special prosecutors for the crimes against women. They also play the roles of policemen, distraught parents, and assassins. The ordinary descriptions of these characters force an audience to realize that the murderers live amongst them. The deliberate job to make two actors change into all these different roles, points to the lack of empathy the perpetrators and government investigators have for their victims, and to a massive and systematic cover up. V. Martínez thinks it is not a coincidence that the same two actors in the play represent both officials and the assassins (10). The play’s message is critical of those who cause the femicides and those who chose to ignore them, leaving the rest of the city’s citizens in a limbo state. Lomas de Poleo leaves readers/spectators wanting justice. The play causes a reaction of shock and anger against the police and judicial systems of Ciudad Juárez and Mexico for not pursuing the criminal investigations and for giving absolute impunity to the killers. There is discontent against the conditions that many workers have to endure in the assembly plants owned by foreign multinational corporations. For instance, scene 6 tells the story of a young maquiladora worker, Angélica, brutally killed on her way to work one morning. There are feelings of impotence as the task to find the individuals that have perpetrated these savage crimes for the last twenty-one years will be monumental and futile as the prosecuting authorities are indifferent because a large number of the victims are poor. At the end of the play two men working as police investigators cordon off the crime scene and declare that the nightmare is over because all the likely assassins have been caught: GÜICHO. La Procuraduría considera que se han capturado a los autores de la ola de asesinatos en serie que se han venido cometiendo en nuestra ciudad. . . . El Egipcio, Los Rebeldes, El Tolteca y los choferes de rutas, están presos; además la banda denominada “Buscando el Crimen,” que ha confesado por lo menos catorce asesinatos. MAURO. De algún modo . . . esta pesadilla terminó. (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 218) “GÜICHO. The Attorney General’s office considers that they have captured the perpetrators of the wave of serial murders that have been committed in our city. . . . El Egipcio, Los Rebeldes, El Tolteca and the bus drivers, are imprisoned; moreover the gang named “Looking for Crime,” has confessed to at least fourteen crimes. MAURO. Somehow . . . the nightmare is over.”

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Immediately after these official statements are read, the lights in the hut are lit again with new dwellers. Silvia, a new dweller, returns from the store without having done the errand asked of her and showing signs of having been attacked (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 218–19). In Lomas de Poleo, Galindo implies that the same story will be repeated ad infinitum until the real killers are apprehended and the government and assembly plants’ owners care and protect the poorest members of their society. Reaction to the play has been mixed. Lomas de Poleo has earned many awards and the support from victim’s families, but loathed by governmental authorities and businesses. In an interview to La Jornada de Michoacán newspaper, Galindo spoke of the difficulties he encountered trying to publish and stage the play: Cuando escribí la obra Lomas de Poleo nunca me dejaron presentarla. Yo era el Premio Chihuahua de Literatura con esta obra y publicaron a todos los premios Chihuahua menos la obra Lomas de Poleo. Me parece que sí corremos un riesgo, o sea, las amenazas a las chicas que trabajaron conmigo más de una vez ya no eran por parte de algún desconocido, sino también de la autoridad que decía: “no podemos permitir que se presente esa obra aquí que está hablando de lo peor de Juárez.” Eso nos cerró muchas puertas y corrimos el riesgo porque tuvimos que presentar muchas veces la obra en la calle porque no nos dejaban presentarla. El riesgo en la integridad física de las actrices también era grande, de hecho, una de las chicas recibió una amenaza de muerte y tuvo que salirse del grupo. (Márquez)11 “When I wrote the play Lomas de Poleo they did not let me stage it. I had won the Chihuahua Literature Prize with this play, and they published all the other awarded works except for Lomas de Poleo. I believe that yes, we indeed run a risk, meaning, the threats received by the women that worked with me were not by strangers but were by the authorities that in so many words were saying: ‘we cannot allow that this play that talks about the worst part of Juárez be staged here.’ This attitude closed doors and we ran the risk because we had to stage the play on the streets because they would not let us stage it anywhere else. There was actual risk of physical harm to the actresses; in fact, one of the girls received a death threat and had to leave the acting company.”

Despite the governmental lack of support and physical threats, the play continues to be staged in Mexico and abroad. They criticize Galindo’s negative portrayal of Juárez and the possibility that it can damage the image of the city or drive away foreign investment. Those business leaders, politicians, and some of the local press, writes Celeste Kostopulos-Cooperman, feel that the actual extent of the situation is far less severe than the estimated figures given

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by local groups. For them Ciudad Juárez is suffering an “image problem” rather than a crime problem (17–18). E. BURIED STARS IN THE DESERT SANDS Debbie Nathan speaks of the violence surrounding Ciudad Juárez as extreme and divides the femicide murders into serial sex killings and situational violence. One example is that of a nineteen-year-old who molested his tenyear-old niece. He then killed her so as to silence her and erase his crime and dumped her body in the desert (Nathan, “The Juárez Murders”). The play Estrellas enterradas by Antonio Zúñiga is a poetic thriller, part of the collection Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidos that presents situations similar to the ones alluded to by Nathan. The play is subtitled obra de teatro en 5 postes y un prólogo “Play in 5 Poles and one Prologue.” The scenes are ordered according to the work that the two main characters do as they repair electrical poles in the desert near a city. The electricians must climb up these poles to repair them. In a vast desert, everything is desolate. The stage directions call for a windy location in the white sand dunes with electrical poles that resemble a cross (Zúñiga 309). Obed and Teófilo, the two characters, never come into contact with any other human beings. Teófilo is the older of the two, the boss, and also Obed’s uncle. Outside voices coming from the radio will direct them to the next poles needing repair. The same radio acts as a way to present the audience the other side of Teófilo. The voice of Bety also comes from the radio and helps bring out Teófilo’s dark and violent side. There are times when nothing is coming from the radio but static white noises. The radio serves to communicate what cannot be communicated and to refer to the femicides: “Sobre las interferencias, la estática y las voces inteligibles se construye Estrellas enterradas, en clara alusión a la imposibilidad de entendimiento de un fenómeno tan crudo como los feminicidios, pero también en un silenciado castigo a los responsables del mismo. . . . Estrellas enterradas es el título de una obra que habla de vidas silenciadas, errantes” “Estrellas enterradas is constructed around the interferences, static, and intelligible voices, in a clear allusion to the possibility of an understanding of the crude phenomenon of the femicides, but also in a silenced punishment to all those responsible for these crimes. . . . Estrellas enterradas is the title of a play that talks about silenced and errant lives” (Báez 268). In Estrellas enterradas the femicides are presented as a deafening silence that comes from the desert and silences its victims and their victimizers.

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Obed is the protagonist, a learning disabled or mentally challenged young man who also has speech problems. From the beginning we deduce that something is not right with the men’s relationship because while repairing the first pole, Obed accuses Teófilo: “Tú la violaste” “you raped her” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 311). Even though the language that Obed uses to speak is playful, it is clear that there is tension and that he will not forget what Teófilo has done. Later Obed delineates a human figure in the sand similar to recreating a figure in a crime scene with the shoes that his uncle collects and carries in a big sack. Immediately the shadow of a woman appears from a mound of sand and says the name: “¡Lula la chula! ¡Esa es Lula! ¡Lulaaaa, Lula veeennn!” “Lula the pretty one! That is Lula! Lula, Lula comeeee!” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 313). This unexplained phenomena that only Obed sees and hears rouses him. Lula is the name of his long lost sister but Teófilo admonishes him and tells him to ignore it. Obed has suffered for years the disappearance of Lula. Even though he knows down deep inside who kidnapped and raped her, he does not want to confront Teófilo until Bety’s voice and shadow appears one day (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 313). She is looking for her long lost shiny blue shoe (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 324). Bety (seventeen years old) urges Obed to face the truth. She has now become a buried star whose flickering light can only be seen at night. Bety says there are other buried stars like her. Her story is told quickly in bits and pieces throughout the play. She got a job in a maquiladora and one day after work she decided to go home instead of going dancing with her coworkers. In pole 3 she explains her abduction and killing: BETY. Me quise levantar ya sin aire y me pegó con el tacón en la cabeza con toda su fuerza. Mientras me quedaba dormida alcancé a ver que amarró mi zapato en el espejo del carro . . . (silencio). Después me quedé dormida . . . (Silencio). Y hasta ahora, siempre pensé que estaba dormida . . . (Silencio). Pero estoy muerta. (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 323) “BETY. I tried to get up but the wind had been knocked out of me already and he hit me with all his force with the heel of my shoe. While I was falling asleep I managed to see how he tied my shoe to his car’s mirror . . . (silence). Then I fell asleep . . . (silence). And until now, I always thought I was asleep . . . (silence). But I am dead.”

Bety fought hard to get away from her assailant. In the moving dialogue, Bety realizes that she is actually dead as they move to other poles. The extent of Teofilo’s pedophilia, and the possibility that other men such as his uncle killed and raped defenseless girls, becomes more real. Bety urges Obed to wake up and speak the truth of what Teófilo has done to many women over the years. She wants revenge and his death.

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In the play Teófilo collects women’s shoes that he puts inside a large sack. The shoes are his trophies, which he carries in his car. Jean Franco finds shoes to be a recurrent image representing Juárez and its women: the city is known for its many shoe stores, shoes dangle from cars, or the femicide victims are often seen with “dusty sneakers” (219). Franco adds that shoes can represent the regional culture; the long walks home that the girls have to make, or the upscale fashion that the girls hope to achieve (220). In pole 3 Obed asks his uncle if he has a blue shoe in his sack because Bety needs it to return home. At first Teófilo says that he does not have it but then he mocks Obed by asking him if he would wear a blue shoe: “¿Un zapato así? (Muestra el zapato azul eléctrico que trae consigo)” “A shoe like this one? (Shows him the electric blue shoe that he carries with him)” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 325). This scene begins to resolve the mystery of the play and the truth about Teófilo who proudly boasts his conquests. The shoes become the way to link him to the killings and disappearances in this desert town. In pole 4 after having spoken to Bety and learning the truth about Lula, Obed recovers his voice (he speaks in Spanish and sometimes in Spanglish) and narrates how Teófilo raped Lula. She was a young blond girl of about ten years of age. After this incident Lula never spoke again and soon after she disappeared. Obed witnessed this tragic event one afternoon when he was seven and Teofilo was in his twenties (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 327).12 Obed wonders if Teófilo killed the girls after raping them and if Teófilo killed his sister: “¿La mataste, dime, la mataste?” “Did you kill her, tell me, did you kill her?” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 328). In a transient Border city such as Ciudad Juárez where everything is impersonal and commerce driven, the victims of these atrocious crimes continue to disappear, but most people who live there and especially those in positions of power do not seem care. Estrellas enterradas is filled with celestial imagery. Images of the moon, sky, stars, shooting stars, and asteroids are mentioned when referring to the missing women of femicides. The red moon is full of blood representing the killings. Bety promises Obed that if he hears her story she will tell him of Lula’s whereabouts. He must stare at the firmament in order to find Lula: “Se llama Venus . . . y es la que más brilla. Obed se traga un grito. Cuando quieras hablar con ella, búscala en el cielo junto a la luna. Ella te va a oír. Ella te va a llevar donde tú quieras. . . . para eso es tu hermana, ¿no?” “Her name is Venus . . . and she is the brightest. Obed swallows a scream. Whenever you want to talk with her, look for her in the sky next to the moon. She will hear you. She will take you wherever you want. . . . Because she is your sister, right?” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 323). In the final pole Obed realizes he also was a victim. Teófilo is verbally and physically abusive. He constantly belittles Obed by calling him names

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that mock his mental capacities: “idiota” “tarado,” “retrasado,” “pinche mudo,” “güey,” and “pinche loco” “idiot, stupid, retarded, fucking mute, dumb ass, and fucking crazy” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 311, 314, 316, 332). Obed accuses his uncle of having burnt him: “Esto (Se baja el pantalón para mostrarle las piernas) cinco quemadas de cigarro que hacen una rueda” “Here (He takes off his pants to show him his legs) five cigarette burns that make a circle” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 333). In addition to having been burnt with cigarettes, it is insinuated that Obed might also have been sexually abused. Critic Susana Baéz has written that when Obed confronts his uncle about all the atrocities that he has allegedly committed, he does it in Spanglish but that infuriates Teófilo: “Esto provoca distancia y disguto pues Teófilo no sabe hablar inglés y se enfurece cuando le hablan desde dicho código” “This provokes distance and displeasure because Teófilo does not know how to speak English and he flies into a rage when he is spoken using such code” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 266). By using Spanglish Obed begins to have the upper hand against his abuser, allowing him to regain his voice and independence. Even though Teófilo does not want to admit his culpability, Obed knows that his uncle has caused much pain and violence to many innocent victims and that he must be stopped: “Sí le hiciste. Como me hiciste a mí. Como le has hecho a otros. . . . Tú estás enfermo y no lo quieres ver” “Yes you did it to her. Just like you did it to me. Just as you have done to others. . . . You are sick and don’t want to see it” (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 330). At the end of the play Teófilo is hanging upside down from pole 5 and a shadow of an upside down Christ on the cross is projected. Teófilo is forced to beg to be put down and to admit his guilt. But Obed will not bring him down from his cross until he repents: TEÓFILO. Sí me duele. OBED. ¿Qué? TEÓFILO. Lo que te hice. Me duele mucho . . . de veras. OBED. Está bien. (Zúñiga, Estrellas enterradas 334) “TEÓFILO. Yes it hurts. OBED. What? TEÓFILO. What I did to you. It hurts me a lot . . . really. OBED. It’s all right.”

Teófilo is forced to finally tell Obed he is sorry for his past actions. Estrellas enterradas is an ambiguous thriller that brings the topic of pedophilia, mental

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illness, violence, sexual abuse, and femicides, seemingly concealed in this society, out in the open. Using the image of hidden stars, a sad and lonely young man dares to stop a killer and abuser, and regains his voice and life. F. HOTEL JUÁREZ Hotel Juárez, written by the late Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, is a thriller that investigates the feminicidios of Ciudad Juárez and offers a hypothesis of who the perpetrator or perpetrators are through a complex webbing of forces represented by the different guests that stay the hotel.13 The play is a metaphor for Ciudad Juárez, dominated by the globalized world, the maquiladora industry, organized crime, and drug trafficking organizations. The industrialists that run the assembly plants, the corrupt authorities that allow for crimes and impunity to take place, and the criminals that commit these crimes are presented here as characters who are guests in the hotel. Hotel Juárez is well researched and documented. The author uses direct and indirect sources. For instance a fragment of the book Las muertas de Juárez “The Dead Women of Juarez” (1999) by Víctor Ronquillo is included with the permission of the author—It presents an interview that El Egipcio gave to Roquillo. In the play the interview (scene 7) was adapted and used with Ronquillo’s permission. The author also uses information from newspapers and television and adapts it. For instance, several victims were found dead in motel rooms and in working class neighborhoods located in the outskirts of the city. Specifically, El Motel Royal, situated on the Carretera Panamericana “Panamerican Highway,” was the scene of several crimes and appears to be the basis of Hotel Juárez.14 The initial stage directions indicate that Hotel Juárez is also located on the Panamerican highway between Ciudad Juárez and the airport (479). It is likely possible that Rascón Banda had knowledge of the deaths near Motel Royal and created a play that could represent the turbulence and violence in Ciudad Juárez to be viewed from every possible angle using the symbol of the hotel as metaphor for Juárez and the femicides. Hotel Juárez displays characteristics of the postcolonial detective thrillers. Ed Christian defines postcolonial detectives as “police, private, or amateur detectives from formerly colonized peoples or nations” that often live in the in-between space of two borders (283). The most important task performed by these detectives is “surveillance.” The detective genre differs from the postcolonial detective genre in that it “moves from the interrogation of suspects to the interrogation of society, where crime stems from flaws in the political, social, and industrial systems” (284). This leads a postcolonial detective to observe “disparities, ironies, hybridities, and contradictions of

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both the empire and the indigenous culture” (Christian 285). Jungwon Park argues that detective novels in the postcolonial world speak of the ineptitude and failure of the modern detective and of the possibility that the crime(s) may never be solved:15 En efecto, el detective en el mundo periférico, lejos de ser el héroe, funciona textualmente como el espacio liminal entre el sistema y sus víctimas, el sistema interior y exterior, centros y periferias, para presentar realidades vertiginosas en las que las autoridades encubren a los responsables—a los que ellas mismas están vinculadas—, e incluso maquinan la culpabilidad de gente inocente. De este modo, el fracaso del detective en el mundo periférico es alegorizado como una manifestación de la crisis del sistema mismo. Dicha crisis muestra el fondo de una sociedad conectada en múltiples dimensiones con el crimen organizado. (194) “In effect, the detective in the peripheral world, far from being a hero, functions textually as the liminal space between the system and its victims, the interior and exterior system, centers and peripheries, in order to present vertiginous realities in which the authorities cover the perpetrators—to whom they indirectly are connected—, and even plot the culpability of innocent people. In this way, the failure of the detective in the peripheral world is allegorized as a manifestation of the crisis of the same system. Such a crisis shows the bottom of a society connected in multiple dimensions with organized crime.”

The detectives of these contemporary works may not be capable of finding the real assassin(s). Instead the city and economic system devour them. Their demise summarizes the crisis of Juárez and other metropolises. Ángela Peralta is the protagonist that takes on the job of detective or crime investigator. As we learn in the first scene, Ángela has come from Kansas to Juárez to find out the truth about Aurora Peralta’s (her sister) disappearance. She is originally from Durango but lived in the United States until she was deported back to Mexico. Ángela is also a good bilingual translator. She understands and functions well in the U.S. and Mexico. For these reasons Ángela is a liminal character capable of understanding both worlds. As Ed Christian explains, postcolonial detectives are able to appropriate “what is useful from the empire, but transform it” (285). In Hotel Juárez Angela is able to relate with people in the hotel and make them confide in her. Through her conversations with the hotel guests, Ángela is quick to learn how the hotel and city operate and the power struggle that ensues. She understands the dangers posed by the drug cartels: she sees how El Licenciado is working in tandem with the local authorities and politicians to send drugs to Europe, and how he sells snuff films of abducted girls that are assassinated in the hotel basement. Like any good

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detective, Ángela visits many of the crime scenes and interviews people in the local prison and newspapers. Upon finding out that Angela has been investigating her sister’s whereabouts, El Comandante threatens her: “¿No te da miedo morir a ti también? ¿Para qué te arriesgas? Tienes la edad y el físico. . . Me dijeron que anduviste en el Cerezo, que te vieron en el Lote Bravo, que anduviste en Lomas de Poleo, que has andado buscando en los periódicos, que has andado preguntando aquí y allá” “Aren’t you afraid of dying too? Why do you take such risk? You have the age and match physically. . . . They told me that you went to El Cerezo Prison, that they saw you in Lote Bravo, that you were in Lomas de Poleo, and that you have been looking in newspapers, that you have been asking here and there” (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 501). Ángela is aware that she represents every family member who has lost a loved one in Ciudad Juárez. Due to careless and unprofessional police work, Angela must become a postcolonial detective to uncover the killers and expose the flaws of the system. Unfortunately, even after trying to outsmart the people running the hotel, she will also succumb. The play introduces the new and complex organization of Ciudad Juárez currently controlled by multinationals and drug cartels. The police forces, the mayor’s office, and other city officials work for the benefit of new local industrialists doing business with foreign corporations, instead of helping the city improve its facilities and provide aid for the poor. The characters of the play are secretive and oftentimes are not who they claim to be. For instance, Angela, is an enigmatic woman who has no identification or luggage and provides the wrong personal information when checking in the hotel: “Ella, al igual que el ambiente general que rodea las violaciones y asesinatos, es también una figura misteriosa” “She, just like the general atmosphere surrounding the rapes and murders, is also a mysterious figure” (Woodyard 78). El Johny, the hotel’s thug, is really a cold-blooded assassin of women protected by El Licenciado. Ramsés is a friend of El Johny and could also be linked with him sexually. Ramsés Salam or El Gran Ramsés (the artistic name of Gabriel del Campo) works as an illusionist/ mentalist and a male stripper. He becomes Angela’s lover and could possibly be helping El Johny with crimes against women. Hotel Juárez has all the characteristics of a hardboiled drama—crime fiction, romance, violence, terror, and the cynicism of a detective who is critical of society and a corrupt legal system. In Hotel Juárez being a guest and staying in a certain floor identifies the social class of an individual. Those who are able to pay more stay in the second floor—bullfighters, singers, ranchers, drug traffickers, politicians, and the hotel manager. The poor must stay in the upper floors, which are infested with sexual predators, thieves, human traffickers, illegal migrants, and prostitutes. Lupe, one of the upper floor guests, warns Angela when she first

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arrives that the hotel is not safe and tells her the last girl that stayed in same room was found dead: ANGELA. ¿No es seguro? LUPE. A lo mejor abajo. Por acá arriba en el pasillo, se meten a tu cuarto cuando no estás o cuando estás dormida. (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 483) “ANGELA. It’s not safe? LUPE. Maybe in the lower floors. Over here in the upper floors’ hallways, people get into your room when you are not around or asleep.”

Hotel Juárez illustrates what it means to live in a patriarchal society arranged according to how much power and wealth individuals have. For Galicia, Ciudad Juárez’ stratification is symbolized in the way the hotel is distributed (52). The hotel acts as a microcosm of the real Ciudad Juárez—with its privileged geographical location, assembly plants, and trade agreement—and as a magnet for new migrants, foreign investors, and drug traffickers. The patrons of Hotel Juárez come for the opportunities but might put their lives at risk. If those who govern, bribe, and kill represent one group in the play, another is that of the victims and those who seek equality and justice. The women live in the upper floors of the hotel. A great number of them are maquiladora workers seeking better work conditions, such as Lupe and Vanessa. Some women try fighting the system with unions and civil organizations that seek to find the killers of women in Juárez and more equality. This makes them vulnerable, as the people in power want them to stop protesting so as not to disturb maquiladora production. They are often the target of their rage and threats as observed by the ominous words of the Licenciado: LICENCIADO. ¿Qué pasó con la huelga? GERENTE. Pues ahí sigue, Licenciado. LICENCIADO. Pendejos. Les dije que la pararan. Al rato se van a contaminar las otras maquiladoras. Liquiden al viejerío y ya (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 490). “LICENCIADO. And what happened with the strike? GERENTE. Well it is still going on, Licenciado. LICENCIADO. Dumb asses. I told you to stop it. In a short while the other maquiladoras will be contaminated. Kill all those bitches and enough already.”

El Licenciado “Mr. College Graduate,” El Comandante “The Commandant,” and El Generente “The Manager” have so much disdain for the local activists

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that they refer to them as “Viejas” and “viejerío” or “bitches.” They think the women are using this cause to manipulate the system. When El Comandante meets with Ángela, in addition to threatening her to stop investigating the crimes, he warns her of these groups: “No te dejes manipular por esas viejas de esos Comités, ni por la prensa. Esas viejas están locas. Ya encontraron su modus vivendi en este asunto. Son unas oportunistas. Unas agitadoras. Pinches feministas de mierda. Ni vela en el entierro tienen, viejas argüenderas” “Don’t let yourself be manipulated by those bitches from the committees, nor by the press. Those bitches are crazy. They finally found their modus vivendi in this matter. They are opportunists. Agitators. They should not be sticking their noses into this matter, gossipers” (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 501). With these pejorative expressions, those in power are able to define those wanting answers for the disappeared women as opportunists, liars and feminists, and dismiss their pleas. The resolve of the civil associations of the mothers and relatives of the disappeared is formidable and they will not stop their search for the killers or the answers on the whereabouts of their daughters. In scene XIX, Vanessa tells Angela that they have erected crosses to speak on behalf of their dead. They install them in many public places, including the governor’s office. If one is taken down they will erect a bigger one and will continue to do so until the crimes are clarified: “Y si la roban, haremos otra, de madera, de hierro, de papel, de palabras, de recuerdos” “And if they steal it, we will make another one, make it out of wood, out of iron, of paper, of words, of memories” (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 515). In one of the last scenes of the play, Aurora’s ghost visits Ángela in her room. If it were possible that the victims could speak, then they as Aurora does in scene XVIII, would tell their loved ones to continue looking for them and fight for these heinous crimes to stop: “Ni una más hermana. Hay que detenerlos” “Not even one more, my sister. We have to stop them” (Rascón Banda, Hotel Juárez 513). The failure of the new postmodern investigator in Hotel Juárez points at the formidable market forces that control new industrial spaces in developing nations, drug trafficking organizations, and judicial systems. But it also demonstrates the uphill battle the people at the margins have to endure to find and punish the murderers of their deceased daughters and to regain dignity for them. G. THE WORLD OF THE MURDERERS If Hotel Juárez presents the different groups that are involved in the Ciudad Juárez femicides; therein exists a play that exposes the world of the callous murderers. Jauría or “Pack of Wild Dogs” written by Enrique Mijares focuses on the perpetrators of gruesome femicides and their hunting habits instead of their victims. Jill Radford states in Feminicide: The Politics of Woman Killing

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that when there are unspeakable crimes committed against women because of their grisly and repugnant nature, society chooses to describe the killers not as men but as “animals” or “beasts” (4). The play suggests that a pack of wild dogs, wolves or any other predatory animal pack is capable of hunting down their victims and work together in tandem to terrorize and frighten local populations.16 In Jauría El Chacal “Jackal,” el Rata “Rat,” Hiena “Hyena,” Gavilán “Hawk,” Coyote, Zorro “Fox,” Buitre “Vulture,” and Sabueso 1, 2, and 3 “Hound 1, 2, and 3,” all scavengers and animals from desert habitats, have the goal of hunting and killing the innocent women who live in Ciudad Juárez or elsewhere in Mexico or the world. Vicky Martínez suggests that the double meaning of their names as predatory animals and as nicknames of members of criminal groups and gangs forces an audience to view them as individuals that are no longer human (14). The characters in the play are a pack of wild and sexually deprived individuals. Their perverted desires and actions are presented in six scenes (all set in different spaces) in situations

Figure 5.6.  Source: Gustavo Valverde Tintori. Jauría by Enrique Mijares. From left to right, Miguel Serna and Brisa Reyes, center above, Juan Pablo Obregón, lower right, Ernesto Medina and Kenia Mendoza León. Dir. Mónica Alejandra Acosta Ortega. Performed in Teatro de cámara de la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH), Auditorio de la Universidad Juarez de Durango, and La Casa Restaurant in Chihuahua City, 2013. Reprinted by permission of Gustavo Valverde Tintori. Jauría by Enrique Mijares. From left to right, Miguel Serna and Brisa Reyes, Center above, Juan Pablo Obregón, lower right, Ernesto Medina and Kenia Mendoza León. Dir. Mónica Alejandra Acosta Ortega. The play was performed in Teatro de cámara de la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH), Auditorio de la Universidad Juarez de Durango, and La Casa Restaurant in Chihuahua City.

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where they use different tactics to catch their prey. The play also theorizes that these pack killers could live and work in Ciudad Juárez and in other parts of Mexico and the world in the same organizations in charge of solving the femicides or in charge of heading the city’s economic development. In “Feminicide: Sexist Terrorism Against Women” Jane Caputi and Diana Russell argue that female objectification and degradation, and the constant display of violent images against women in the media may “predispose certain males to be turned on by rape and other violence against women and/or undermine their inhibitions against acting out sexualized violence” (18). As the end of the century approached, it appeared more men had been desensitized and turned more sadistic in nature because: “The sex-and-violence culture of late twentieth century is a breeding ground for such amateur torturers and executioners, who have emerged as the shock troops of male dominance” (Caputi and Russell 18). The men that perpetrate these gruesome sexual acts in Jauría have become as cruel as the individuals mentioned by Caputi and Russell’s study. They take pleasure in raping and torturing women and when they are finally dead some of the victimizers stuff their bodies in suitcases, preserve them in film, dismember their bodies, or burn them. Some do it to maintain their authority over women or as a perverse cult. Others seem to hunt women (while driving their taxis) and kill them later just for the sake of killing. Mijares’ message invokes society to realize that these are “real human beings” doing gruesome acts only an animal or bird of prey could commit. It seems that in the western world people have become accustomed to violent displays of entertainment provided mostly by videogames, movies, and television series. With the advent of a new century there were a great number of pornographic Internet sites that integrate mutilation, rape, and torture scenes. These pornographic movies and scenes are presented in the same web pages as sado-masochist movies and scenes. Some sites even include videos of Islamist beheadings (Marzano 40). Jauría gives serial killers and other psychopaths the opportunity to explain the motives for the murders they have committed against women. In the play Gavilán describes in religious terms the first time he killed a woman and the pleasure that this brought him. Gavilán reflects on his act of raping and killing this woman as “sheer paradise” and receiving his “first communion” (Mijares 49). He then blames the victim for his addiction to killing and causing pain: “No sé qué me pasó. Desde entonces estoy enfermo. Me emborrachó su sangre. Se volvió droga, vicio. No puedo parar aunque quiera. La adicción es más fuerte que yo” “I don’t know what happened to me. Since then I am sick. Her blood got me drunk. It became a drug, a vice. I cannot stop even if I want to. This addiction is stronger than me” (Mijares 49). Similarly the character of Güicho in Lomas de Poleo indicates in a monologue in scene six that a serial

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killer feels no remorse for his victims. The first time he killed, Güicho felt a tingling sensation as if he had also died with the victim. Then a tremendous vacuum invaded his body. Just like Gavilán, Güicho blames the victim for his macabre addiction: “¡Ay, mocosa. . . ! Me exprimió todo. . . . ¡Tanto que me emborracho!” “Oh, bratty girl. . . ! She squeezed everything from me. . . . So much that I get drunk!” (Galindo, Lomas de Poleo 191–92). The two men blame their victims for their obsession with women and death. Galicia believes that when an assassin commits a crime of hate against girls and women in Ciudad Juárez, he is encouraged by the impunity that surrounds his environment and this in turn gives him free rein to release his killer instincts (“Memorias de duelo” 51). The killings perpetrated by the different “animals” appear to be almost ritualistic and mechanical. In the first scene titled “Ménage” Rata carries a suitcase with the body of his latest victim forcefully stuffed inside. Rata like a priest, speaks to the suitcase: RATA. Estamos aquí para purificarnos. Yo soy tu salvador, voy a llevarte al paraíso, a exorcizarte. Llegas a mí para que tu alma sea curada. (Mijares, Jauría 57) “RATA. We are here to purify ourselves. I am your savior; I am going to take you to paradise, to exorcise you. You come to me so that your soul may be cured.”

According to Rata the heinous act must be done to purify and save a female victim. Jean Franco believes that the Juárez femicides are performances of the symbolic fantasies of a group that require the “psychological and moral defeat of the other” (222). In Jauría the satanic tattooed man, Buitre, presented in the scene titled “Rito” “Rite” boasts of having killed his wife for working in a maquiladora, earning more money than he, and becoming a modern day woman. In this scene Buitre carries out what Jane Caputi has labeled “blood sacrifices” or “patriarchal sacrificial rituals” and René Girard called “sacrifice substitution” (Making a Killing 285–86; Girard 8, 12–13). In a blood sacrifice the killers seek to make these murders a sacrifice in order to “use the victims as a source of spiritual strength, trying to take her or his energy for himself” (Caputi, “Goddess Murder” 285). There is a second kind of blood sacrifice “in which the victim is treated as ‘unclean and is cast away’” (Caputi, Making a Killing 286). Because his wife, according to Buitre, did not fulfill her marital obligations, she needed to be killed in order to release his pain. He puts her body in a container and burns it. Subsequently he kicks it and throws it in the trash as stated in the stage directions: “Hace palanca con el pie y empuja, hace rodar

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Figure 5.7.  Source: Gustavo Valverde Tintori. Jauría by Enrique Mijares. Kenia Mendoza León as Woman 1. Dir. Mónica Alejandra Acosta Ortega. Performed in Teatro de cámara de la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH), Auditorio de la Universidad Juarez de Durango, and La Casa Restaurant in Chihuahua City, 2013. Reprinted by permission of Gustavo Valverde Tintori. Jauría by Enrique Mijares. Kenia Mendoza León as Woman 1. Dir. Mónica Alejandra Acosta Ortega. Performed in Teatro de cámara de la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH), Auditorio de la Universidad Juarez de Durango, and La Casa Restaurant in Chihuahua City, 2013.

el tambo hacia la oscuridad, hacia los contenedores repletos de basura” “He pries with his foot and pushes, making the can roll toward darkness, in direction to the containers full of trash” (Mijares, Jauría 57). Buitre says that the love he felt for his wife turned to hate and after killing her in this sacrificial rite of anthropophagy, he has been born again. To celebrate his new birth, Buitre carved a cross in his cheek and regained his masculinity and power over her.17 Through this sacrificial rite a catharsis is achieved thus preventing more violence and purifying Buitre, the perpetrator of the femicide. The stage directions for scene four “Video Home” present the men having just recorded a snuff film. The members, wearing black capes, which represent a secret society, sect or brotherhood, perform a ritualistic act. They do this every time they film and kill a girl. In “Video Home” Zorro worries that some scenes in the snuff film were blocked by some of the executioners and

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that the victim’s face might have looked disfigured because they hit her too much too soon (Mijares, Jauría 50). In all the scenes of the play the killings seem stylized and theatrical. The play is part of what Galicia has labeled “teatralidad de la dominación” “Theatricality of Domination” and what Sergio González Rodríguez describes as an archaic-postmodern representation where opposites sublate or assimilate (González Rodríguez 115). Jauría’s major characters are portrayed by men. In this unending polyphony, male voices try to dominate over one another and over women. Women are beings that must be caught, controlled, and objectified. In the play women are never given a name or seen clearly, but their bodies are displayed in the act of being abused, raped, and/or killed. The intimate nature of the men’s obsessions and crimes forces the reader/spectator to feel as a participant with the perpetrators in carrying out the crimes. The reaction is one of disgust because with each scene the reader/spectators feel as if they are the perpetrators of detestable actions for which no one will be punished.18 Audience members along with other characters of the jauría are forced to become active participants in the murders of these women and, as Jean Franco indicates, these crimes are perpetrated “to assert masculinity before an audience of peers” (222). H. MERMAIDS AND FLIES Yunwon Park has written that many of the Borderlands’ plays reveal “a crisis in the unequal process of neoliberal globalization” and adds that this tends to be revealed in symbolic and apocalyptic images of ghost, demons, giants, and monsters (Park 182). Sirenas del río and Ciudad de las moscas are plays that utilize the apocalyptical and mythical to present the imminent decay and destruction of Ciudad Juárez. Sirenas del río is a short one-act play organized in six scenes about a horrific topic that playwright Demetrio Ávila brings to light in order to denounce the violence against women in the Border town of Juárez. The play takes place in a river and its surroundings where a character, Río, has trapped the defenseless Sirenas “mermaids.” In the depths of this river lay the bodies of women that have been transformed into mermaids. Galicia indicates that these mythological creatures are different because they are not part woman and fish, but fish and dead woman (“Memorias” de 43). In this apocalyptic and hellish location a soundtrack of terror and violence emerges right from the start with: “Ruidos que se confunden en llantos, gemidos, golpes de cuchillo entrando en la carne” “Noises that get confused with cries, groans, the thumping of knives entering the flesh” (Ávila, Sirenas del río 71). The screams and cries of the mermaids cannot be heard by anyone

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else as they have been sentenced to live and relive their painful new state even though they yearn to escape.19 In the introduction of the play Río speaks in an authoritarian voice explaining how the river and its mermaids were created. In this new Genesis, Río’s address is dictatorial as he orders the local population to not ask questions about the victims and look the other way: RÍO. Cierren los ojos. Vistan de fiesta las calles. Desvíen la atención. Nadie voltee a verlas. Disputen el poder en las calles. Cuestionen los comicios. Nadie se atreva a preguntar. En las escuelas hablen de deportes, del medio ambiente. Los maestros dejen las aulas, destruyan edificios, armen un circo. Nadie vuelva los ojos al río. (Ávila, Sirenas del río 72) “RÍO. Close your eyes. Wear party dresses to the streets. Turn away your attention. Nobody turn around to look at them. Contend the power on the streets. Question the elections. Nobody dare to ask. In the schools talk about sports, the environment. Teachers leave your classrooms, destroy the buildings, put together a circus. Nobody turn your eyes to the river.”

Río is the omnipotent and omnipresent being that orders what is to happen with all the disappeared women of Juárez. Niña Sirena explains that a man transformed her into a mermaid and that beneath there are more womenmermaids (Ávila, Sirenas del río 72). Río represents not only those who perpetrate the murders, but also all who control these cities with legal means and/or interfere with the investigations to find the killers and motives. Río is the all-powerful country to the north, the United States, and the power that it instills in its neighbor to change its way of life for a more advanced one by opening up its markets to worldwide competition. According to Vicky Martínez the river becomes a symbolic division of the several borders (social, gender, economic, and international) that must be crossed (6). Even if Río witnesses a tragedy on the streets where a mother has been shot after trying to stop men from kidnapping her daughter, his only advice is for everyone to turn the other way and not mention the femicides: “Hay que desviar la mirada. Todos voltean a vernos. Inventen un escándalo… Hay que desviar la mirada” “One must turn away your stares. All of you turn around to look at us. You all, invent a scandal…One must turn away your stares” (Ávila, Sirenas del río 76). Similar to the situation in Ciudad Juárez, in the play the local and state authorities are also displeased with the publicity the femicides have brought to the city and as Río says, they would prefer that the media created new scandals so that the murders of women were forgotten. In this environment the women of Juárez, the sirenas or mermaids, suffer all kinds of vicissitudes in this hell-

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hole of the Rio Grande. The victims’ stories are intertwined and mixed with the sites where repugnant male aggressors have perpetrated these crimes. As the story progresses the murders of la Niña Sirena “Child Mermaid,” Gretel, Isabel, a prostitute named Carmen, and a maquila worker are remembered. Their executioners are men that killed to silence them because the women had insulted or bothered them, or had been too naïve and trusting, and in turn the men molested, stabbed, or trafficked their organs. In an ominous last image, the noise of an overflowing river is heard. It must not be ignored because femicides are not only a product of Ciudad Juárez but of the globalized world and could appear in other areas of Mexico and the world.20 Virginia Hernández offers another hellish situation in Ciudad de las moscas. The play presents the city of Juárez after being condemned to be destroyed by a plague of flies because of the sins, depravity, and selfishness of its inhabitants. By using as main characters La Mujer de Lot “Lot’s Wife” (symbol of impunity), Fausto “Faust” (a reference to selling the soul of the city to the economic powers), and Juárez (personified as a middle-aged woman), Hernández introduces an apocalyptic setting to display the end of time where the dead women become flies to symbolize death and putrefaction (Martínez 12).21 God must punish the city, as he had punished other cities and peoples mentioned in the Bible, because no one stopped the killings, depravities, and hatred that had been occurring. For the monstrous acts committed against women, the city is compared to Hamelin and Sodom and Gomorrah (Galicia, “Memorias” 48). As a punishment and to atone for the atrocities committed, the only thing left is for God to send the city decay and putrefaction. In the play Gang members carry out the disappearances and killings of women. La Mujer que Busca “The Woman that Searches” films the gangs committing barbarities hoping for some day to punish them. Eventually a plague of flies will enter the city and destroy it because no one deserves to be saved. All the inhabitants, especially the ones in power, have sold the city to multinationals and drug cartels using as collateral damage, the poorest and weakest in the city. Ciudad Juárez embodies the modern version of Faust with ample opportunities and jobs at the price of rampant violence, crime, discrimination, and indifference (Fernández 7; Bowden 61). Juárez is a city that has always fought the desert and is in the broadest meaning of the word, as Jorge Fernández Menéndez states, a “border town” (7). The plays presented in this chapter can be allegorical and display post-apocalyptic worlds, as is the case of Sirenas del río and Ciudad de las moscas. Other plays focus on the victims and the crimes as Lomas de Poleo, Estrellas enterradas, and Hotel Juárez. But one of them, Jauría, focuses on the perpetrators as a dehumanized pack of savage

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animals. The plays present many theories of the femicides and are encompassing. They offer a clear picture of contemporary Ciudad Juárez in the twentyfirst century, with its industrialization, globalization, poverty, environmental degradation, social and mental illnesses, drug addiction and alcoholism. All the plays discussed in this chapter present examples of femicides and the innate culture of Ciudad Juárez. They predict that the nightmare will continue with additional crimes perpetrated without impunity in Juárez and in other cities with similar economic development around the world. Juárez is a relatively young metropolis that is part of an old and complex terrain. The events of the last hundred and twenty-five years have forced Juárez to remake itself and have made it more susceptible to booms and busts. To survive, the city had to embrace the tourism and entertainment industries. By luring tourists from the United States to its bars, casinos, and bordellos, Juárez acquired a negative reputation as a city of sin and vice. In order to attract more economic development and erase its sinful reputation, the city entered a new venture promoted by foreign capital and installed the first assembly plants in Mexico in 1965. But the accelerated changes without urbanization and planning, as well as infrastructure, and municipal support trapped the poor of the city. The weakest were oppressed by an infrastructure that provided very little in return for their arduous work in the assembly plants and other local businesses. The strong and the wealthy were protected by local, state, and federal authorities and their fortunes flourished in the new globalized economy of the twenty-first century. Ciudad Juárez is a symptom of Modern Mexico. A corrupt and inept government has brought out impunity for violence and murder to a metropolitan area along the U.S.-Mexico Border just steps away from a major U.S. city. But “extreme forms of violence, corruption . . . even death, in order to cripple people’s capacity to resist” are not prevalent only in Ciudad Juárez but observed all over Mexico (Fregoso, “The Complexities”). Nearly a century after the Mexican Revolution ended, the country forgot the goals for which it fought this bloody war: “The revolutionaries fought for democracy, for equality and justice; for education, knowledge and culture; for a just and generous nation; for shared progress; and for a fair and equitable world order” (Cárdenas 55). The lost girls and women from the femicides deserve a seat at the Mexican table too. NOTES 1.  “Blood of mine,/ blood of dawn,/ blood of a wounded moon.” Jennifer Rathbun and Juan Fernando Rojas Joo. Sangre mía/ Blood of Mine: Poetry of Border Violence, Gender and Identity in Ciudad Juárez (Las Cruces, NM: Center for Latin American and Border Studies of UP of NM, 2013) 58–59.

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  2.  “The empire tries to hide its voracity, but this attempt has failed; what it throws out are bodies with traces of exacerbated violence. Maybe the femicides in Juárez were the first symptoms of the discomfort” (Translation mine). Rocio Galia, “Memorias de duelo,” Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios, Ed. Enrique Mijares, (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008) 33.  3.  Diana Washington Valdes, “Dangerous Cities: Juarez Drops in Violence Rank,” El Paso Times, 18 Jan. 2014, 02 May 2014 http://www.elpasotimes. com/news/ci_24939627/ju-rez-and-four-u-s-cities-among. Earlier this year Diana Washington wrote that Juárez held first place in the number of homicides in the years 2008, 2009, and 2010, was second in 2011 and 19th in 2012. Out of the 50 most violent cities in the world, Juárez ranked number 37 in 2013, down from the top spot six years ago, according to the Mexico City-based Security, Justice and Peace organization.  4. Bajo Juárez: La ciudad devorando a sus hijas, Dirs. Alejandra Sánchez and José Antonio Cordero, ZatMeni, 2006. Bajo Juarez: The City Devouring Its Daughters is a newer documentary that has received positive reviews.  5. “Sexual assault,” The United States Department of Justice, n.d. http://www .justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault The United States Department of Justice defines sexual assault or aggression as: “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”   6.  Nueva Vizcaya mostly consisted in what today are the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Durango. But it was Juan de Oñate, a Spanish expeditionary and nobleman, who explored and conquered northern Mexico with his troops.   7.  Free trade zones stopped their operations in 1905 because many in Mexico were not satisfied with the trading advantage that these areas received in comparison to the rest of the country.   8.  In “Memorias de duelo” Rocío Galicia says that there are 460 to 600 local gangs in Juárez. The members are called “la generación de la maquila” because they are children of women who started working in the maquila industry as young women. Rocío Galicia, “Memorias de duelo,” Hotel Juárez, dramaturgia de feminicidios, ed. Enrique Mijares (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008) 32.   9.  Several of the plays appeared in earlier theater collections that did not necessarily deal with the topic of femicides, but Hotel Juárez, dramaturgia de feminicidios is the first to present works by Mexican playwrights that deal with the topic of the Juárez femicides entirely. Hotel Juárez, dramaturgia de feminicidios, ed. Enrique Mijares (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008). 10.  Eight bodies were pulled from the Cotton Field, an empty lot of downtown Juárez in Feburary 2002. 11.  The producers of the Mexican film Traspatio have indicated that they endured many difficulties while filming the movie. Since Traspatio was filmed completely on location in Ciudad Juárez many of the actors received death threats and had to leave the project. Jorge Almazán R, “Ana de la Reguera amenazada,” El Sol de Hidalgo, 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.oem.com.mx/esto/notas/n907138.htm.

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12.  Obed reproaches Teófilo and tells him that more than one-hundred girls have died: “Ya van más de cien niñas.” Antonio Zúñiga, “Estrellas entrradas,” Hotel Juárez, dramaturgia de feminicidios, ed. Enrique Mijares (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008) 319–35. (328). 13.  The collection has the same title as the play to honor this courageous drama and its playwright. Hotel Juárez, dramaturgia de feminicidios, ed. Enrique Mijares (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008). 14.  Diana Washington Valdés, The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women (Burbank, California: Peace at the Border, 2006) 63–64, of the deaths in El Motel Royal veteran journalist Washington Valdés writes that an exotic dancer was found dead in a room of the motel. In another occasion, four young men were abducted, and their bodies were dumped on the same street as the motel. Also, a young girl was found in a vacant lot across from the motel. Several policemen and drug traffickers were linked to these murders but nobody was found guilty. 15. Jungwon Park, Diss. Imaginar sin frontera: Visiones errantes de nación y cosmopolitismo desde la periferia, diss., University of Pittsburg, 2008. In this chapter Park analyzes Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666. 16.  It was reported in the news that in the spring 2011 a pack of wild dogs terrorized a rural town outside of Spokane, Washington for three months. During this period around five wild dogs killed over 100 farm animals and pets including a 300pound llama. Authorities said that the wild dogs were killing just for the sport and not for food and speculated they could have homes. The pack would rest during the day and travel only in the night hours. Nicholas K. Geranios, “Bloodthirsty Pack of Dogs Terrorizes Washington Community,” Associated Press, 10 Jun. 2011 http:// www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43350744/ns/us_news/t/bloodthirsty-pack-dogs-terrorizes -washington-community/. 17.  Another feast of anthropophagy occurs in the scene titled “Paloma” “Dove” Matrix gives Gavilán (a taxi driver) orders by CB radio to hunt and kill a girl walking in the streets of a city. After Gavilán catches his prey, Matrix tells him to enjoy this cannibal feast. Enrique Mijares, Jauría. Frontera Abierta II: Jauría. Antología Personal, Enrique Mijares, ed. Fernando Andrade Cancino (Durango, Mexico: FORCAN/CONACULTA, 2010) 49. 18.  Rocio Galicia suggests this play predisposes the reader/spectator to regions or spaces that need to be filled in co-authorship with the playwright. The bullies doing these acts are the ones in governmental power, police forces, and the owners of the assembly plants and industry. Rocío Galicia, “Repertorio de Jauría” Frontera Abierta II: Jauría. Antología Personal. Enrique Mijares, ed. Fernando Andrade Cancino (Durango, Mexico: FORCAN/CONACULTA, 2010) 3. 19.  Jean Franco, Cruel Modernity (Durham: Duke UP, 2013) 230. Franco believes that Murder City USA by Charles Bowden and 2666 by Roberto Bolaño also display apocalyptic visions: “It is not surprising, then, that the combination of superstition, cold-blooded death, and the illegal economies in which drugs and emigrants travel northward along clandestine routes have inspired not only a great deal of pulp fiction, films, and ballads but also two powerful and very different denunciations: Charles Bowden’s Murder City and Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 both offer powerful warnings of the end of civilization and also of the mad dash to its death.”

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20. Jean Franco writes that even if the Juárez’ femicides are the most widely known, they are not necessarily the only ones taking place in the Americas. Other Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have reported a spike in the numbers of crimes against women and girls in the last decade. For further information please check Jean Franco, Cruel Modernity (Durham: Duke UP, 2013) 224. The Global Burden of Armed Violence 2011 Report indicated that more than half of the countries that feature high and very high femicide rates are located in the Americas. According to their report El Salvador exhibited the hightest homicide and femicide rates in the world from 2004 to 2009. Please see Keith Krause, Robert Muggart, and Elizabeth Gilgen, The Global Burden of Armed Violence 2011: Lethal Encounters (Cambridge: UP, 2011) 119. Human rights activists have indicated that femicides are also occurring in Guatemala. This Central American country with a long legacy of violence and internal uprisings since the cold war years, now exhibits a booming maquiladora industry that has been encircled by drug cartels and maras. Reports indicate that in the last decade 1,500 to 4,000 Guatemalan women have been femicide victims and that the authorities and legal institutions have followed similar routes of investigation, as Ciudad Juárez and still most of the crimes remain unpunished. See Feminicidio en Guatemala: Crímenes contra la humanidad investigación preliminary, ed. Mario Maldonado (Guatemala City: Publicación de la Bancada de la nidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca del Congreso de la República de Guatemala, 2005). A report on femicides occurring thoughout Mexico indicates that femicides have increased in the states of Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Mexico, and Nuevo León. See Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, “Femicide and Impunity in Mexico: A Context of Structural and Generalized Violence” 17 Jul. 2012. 21.  Vicky Martínez thinks that Ciudad de las moscas must have borrowed some of the inspiration for the play from Satre’s The flies (1943). Victoria Martínez, “La vida vale: Once obras acerca de los asesinatos de mujeres,” Teatro de Frontera 22. Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios, ed. Enrique Mijares (Mexico City: Siglo XXI, 2008) 13.

WORKS CITED The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Vienna Liaison Office. Femicide: A Global Issue that Demands Action. Eds. Claire Laurent, Michael Platzer and Maria Idomi. Vienna, Austria: ACUNS, 2013. Agosín, Marjorie. Secrets in the Sand: The Young Women of Juárez. Trans. Celeste Kostopulos-Cooperman. Buffalo, NY: White Pine P, 2006. Print. “Amnistía Internacional repudia el asesinato de la poeta y activista contra la violencia hacia la mujer en Ciudad Juárez” Amnistía Internacional. 12 Jan. 2011. Web. http://www.amnesty.org/es/library/asset/AMR41/002/2011/es/d73fb8c1–f588– 4484–83a2–6563cf4fb80b/amr410022011es.html. “An exhibition that explores the complexities of the violent deaths and disappearances.” Extra. 14 Oct. 2009. Web. 31 Aug. 2011. http://www.extranews.net/news/ 5294/rastros-y-cronicas-women-of-juarez.

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Arriola, Elvia. “Accountability for Murder in the Maquiladoras: Linking Corporate Indifference to Gender Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border.” Making a Killing: Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera. Ed. Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Austin, TX: U of Texas P, 2010. 25–62. Print. “Asesinan a activista Susana Chávez en Chihuahua.” Univision.com. 12 Jan. 2012. Web. http://noticias.univision.com/mexico/noticias/article/2011–01–12/asesinan -a-activista-susana-chavez#axzz2DAq1h3U6. Ávila, Demetrio. Sirenas del río. Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 22. Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008. 71–87. Print. Baez, Susana. “Los colores del amanecer: La dramaturgia social en Ciudad Juárez.” Chihuahua hoy, 2006: Visiones de su economía, política y cultura. Ed. Víctor Orozco. Vol 4. Chihuahua: Instituto Chihuahuense de la Cultura and Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, 2006. Print. Bilbeisi, Yasmin. “Ni Una Mas.” Glass Magazine. 5 Jun. 5 2010. Web. http://www .theglassmagazine.com/forum/article.asp?tid=1451#title. The BorderPlex Alliance. “Maquiladora FAQ.” 24 March 2014. Web http://www .borderplexalliance.org/regional-data/ciudad-juarez/twin-plant/maquiladora-faq Bowden, Charles. Juárez the Laboratory of the Future. New York: Aperture, 1996. Print. Caputi, Jane and Diane H. Russell. “Femicide: Sexist Terrorism Against Women.” Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing. Eds. Jill Radford and Diane E.H. Russell. New York: Twayne, 1992. 13–21. ———. “Goddess Murder and Gynocide in Ciudad Juárez.” Making a Killing: Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera. Ed. Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Austin, TX: U of Texas P, 2010. 279–294. Print. Cárdenas, Cuauhtémoc. “The Promise and Legacy of the Mexican Revolution.” Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies (Spring-Summer 2010): 30–55. Print. Chamberlain, Lisa. “2 Cities and 4 Bridges Where Commerce Flows.” The New York Times. Real Estate. 28 Mar. 2007. Web. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/ realestate/commercial/28juarez.html. Christian, Ed. “Ethnic Postcolonial Crime and Detection (Anglophone).” A Companion to Crime Fiction. Eds. Charles J. Rzepka and Lee Horsley. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 283–295. Print. “Ciudad Juarez, Third Best City for Business in Mexico.” Chihuahuan Frontier. 2010. Web. http://www.chihuahuanfrontier.com/juarez.html. Ciudad Juarez: Una frontera en crisis. Ed. Jorge Humberto Chavez Ramirez. Chihuahua, Mexico: Instituto Chihuahense de Cultura, 2004. Print. Fernández Menéndez, Jorge. “Prólogo.” Jirones y arena. Ed. Alma Rosa Tapia González. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Las Mujeres, 2010. 7–9. Print. Franco, Jean. Cruel Modernity. Durham: Duke UP, 2013. Print. Fregoso, Rosa Linda. “‘We Want Them Alive!: The Politics and Culture of Human Rights.” Social Identities. 12.2 (March 2006): 109–38. Print. ———. “The Complexities of Feminicide on the Border.” A Future Memorial for NAFTA. 01 Jan. 2014. Web. http://www.naftamemorial.info/fregtext.php.

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Galicia, Rocío. “Memorias de duelo.” Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 22. Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008. 19–60. Print. ———. “Repertorio de Jauría.” Frontera Abierta II: Jauría. Antología Personal. Enrique Mijares. Ed. Fernando Andrade Cancino. Durango, Mexico: FORCAN/ CONACULTA, 2010. 3–5. Print. Galindo, Edeberto. Lomas de Poleo. Dramaturgia del norte: Antología. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Monterrey, Mexico: Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2003. 173–219. Print. Ganster, Paul and Lorey, David E. The U.S.-Mexican Border into the Twenty-First Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. Print. Gaspar de Alba, Alicia and Georgina Guzmán. “Feminicidio: The ‘Black Legend’ of the Border.” Making a Killing: Femicide, Free Trade, and La Frontera. Ed. Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Austin, TX: U of Texas P., 2010. 1–21. Print. Geranios, Nicholas K. “Bloodthirsty Pack of Dogs Terrorizes Washington Community.” Associated Press. 10 Jun. 2011. Web. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43350744/ns/ us_news/t/bloodthirsty-pack-dogs-terrorizes-washington-community/. Girard, René. Violence and the Sacred. Trans. Patrick Gregory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1977. González Rodríguez, Sergio. El hombre sin cabeza. Barcelona: Anagrama, 2009. Print. Gutierrez Castañeda, Griselda Ed. Violencia sexista: Algunas claves para la comprensión del feminicidio en Ciudad Juarez. Mexico City: UNAM, 2004. Print. Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2001. Print. Hernández, Virginia. Ciudad de las moscas. Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 22. Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008. 149–170. Print. Hester, Marianne. “The Witch-craze in Sixteeth- and Seventeenth-Century England as Social Control of Women” Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing. Eds. Jill Radford and Diane E.H. Russell. New York: Twayne, 1992. Print. 27–39. Hollinger, Keith. Trade Liberalization and the Environment: A Study of NAFTA’s Impact in El Paso, Texas and Juárez, Mexico. MA. Thesis, VA TECH, 2007. Print. Jirones y arena. E. Alma Rosa Tapia González. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Las Mujeres, 2010. Print. Kagan, Joshua M. “Workers’ Rights in the Mexican Maquiladora Sector: Collective Bargaining, Women’s Rights, and General Human Rights: Law, Norms, and Practice.” Journal of Transnational Law & Policy 15.1 (Fall 2005): 153–80. Print. Kostopulos-Cooperman, Celeste. Preface. Secrets in the Sand: The Young Women of Juárez. Trans. Celeste Kostopulos-Cooperman. Buffalo, NY: White Pine P., 2006. 13–21. Print. Márquez, Carlos F. “El teatro en la frontera registra más de lo que acontece en la sociedad afirma Pilo Galindo.” La Jornada Michoacán. 11 Nov. 2008. Web. http:// archivo.lajornadamichoacan.com.mx/2008/11/11/index.php?section=cultura&arti cle=016n1cul.

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Martínez, Oscar J. Border Boom Town: Ciudad Juárez Since 1848. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978. Print. Martínez, Victoria. “La vida vale: Once obras acerca de los asesinatos de mujeres.” Teatro de Frontera 22. Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008. 5–18. Print. Marzano, Michela. La muerte como espectáculo. Trad. Nuria Barri. Barcelona, Spain: Trusquets, 2010. Merry, Sally Engle. Gender Violence: A Cultural Perspective: Introductions to Engaged Anthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. “Mexico: Justice Fails in Ciudad Juarez and the City of Chihuahua.” Amnesty International. 28 Feb. 2005. Web. http://www.amnestyusa.org/node/55339. Mijares, Enrique. Jauría. Frontera Abierta II: Jauría. Antología Personal. Enrique Mijares. Ed. Fernando Andrade Cancino. Durango, Mexico: FORCAN/ CONACULTA, 2010. 43–60. Print. Monárrez Fragoso, Julia E., Raúl Flores Simental, and Diana Lizeth Gacía Salinas. “La ciudad y el feminicidio en los texto académicos.” Violencia contra las mujeres e inseguridad ciudadana en Ciudad Juárez. Mexico City: COLEF/Porrúa, 2010. 65–122. Nathan, Debbie. “The Juárez Murders: Sexism, Corporate Greed, and Drug Trafficking Make Juárez a Deadly Town for Mexico’s Women.” Amnesty Magazine. N.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2011. www.amnestyusa.org/amnestynow/juarez.html. Park, Jungwon. Diss. Imaginar sin frontera: Visiones errantes de nación y cosmopolitismo desde la periferia. University of Pittsburg, 2008. Print. Portillo, Lourdes dir. Señorita Extraviada. New York: Women Make Movies, 2001. Radford, Jill. “Introduction.” Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing. Eds. Jill Radford and Diana E.H. Russell. New York: Twayne, 1992. 3–12. Print. Raney, Terri and Shayle Shagam. “NAFTA’s Impact on U.S. Agriculture: The First 3 Years.” Economic Research Service/USDA (September 1997): 20–23. Print. Rascón Banda, Víctor Hugo. “Hotel Juárez.” Teatro de Frontera 13/14. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Durango, Mexico: Espacio Vacio Editorial, 2004. 479–517. Print. “Rastros y crónicas: Women of Juárez.” Extranews.net. n.d. Web. http://www.extra news.net/news/5294/rastros-y-cronicas-women-of-juarez. Rathbun, Jennifer and Juan Fernando Rojas Joo. Sangre mía/ Blood of Mine: Poetry of Border Violence, Gender and Identity in Ciudad Juárez. Las Cruces, NM: Center for Latin American and Border Studies of UP of NM, 2013. Ravelo Blancas, Patricia. “El fenómeno del feminicidio Una propuesta de recategorización.” Lanic Etex Collection. (2008): 1–25. lanic.utexas.edu/project/etext/llilas/vrp/ blancas.pdf.  Ravelo Blancas, Patricia and Hector Dominguez Ruvalcaba. Entre las duras aristas de las armas: Violencia y victimizacion en Ciudad Juárez. Mexico City: Centro de Investigacion y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social, 2006. Print. Rodríguez, Teresa. The Daughters of Juárez. New York: Atria Books, 2007. Print. Russell, Diana E.H. “Preface.” Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing. Eds. Jill Radford and Diana E.H. Russell. New York: Twayne, 1992. 3–12. Print.

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Schmidt Camacho, Alicia. “Integral Bodies: Cuerpos Íntegros: Impunity and the Pursuit of Justice in the Chihuahuan Feminicidio.” E-misférica: Performance and the Law. 3.1 (June 2006): n.p. Web. 1 Jul. 2011. Timmons, W. H. “EL PASO DEL NORTE | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA).” Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) | A Digital Gateway to Texas History. Texas State Historical Association. 19 Jul. 2011. Web. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hdelu. “20 Years of Border Femicide.” New Mexico State University Frontera NorteSur. 09 Jul. 2013. Web. http://fnsnews.nmsu.edu/20–years-of-border-femicide. Vulliamy, Ed. “Day of the Dead.” The Observer. Sunday, 7 Dec. 2008. Web. http:// www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/07/drugs-trade-mexico-cocaine-cartels. Washington Valdez, Diana. The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women. Burbank, CA: Peace at the Border, 2006. Print. Williams, David. “Mexico’s NAFTA Experience.” AgExporter. (January 2004): 14–15. http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/agexporter/2004/January/pgs%2014–15.pdf. Woodyard, George. “La ciudad y el sexo: Las mujeres asesinadas de Hotel Juárez.” In El teatro de Rascón Banda: Voces en el Umbral. Eds. Jacqueline E. Bixler and Stuart A. Day. Mexico City: Escenología, 2005. 73–80. Print. Zúñiga, Antonio. Estrellas enterradas. Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 22. Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008. 319–35. Print.

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Chapter Six

Tijuana A Journey to Paradox

Some people call it the happiest place on earth others say it’s a dangerous place it has been the city of sin but you know, I don’t care... “Tijuana Makes me Happy” (2006) by Nortec Collective.1 Fifteen miles to the south the Mexican village of Tia Juana attracts many visitors, whose average experience consists of a pleasant railroad ride to the border and a half-hour’s residence in a foreign country. To California Over the Santa Fe Railway Company by Charles A. Higgins.2

Sleek, youthful, sophisticated, eclectic, modern, and urban with hints of cursi “tacky, cheesy, or kitschy” are just some of the adjectives that describe the music of Nortec Collective and the city of Tijuana. The name designates the enclave of musicians, DJs, and plastic artists, led by Bostich (Ramón Amezcua) and Fussible (Pepe Mogt), which came together in 1999 and created a new sound of the Mexican Border.3 The 2006 album Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3 which includes the song “Tijuana Makes me Happy” has attained recognition and accolades including two Latin Grammy nominations. Incessant rhythms of the tuba and accordion can be heard displaying its influences, a blend of Norteña and tambora (banda sinaloense) music with European and American electronic music. The music of Nortec Collective poignantly presents the duality of this Border area and encapsulates the new Tijuana. After fifteen years together Bostich & Fussible recently announced that Motel Baja (2014) would be their last studio collaboration. Tijuana is a city that emerged from the historical conflict between the United States and Mexico. More than a century after its official founding, 209

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Tijuana and the state of Baja California are a hybrid mix, as Garcia Canclini indicates, of the Mexican and American ways of life. Despite having become a modern and artistic Border town of opportunities, Tijuana has been unable to rid itself of the “black legend” with which it has been associated almost from the time of its formation in 1889. This myth has largely been transmitted by mass media, literature, film, music, and by oral and written narratives. Since the late 1990s a group of Border artists have simultaneously used literature and art against stereotypes of the Border celebrating the diverse opportunities of this energetic space. Contemporary dramatists writing about Tijuana have produced work analyzing the city’s tumultuous history and development. The plays Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur “The Desert is Burning with the Winds that Come from the South” (1991), Sinfonía en una botella “Symphony in a Bottle” (1991), Bulevar “Boulevard” (1995), Agua Caliente (2005), and La ley del ranchero “The Law of the Farmer” (2005), all written by Hugo Salcedo, and the play Expreso Norte “Express North” (2003) written by Virginia Hernández portray the city of Tijuana as either a sleepy cattle ranching town, casino city, Border brothel, city of vice and violence, San Diego’s twin city, and anteroom for all those who seek to move to the United States; or as a vibrant, artistic, and ever expanding and growing metropolis of the twenty-first century. For more than a century Tijuana has been characterized as a transient city without roots. Many believe Tijuana is an ungovernable place filled with prostitutes, drug traffickers, art of bad taste, and a lack of urban planning. These portrayals have been given most often by people in the centers of power, the outsiders, who describe Tijuana as a marginal place in the U.S.-Mexico periphery. For others Tijuana is a region where multiple encounters and ideologies collide resulting in an array of identities and cultures that comprise the city (Madrid 17). How do local artists and writers negotiate their own sense of identity in order to defy a multiplicity of discourses coming from Mexico and the U.S. that have always presented Tijuana as a marginal place? These discourses must simultaneously protest against Border stereotypes while celebrating the potential of this energetic space (Insley 99). But they must also be unbiased and critical. Since the 1980s until the present a small but tenacious group of writers and artists from Tijuana has been creating significant art. This momentous growth has been labeled “Border Renaissance” for the quality and quantity of works created by local writers, musicians, and artists. Writers and musicians publish and record their works about the city in small specialized editorial houses and independent recording studios outside the confines of the commercial industry allowing them to challenge long-accepted ideas about the region presenting what they believe is the true face of Tijuana. The themes discussed by artists such as Hugo Salcedo and Virginia Hernández (dramaturgy),

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Roberto Castillo and Luis Humberto Crosthwaite (narrative), Nortec Collective (music and graphic arts), Norma Michel (performing arts/dance), Monica and Melissa Areola (art/architecture), and Omar Pimienta (interdisciplinary artist) are varied. Many explore the history and foundation of the region or nostalgically reminisce of the Tijuana of yesteryear against the backdrop of contemporary life. Their works present typical characters earning an honest living in Tijuana, not the stereotypical prostitute, illegal or drug trafficker. Even though much of the work is carried out from the bottom up starting in cafes and small local galleries, big local governmental organizations such as CECUT (Centro Cultural Tijuana) and universities as Universidad Autónoma de Baja California serve as meeting places to promote artists and writers of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, and the world. The image of Tijuana has become exaggerated with the passage of time. But it has not always been this way as it took some time for the city to become a synonym of depravity: “It [The city] began to incorporate itself to the collective unconscious and throughout the years it became a legend and a stereotype: The lost city, the anteroom to hell, the place of sin, the Mexican Babylon, and the Sodom and Gomorrah” (Campbell, “La frontera sedentaria”). It would seem obvious that foreigners and people from the rest of Mexico imagine a Tijuana filled with negativity and clichés. On the other hand, writers such as Guillermo Fadanelli give a unique description of the city: Tijuana es como un espejismo, está allí solamente para los que pueden o quieren verla. Pero para la mayoría la ciudad es transparente, no existe ya que la mirada desde este lado de la frontera (desde México) viaja hasta aterrizar en California, en la tierra prometida y el glamoroso paraíso del dólar. Mientras que la mirada de los californianos se para allí (en Tijuana) y construye una imagen falsa y pícara de México. Entonces para los mexicanos es transparente y para ellos (los estadounidenses) es un mito. Sea como sea son dos formas de negar la realidad y la existencia de la ciudad de Tijuana. (Fadanelli, “Tijuana: La City Narrable” 31) “Tijuana is like a mirage and is there only for those who can or want to see it. But for most, the city is transparent; it does not actually exist since the gaze from this side of the border (from Mexico) travels until landing in California, in the Promised Land and the glamorous paradise of the dollar. Meanwhile the gaze of Californians stops there (in Tijuana) and constructs a false and naughty image of Mexico. Then for Mexicans it is transparent and for them (the Americans) it is a myth. Be that as it may, they are two ways of denying the reality and the existence of the city of Tijuana.”

Tijuana is the northernmost point in Mexico. The city reaches geographically, culturally, politically, and demographically the true limits of a periphery.

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Tijuana represents the essence and dualism of the United States and Mexico Borderland. The gaze mentioned in Fadanelli’s quote could be traced back to an incident that took place in 1886. The fate of Tijuana was probably determined by spectators, mostly from the United States, attending a fight between two boxers on the San Diego/Tijuana Border. Organizers of the fight between O’Neil vs. Nugent were not allowed to hold it in San Diego and moved it to the Border with spectators sitting on the San Diego side watching the fight take place on the Tijuana side (Berumen 124). The boxing rink becomes a drama as observers located on one end play the role of spectators, and on the other side, the stage, the object of the gaze. Looking from the outside in, the proscenium stage was perceived as a distinctive space. In legal terms, the rink separated what was legal and moral, on one side, and illegal, on the other side (Berumen 128). The borderline has exemplified cultural and moral differences since the middle of the nineteenth century turning Mexicans into the most immediate and radical image of the “other” (Berumen 129). Tijuana’s performative elements have been also used to develop a city dependent on foreign tourism. Lawrence Herzog also focuses on this gaze, for him the “tourism gaze” is the foreign stare that causes the construction of a setting solely for that group of observers (Global Tijuana 126). The place visited by these tourists is an unfaithful representation of what “the outsiders” (the others) project and expect it to be. The setting is a classic “other directed space,” a vacationland and consumer haven created for outsiders. For many Avenida Revolución “Revolution Avenue” in Tijuana is synonymous to a mini-theme park: Main street USA in Disneyland for instance or a theatrical performance (Herzog, “Global Tijuana” 127). Herzog believes that the tourist gives way to artificial zones, enclavism: “Tourism breeds ‘enclavism,’ the creation of isolated zones for visitors, buffered from the everyday city, to allow the outsider’s fantasy of the place to remain distinct from its reality, which is usually less exotic” (Herzog, “Global Tijuana” 128). Furthermore, enclavism creates “artificial tourism districts” that function as “segregated” independent entities from rest of the city. Avenida Revolución, Centro Comercial Plazas del Río Tijuana, and the Fox Baja Studios are some examples of enclavism in the area. As indicated in Fadanelli’s quote, Tijuana is also myth. The black legend surrounding Tijuana is for the most part an imaginary construction where historical and fictional happenings, stereotypes, and fantastic deeds mix (Berumen 160). In Tijuana la horrible: Entre la historia y el mito “Tijuana the Horrible: Between History and Myth” (2003), Humberto Félix Berumen studies the origin and dissemination of Tijuana’s black legend in depth. The symbolization of cities as female entities was a common occurrence amongst the

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different prophets of the Bible. The urban space is interpreted as a body, and in particular as a female body and cities as celestial or diabolical, perverted or virtuous, good or bad, ungodly or immaculate (Berumen 172–73). Berumen argues that the Book of Revelation illustrates western symbolism as it relates to religious conception of big metropolises. In Revelation, two archetypal cities play an important role, one reviled and cursed (Babylon), and the other yearned for and blessed (Jerusalem). Later during the first Christians’ era, Rome constituted the principal enemy of Christianity as Babylon had been for the Hebrews. The process of making ancient Babylon the symbolic representation of Rome can be interpreted as the true process that gave way to its mythical transformation: Babylon became a mythical figure that embodied the values of perversity, lust, and prostitution (Berumen 175). Additionally, Berumen believes that the Tijuana-Babylon (Tijuana-Sodom and Gomorrah) myth emerged as a projection of the Puritanical religious mentality of American citizens who simply saw Tijuana as a detestable slum. When invoking the mythical referent of the pernicious city characteristic of the Judeo-Christian conception of the world, Americans would fix its identity in terms of the symbolism of the stain (Berumen 179). Berumen considers the Tijuana myth, following Carl Jung’s explanations around the formation of the collective unconscious and archetypes, as a myth founded in unconscious imaginative processes. The Tijuana myth is constructed mostly from the comparison of the biblical archetype of the corrupt and perverse cities (Berumen 186). Like any symbol it possesses a double structure: The Tijuana symbol alludes to a primary meaning (of the city itself), but also to another of secondary order (immorality) (Berumen 208). Researchers have studied the role of Tijuana in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as it enters greater interdependence with the city of San Diego, other cities in northern Baja California, and the world. Urban geographist Lawrence A. Herzog studies the United States-Mexican Border and is best known for his “Seven Ecologies of the Border.” He argues that the Tijuana/California Border is the ideal place to study the impact of globalization in shaping a new urban landscape, and that urban areas are not restricted to national borders. New urbanism may transcend a nation’s legal border. Tijuana is a “transfrontier metropolis”: “a metropolis literally caught between paradigms—modernity and post-modernity, North and South, local and global—a place on the verge of being catapulted beyond, to a new level of innovation, or what has been termed hybridity” (Herzog, “Global Tijuana: The Seven Ecologies” 121). For Herzog there are seven ecologies of the border: ecology of the modern industrial park, global homogenization of consumer tastes and spaces, global tourism, post NAFTA towns and neighborhoods, transnational community places, spaces of conflict, and invented connections. Each one of the seven ecologies

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is a “reflection of the many global processes that are redefining the MexicoUnited States, and the cities that reside along it” and a reflection of regional influences (Herzog, “Global Tijuana” 140). A “transfrontier metropolis” says Herzog could provide urban designers the opportunity to create an urban space where people could live, work, relax, shop, and communicate “literally on and across international borders” (Herzog, Return to the Center 222). Tijuana can become a “transfrontier metropolis” only if issues of social and economic inequality are addressed and transformed, otherwise the black legend will continue to haunt the area. Restrictions imposed on Mexican citizens pertaining international Border crossing currently make it almost impossible for Tijuana to attain “transfrontier metropolis” status. Anthropologist Néstor García Canclini expounds that the most interesting models of “transfrontier metropolis” can be found in cross-Border cities along the physical border between the United States and Mexico in “complex binational conurbations that defy most [of what] classic urbanism” (“Rewriting Cultural Studies” 282). The term Hybridity is central to García Canclini’s writings and is defined as: “all the processes that combine discrete social structures or practices, which already existed in distinctly separate forms, to create new structures, objectives, objects, and practices in which the antecedents merge” (“Rewriting Cultural Studies” 279). It must be understood that hybridity is not a process that will necessarily homogenize structures that have been brought together because as Canclini indicates: “Every process of hybridization has the property of making equal what is different, and different what is equal, but in a way in which the equal is not always the same, or the different simply different” (“Rewriting Cultural Studies” 279). Hybridization not only causes positive outcomes or “processes” but it may result, as is often the case with immigrants migrating to a new country, into “a loss or uprooting from the original society” and uneven economic development (García Canclini, “Rewriting Cultural Studies” 280). One of the most interesting examples of hybridity is the rise of “Spanglish” or “code-switching” a hybrid language of Spanish and English “in which words and phrases from one language are inserted haphazardly into sentences in the other language” (Dear and Burridge 311). García Canclini believes that the city of Tijuana is another illustration of hybridity. There exists criticism of Canclini’s writings. Heriberto Yépez blames those who disclosed Garcia Canclini’s ideas (academics, artists, authors, journalists) for oversimplifying the terms hybridity and postmodernism: “as an automatic category that would come to define and represent the border and the city of Tijuana” (Yépez 11–12). Michael Dear and Andrew Burridge have written that hybridization outcomes can be conflicting and not always encouraging: “In positive terms, hybridization may result, for instance, in a

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broadening of cultural offerings and a challenge to entrenched attitudes on race; negatively, it can be associated with dislocation, loss of tradition, and social unrest” (303). Kun and Montezemolo question the international allure of Tijuana. The dislocation and destructive advantage of globalization forces third world citizens to become the “consumer proletariat” or “a people alienated from both the means of production and consumption” (Kun and Montezemolo 11). With the passage of time and because of its geographical location, Tijuana has become literally, the political, economical, and cultural location between two very unequal frontiers. A. ORIGINS OF TIJUANA There are many legends on the origin of the name Tijuana. The etymology of the name is varied. Some historians believe it comes from the Yuman language, an ancient language spoken in the region.4 The name of the city is credited with several roots such as “Tiguana,” “Tiuana,” “Teguana,” “Tiwana,” “Tijuan,” “Ticuan,” and “Tijuana.” Some historians believe the word “Tijuana” and its derivatives mean “next to the sea.” Others say it comes from another location in the south of the Baja California peninsula. A lesser-known theory postulates that the first indigenous inhabitants of Cerro Colorado (one of the highest hills of the state which takes on a reddish tone in the sunlight) called the area Tijuan or Ticuan meaning “Lying Turtle,” but there is not enough evidence to prove this (Aguirre Bernal 52–53; “Tijuana”). According to researcher Dean Conklin the first documented mention of the accurate spelling of Tijuana comes from a baptismal record of the San Diego Mission. The record established in 1809 shows Father José Sanchez recorded the baptism of a fifty-four-year-old Indian “from the settlement of Tía Juana” (Aguirre Bernal 54; Campbell, “La frontera sedentaria”). Linguists however believe it unlikely that the priest could have Castilianized the Yuman word Llatijuan (Campbell, “La frontera sedentaria”). There is still a mystery on the transition of Tía Juana to Tijuana. However, the change did happen during the 1920s in Mexico. The Past governor of the then territory of Baja California, General Don Abelardo L. Rodríguez (1923–1930), still called it “Tía Juana” when referring to the city. Yet it was at this time that the written accounts dropped the “a” from the name and Tía Juana became Tijuana (Berumen 211). Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded in 1769 and extended to the area that now covers Tijuana. The priests of the mission were forced to fend for themselves—needed food and shelter. One legend speaks of a lively woman who managed an inn and served her guests well. Local people named the woman who had helped the priests Aunt Jane or Tía Juana. The

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story of the priests in the inn is possible, but the legend seems to come from people’s tales rather than documented evidence that such a woman existed.5 Other popular stories speak of a woman known as la Tía Juana who owned an inn in an area that would later be known as “Rancho de la Tía Juana” in the later part of the nineteenth century. She was tough minded and vulgar. Her business consisted of selling alcohol and food and providing shelter to travelers in the area. The Kumiai (sometimes spelled Kumeyaay or Quemaya) indigenous tribes of northern Baja California witnessed the Spanish conquistadors arrival in the territory that comprises San Diego and Tijuana in 1542. Hernán Cortés arrived on the peninsula of Baja California in 1535 and Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed the coastline of the area in 1542. Fray Junípero Serra was the first European to set foot in the municipality of Tijuana. He founded the first mission of the upper Californias, Misión de San Diego de Alcalá. It was not until the end of the religious missions’ era that this area began to populate. Juan Crespí gave the first documented description of the Valley of Tijuana in 1769 (“Tijuana History”). In 1829 the governor of California, José María Echeandía, offered a land grant (100 square kilometers or 40 square miles) to Santiago Argüello.6 This large cattle ranch became known as the “Rancho Tía Juana.” First inhabitants of the area devoted their lives to raising livestock. Following the U.S.-Mexican War “Rancho Tía Juana” acquired overnight the character of a frontier town because it was now located at a border. The discovery of gold and precious metals in the Real del Castillo mine and other locations in Baja California, increased Border traffic and made it necessary to establish a military fort and a customs office to tax the crossing. July 11, 1889 is the official date of Tijuana’s founding.7 This date marks the end of the Argüello family descendants’ long litigation with the state and themselves over the land of Rancho “Tía Juana” whereby the family decided to subdivide the land in lots to build new houses and sell them.8 Thus the city of Tijuana entered a new era and began to develop. Subsequently, this newfound wealth prompted the edification of a small town and even the construction of a railroad that would connect the city of San Diego with Tijuana and other cities of the state of Baja California such as Tecate and Rosarito. B. ARDE EL DESIERTO CON LO VIENTOS QUE VIENEN DEL SUR Hugo Salcedo, a playwright originally from the state of Jalisco has made Tijuana his home since 1989. One of Salcedo’s veins of dramaturgy attempts to rewrite the history of the Border and of his adopted hometown of Tijuana. The characters in his plays are living in la frontera norte doing common but

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heroic acts. They can be gods and heroes of myths and tragedies dislocated in time and place and found surviving life in the U.S.-Mexican Border. Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur, part of the trilogy El viaje de los cantores y otras obras de teatro, illustrates the playwright’s appreciation of Tijuana. The play focuses on the founding of Tijuana, presented as a place of opportunity. The third story of the trilogy, Sinfonía en una botella, presents the daily lives of motorists hoping to cross the San Ysidro-San Diego Border, considered by many to be the busiest Border crossing point in North America (Parfait 94). A majority of Salcedo’s works presents the Border, and most importantly the city of Tijuana, as a geographical and historical meeting and departure point. In Arde el desierto con los vientos que llegan del sur, Salcedo fashions Tijuana by utilizing the popular stories of Tía Juana and her ranch near San Diego-Tijuana as a foundation. Written on October 3rd, 1989, the play commemorates the centenary of the city’s origination. Héctor Azar comments of the play, “Salcedo rinde homenaje a su tierra de adopción, a través de parábolas que alcanzan el aliento bíblico” “Salcedo pays homage to his adopted homeland through parables that attain biblical strength and power” (10). In Salcedo’s play, Tijuana is the protagonist. The play is organized into two acts and each act is subdivided into two scenes. The story is set in the small inn and bar that belongs to La Juana in the northern Border in Baja California. Stage directions indicate a primitive ranch (made of cardboard, wood, and a partially finished roof) covering a small portion of the stage with the rest exposed (Salcedo, Arde 53). The terrain that surrounds the ranch is predominantly arid with dust clouds. As La Juana’s business becomes more successful, the ranch evolves. It goes through a renovation. Now there are two fans that hang from the ceiling, a new set of metal chairs and tables, paintings and other decorations adorn the walls, a slot machine, and a jukebox entertaining Juana’s clients (Salcedo, Arde 64). The scene ends with a voice reading a governmental decree that orders gambling in Mexico to be stopped. Scene two of Act 2 presents Juana’s ranch closed and boarded up giving way to a new and modern place that will be more welcoming to all who seek refuge or a better future. In some of the final instructions of La Juana to Clemente she speaks of the openness that this place should have: LA JUANA. Ven, siéntate. (Lo hacen). Tienes que abrir esa puerta, atrancarla bien con muchas piedras para que no la puedan cerrar nunca. Debes esperar hasta que lleguen. En eso quiero que me ayudes. Si no lo haces, todo se deshace (Salcedo, Arde el desierto 70). “Come, sit down. (The two of them do it). You have to open that door, keep it open with an abundance of stones so that it may never close. You must wait until they arrive, as I need your help. If you don’t, everything will be for nothing.”

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Ending with the U2 song “Desire,” Clemente witnesses the evolution of the new Tijuana filled with spotlights, disco balls, reflectors, and a helicopter. Observing the spotlights he utters the words: “¡Las estrellas! ¡He alcanzado las estrellas!” “The stars! I have reached the stars!” (Salcedo, Arde el desierto 71). La Juana, Tijuana, will still charm millions of men and women to visit or move here permanently. Arde el desierto con los vientos que llegan del sur covers the first one hundred years of the city of Tijuana. When the play starts Juana is a thirtytwo-year-old woman trying to get her ranch ready to welcome the tourists that pass through this Border point. In the first scene of Act 1 Juana wears a blouse with leather vest, a long and heavy skirt, and ankle boots. Even though she does not change her clothes in the second scene of Act 1, she acknowledges her own changes: JUANA. Nada de eso Manolín. Me conoces. Libre nací y así he de morir. ¡Y me gustan los hombre, qué caray! MANOLÍN. ¡Eres la Juana de siempre! LA JUANA. Ya no. Ahora soy la tía Juana. Así es como me dicen Juana no. (Salcedo, Arde el desierto 62) “JUANA. None of that Manolín. You know me. I was born free and I shall die this way! And I also like men, a lot! MANOLÍN. You are the Juana of always! LA JUANA. Not anymore. I am Aunt Juana now. That is what they call me.”

Juana’s clothes get lighter at the beginning of Act 2 and she now smokes. As her clothes change and become lightweight, her clientele becomes rowdier and wild. In the last scene she is dressed in the same way that she was in Scene 1 of Act 1 and La Juana is seen leaving with El Hombre on horseback realizing that she has become a relic of the past. Critic Peter Beardsell is of the opinion that even though El Hombre appears three times in the play, he never changes with time. If El Hombre withstands the passage of time, La Juana goes through many changes: “[she] moves with time and refuses the man’s call until she herself is overcome by changing events and, forced to recognize her own anachronism, rides off into the realm of timelessness with him. But the place remains after the founder has left. Its allegorical dimension is manifest in various respects” (Beardsell, “Crossing” 76). During the play several men come to visit La Juana at her inn: El Hombre, Manolín, and dos Hombres. At the end of Act 1when Clemente tells her that the two men have arrived, Juana utters: “¿no te das cuenta? Es la modernidad quien va a entrar por esta puerta” “Don’t you realize it? Modernity is who is

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about to enter through this door?” (Salcedo, Arde el desierto 64). The name of the ranch also changes and evolves with time. La Juana leaves Clemente in charge of fulfilling and finishing her project and waiting for the others to arrive. She also asks him to preserve her legacy: “Espéralos y pláticales todo lo que has visto y lo que has inventado” “Wait for them and tell them all that you have seen and invented” (Salcedo, Arde el desierto 70). During the play La Juana and Clemente have a unique relationship. They love and at times detest one another. They are together because of a special force attracting them to Tijuana as it would attract many others in the next century. The telluric power of the desert, indicates critic Beverido Duhalt, makes the character of Clemente both an agent of this mystery and an intermediary. He is the link between both worlds and the spirit of the desert who will protect some and wipe out others (Beverido Duhalt 121–22). As La Juana and El Hombre disappear into the desert, Clemente dances a strange ritual: CLEMENTE. ¡Hokana! Llora la niña. ¡Yumana! Pide alimento. ¡Teguana! Reniega del padre. ¡Tehuana! Suben los vientos. ¡Tecuam-Teguana! Juegan los hombres. ¡Te-a-wa-na! Muere el coyote. ¡Teawana! Prende la mata. ¡Teguana! Hay lumbre en el llano. ¡Llan Tijuan! Crece tu vientre. ¡Hannan! Arde el desierto. ¡Yumana! Estalla la tierra. ¡Teuana! Arde tu nombre. ¡Juana! ¡Tía Juana! ¡Tijuana! (Salcedo, Arde el desierto 71) “Hokana! The girl cries. Yumana! Asks for food. Teguana! Renounces her father. Tehuana! The winds rise. Tecuam-Teguana! Men play. Te-a-wa-na! The coyote dies. Teawana! Sets fire to the brush. Teguana! There is fire in the plain. Llan Tijuan! Your womb grows. Hannan! The desert burns. Yumana! The earth explodes. Teuana! Your name burns. Juana! Tía Juana! Tijuana!”

Arde el desierto con los vientos que llegan del sur is a poetic and mystifying summoning of the foundation and history of Tehuana. . . . Llan Tijuan. . . . Tía Juana. . . . Tijuana. C. A TASTE OF OLD MEXICO San Diego is Tijuana’s twin sister city. It developed during the latter part of the nineteenth century in part due to the Gold Rush. As the two cities began thriving, Tijuana’s role became more defined as a place for relaxation, entertainment, and leisure for the people of San Diego. As Tijuana’s tourism flourished, so too did the hospitality industry that supported it with the advent of many new hotels, shops, and entertainment. By the last decade of the nineteenth century there were excursions from San Diego to Tijuana that would take visitors to horse races, bullfights, cockfights, boxing matches,

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circuses, hot springs at Agua Caliente, and casinos. In “The Mining Boom in Baja California from 1850 to 1890 and the Emergence of Tijuana as a Border Community” Lawrence D. Taylor concludes that early twentieth century tourism in Tijuana was completely dependent on the city of San Diego. San Diego had the necessary infrastructure to conduct business while Tijuana provided the excitement (Taylor 19). Some historians have noted that the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 not only brought visitors to San Diego, but also drew many of them to Tijuana, which was hosting a Feria Típica Mexicana at the time. This event helped solidify Tijuana’s allure of “old Mexico” and “the forbidden.” Many changes happened to the city in the first two decades of the twentieth century. In the 1900s, Tijuana was still a very small town. At the turn of the century the population consisted of over 200 residents. A new railroad was built from San Diego to Tijuana making transportation easier and quicker. This new medium not only had everyone moving quickly, but also made it a great attraction. Americans wanted to have a taste of what they envisioned as “Old Mexico” making Tijuana a fabricated fantasy proximate to the United States and able to provide accommodations and amusement. One of the most important outcomes of the new railroad was its easy access to the local casinos. There were many casinos like de la Selva, Foreign Club, and Agua Caliente, the most famous, which grew in clientele and wealth during this era. The epigraph presented at the beginning of the chapter came from the book To California Over the Santa Fe Railway Company (1905) by Charles A. Higgins. It clearly exemplifies Tijuana’s charm to Americans in the early part of the twentieth century and how the gaze referred by Fadanelli and Herzog contributed to the development of the city and its tourism industry. D. AGUA CALIENTE Tijuana had acquired its legendary reputation as a place of perdition and sin by the 1920s. Due to Prohibition laws imposed in the U.S. in that decade, it became a tradition for the people of San Diego to cross the Border in droves to enter the surreal world of Tijuana. This world presented itself as a place of vice, sex, drugs, gambling, and alcohol galore, culminating with the inauguration of Agua Caliente Grand Casino in 1928.9 Using the thermal baths as an attraction, this large resort was built with American capital. There were three miles of paved road between the city of Tijuana and the resort with a parking garage adorned with arches that accommodated 150 vehicles. The complex had luxurious decorations such as frescoes and Renaissance artwork, marbled columns, and Italian chandeliers. There was an extravagant spa with an Olympic-size

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pool and “vapor baths utilized the therapeutic sulfur waters flowing at a steady 124 degrees Fahrenheit from the underground river that gave the entire locale its name, Agua Caliente, or Hot Springs” (Valderwood 48). In December of 1929 a $2 million dollar racetrack at Agua Caliente was inaugurated: “The members-only clubhouse at the track mirrored the Mission Revival style of the nearby hotel and casino—a white stucco structure covered with baroque embellishments and topped with traditional red tiled roof” (Vanderwood 50). The lawn was meticulously maintained and the complex was an oasis in the desert and the gem of Baja California. During the time of its inauguration, Agua Caliente rivaled few casinos in the world. Legendary were the visits of well-known film personalities of the Hollywood era, European royalty, and gangsters of the underworld. Al Capone, Clack Gable, Bing Crosby, Charlie Chaplin, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Buster Keaton, Rita Hayworth, Laurel and Hardy, and the Marx Brothers all visited the casino with frequency (Lucero 100). Performers like Dolores del Río became stars in Agua Caliente. Most clientele were foreigners from the United States. It became customary for tourists of that era to visit the Agua Caliente resort but they were also encouraged to “sample the spicy enticements at Tijuana’s city center” (Vanderwood 71). Upon repeal of Prohibition in the United States in 1933, the city of Tijuana started a period of economic turmoil. Bars, liquor stores, and breweries went bankrupt but the big casinos continued to operate until 1935 when President Lázaro Cárdenas outlawed gambling and thus ending “Tijuana’s golden age” (Lucero 103). A duty free area of Baja California was set up in 1937 expanding to Baja California Sur and Sonora in 1939 with the goal of transforming the economy and commerce of these states in order to offset the business and money lost in the closing of the casinos and other gambling houses. A new era had started for Tijuana where a more “solid economic foundation based in commercial activity and a new type of tourist industry” would be the norm (Lucero 103).10 In Agua Caliente Hugo Salcedo recreates the ambiance of the famous resort and casino.11 The one-act play is divided into twelve scenes. In this “comedy of errors,” influenced by Golden Age Spanish theater, characters are mistakenly identified as others, try to find love, and lie about who they are. They travel through magic doors entering spaces and observing life in the casino during its heyday. Scenes are intertwined between the late 1920s and 1930s and present day Tijuana. In Salcedo’s play the scenes are swift and seamless while changing locales (within the casino) and time periods (1927–1937 and the present). For the characters of the play, time can be relative and have its own life: “Real time does not exist. We are all suspended in some corner of a quarter past the hour” (Salcedo, Agua Caliente 129). Space is what is important in a place like the Border because as the character of La Faraona says:

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“On the border. Space, always space” (Salcedo, Agua Caliente 129). Location made Tijuana develop and expand while simultaneously the time period made it the perfect place for tourists to escape Prohibition. Agua Caliente opens with a note describing the surge of resorts in Tijuana and other parts of the Mexican side of the Border due to the Volstead Act (National Prohibition Act) of 1920. The introduction alludes to the reason these establishments were mainly created: to “satisfy those ‘distractions’ taken away from the Americans” by the ban of games of chance and alcohol consumption in the United States (Salcedo, Agua Caliente 120). After President Cárdenas declared gambling illegal in Mexico, the Agua Caliente Casino was temporarily and then permanently closed in 1937. In 1939 Cárdenas expropriated the Agua Caliente complex and transferred it to the Secretaría de Educación Pública “Ministry/Department of Education.” The buildings from the compound became a set of schools that survive to this day.12 In Agua Caliente Salcedo marvels at the glorious casino and pays homage to this bygone era that saw incredible expansion and gave Tijuana recognition. Implicitly the play speculates whether the high school students currently studying in the old casino know its past and understand its place in Tijuana’s history. Three couples are presented in the play: Olguita and Javier, La Faraona and Caballero inglés, and Paolo and Leticia. Olguita and Javier are both seventeen-year-old high school students that attend the Preparatoria Federal Lázaro Cárdenas “Lázaro Cárdenas Federal High School,” place where the old Agua Caliente Casino was located.13 In the play Olguita has forgotten her notebook with school assignments for the weekend and needs to return to school to recover it. She enlists the help of her friend Javier to illegally enter the school in the middle of the night. However, she encounters two substantial obstacles, Don Tacho, the night watchman, and the building itself, that appears to be haunted by ghosts. The teenagers’ world collides and is superimposed with the days of grandeur lived in the casino as observed in Scene Seven. The kids imagine that they have surpassed the sound barrier and hear the music from a band entertaining guests of the casino as a melody they were humming fades away. Next, La Faraona and Caballero Inglés are introduced. Their tragic story is that of a dancer of the casino and her lover (a fake English gentleman) that takes place in the late 1920s or 1930s.14 Paolo and Leticia are the third couple. Paolo is a casino client and the object of his affection is Leticia. The first and third encounters present a humorous and enjoyable comedy of errors. Don Tacho and El Vigilante are played by the same actor and link past and present. He actually has survived the casino’s past and merges both time periods to give Olguita and Javier a night not soon forgotten. Don Tacho is aided, as it is seen at the end of the play, by the statue of President Lázaro Cárdenas (who

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comes alive) during this magical night. Agua Caliente focuses on the passage of time as it relates to the development of Tijuana. Because of its strategic location, closeness to San Diego, thermal waters, and Prohibition, Tijuana is a singular city whose history will endure. E. CITY OF TIJUANA: EXPANSION AND DEVELOPMENT The 1940s was an important decade for the world and Tijuana as well. World War II caused anxiety throughout the world. The United States was a main participant in the conflict, and in order to relax, many servicemen flocked to Tijuana. Nightclubs in the city were booming with business. However, Mexico was also affected by the war. There was an increase in unemployment that led many Mexicans to move to Tijuana. They were attracted not only to the jobs the city offered, but also in working as braceros in the United States (the Bracero Program started in 1942) in the agricultural fields. The population of Tijuana reached 21,977 inhabitants in this decade. In the 1950s, the United States was an official superpower. World War II (1942–1948) and the Korean War were over (1950–1953). As a result, Tijuana became a beneficiary as the U.S. set up military bases in San Diego. Entertainment for San Diegans and U.S. servicemen became a huge market for the Tijuanenses. Even though the city’s primary rebirth was as a city of vice, this time it was also promoted and developed by Mexican entrepreneurs and the two cities became closer. Industrial tourism was better managed and it became more family-oriented. As a result, the city’s population from this decade tripled to 65,364 residents (Occhiuzzi 83). Later in the 1960s, the Border Industrialization Program had proposed to build assembly lines, or maquiladoras, in present-day Tijuana. Fairchild Industries was one of the pioneers starting in 1965. As cheap labor became more attractive, big companies like Ford and General Electric set up plants. Soon enough other countries like Japan invested in Tijuana as well. The pattern of progress and industrialization began in the 1950s and continued until the 1960s, when it declined significantly as Tijuanenses were forced to seek alternative ways to aid in the city progress. Since then the population growth has continued and Tijuana is now the sixth largest city in Mexico according to the 2010 Census. In the plays discussed in this chapter, Hugo Salcedo tries to construct and explain the history and progression of Tijuana. Fascinated with his adopted homeland, the author has done extensive research on the historical foundation of the city and how it has grown to become a great metropolis. Salcedo’s plays identify places of great importance for the historical development of the

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city: The Agua Caliente Casino was pivotal for the city’s development. The “5 y 10” intersection is another place of significance that according to Salcedo has been and continues to be an important meeting place for those who are true Tijuanenses.15 In Bulevar, Salcedo rewrites the myth of the emergence of the famous “5 and 10” intersection of highways and business districts located in the city’s center. This artery of the city further promoted and consolidated Tijuana as a modern metropolis. In the play Salcedo imagines the “5 y 10” to be the exact heart of the city and a place where gods and mortals meet. Prometeo “Prometheus,” Creon, Hercules, Clitemnestra “Clytemnestra,” Egisto “Eagisthus,” Eco “Echo,” Narciso “Narcissus,” Hermes, the roles combine Mexican with Greek mythological characters, converging if only momentarily in this place. For Beardsell these characters are universal and have similarities in that all have acted and continue to act the same way over time and space: “A pesar del escenario específico en Tijuana, todos los personajes tienen nombres de la mitología griega. Algunos se parecen en ciertos aspectos a sus homólogos griegos, otros se diferencian irónicamente de ellos, pero el efecto de conjunto es demostrar que la gente actúa esencialmente de la misma manera a lo largo de los siglos y por todas partes del mundo” “In spite of the specific scene set in Tijuana, all the characters have names from Greek mythology. Some of them are alike in certain aspects to their Greek homologous, others are ironically different than they are, but the effect of the whole is to demonstrate that people act essentially in the same way throughout the centuries and all over the world” (Beardsell, “Teatro del Norte” 13). The myths that Salcedo recreates tell the history of Tijuana and Border territories while at the same time discovering the mysteries of individual and collective human existence. In Bulevar, Salcedo discusses subjects that are both private and universal. The characters of Bulevar experience unrequited love and are involved in political intrigues and revenge. Creon and his right hand man Hercules are politicians and local leaders who kill Prometheus for protesting the exploitation of assembly workers, and especially, for igniting and disseminating to men doubt, reflection, and hope (Salcedo, Bulevar 83). The play is a warning of the violence that was to come to this city and the rest of the country thus putting Tijuana at the center as Prometheus indicates in his first monologue: “Cinco y Diez son los puntos de confluencia, donde termina y principia el universo. . . . Cinco y Diez. Es la cabala y el misterio. El punto tan buscado, el tesoro oculto en este mapa cartográfico” “Five and Dime are the points of confluence, where the universe starts and ends. . . . Five and Dime. It is the Kabbalah and the mystery. It is the most searched point, the hidden treasure in this cartographic map” (Salcedo, Bulevar 63). Prometheus wants to illuminate humans and offer them the fire of life but people don’t hear him and mistake him for a crazy man as he screams to a crowd on top of the pedestrian bypass in the 5 y 10 intersection: “¡Yo soy Prometeo! La luz humana. Ese foco que no encendía, que estaba fundido y pensaban desechar. ¡Yo soy el Prometeo

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salido del misterio” “I am Prometheus! The human light. I was once the light bulb that wouldn’t light up, that was burnt out and almost thrown away. I am now The Prometheus that came out of the mystery” (Salcedo, Bulevar 64). In a final ironic twist, even though Creon conceals Prometheus’ murder by paying eyewitnesses and disposing of the body, the Erinyes punish him with the curse to all rulers or to all heads of state. The snake haired monsters will pursue this unpunished criminal, listen to his private conversations, and not rest until restoring the order shattered by Creon and his thugs (Salcedo, Bulevar 83).16 Gonzalo Valdés Medellín feels that Salcedo’s play dared to denounce and to warn in the 1990s of the kind of violence, crime, and bestiality hovering above Tijuana and the whole frontera norte (Valdés Medellín). Another preoccupation observed in Salcedo’s dramaturgy is love, or the impossibility of achieving it. In his plays there are heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual couples fighting to find or maintain the perfect relation. The characters of Bulevar live enraged in hatred and vengeance. Clytemnestra and Eagisthus are lovers. She refuses to believe her husband died trying to cross the Border illegally ten years earlier and dreams of killing him when he returns from “the North.” She resents the abandonment of her husband for the past ten years and not fulfilling his duties as a spouse. Upon hearing news of his return, Clytemnestra enlists the help of her lover Eagisthus to murder him. Echo and Hermes are both in love with Narcissus but he does not share the same feelings of exclusivity. Enraged, Hermes decides to take revenge on his lover by having La Adivina “Fortune teller” put a spell on him. In a tragic accident, the young man who works in a local maquiladora, loses both stumps of his hands in a cutting machine. The accident dissolves his ability to communicate in sign language with Echo, the mute girl that is only able to repeat his last phrases. In Bulevar, Salcedo’s characters yearn to communicate in languages other than the spoken ones and seek to make sense of the world they inhabit momentarily in the city of Tijuana. At specified moments, people meet fleetingly and their lives converge in “5 y 10” be it in one of the pedestrian passes or underpasses of the area, one of the stores or restaurants, or in one of the maquiladoras of this famous Tijuanan intersection. This exclusive time and event is where the universe starts and ends and brings the deepest emotions of rage, vengeance, love, and violence, as it has been since the beginning of time and presented in myths. F. GAY TIJUANA: LA LEY DEL RANCHERO Even if Tijuana has been trying to rid itself from the negative stereotypes as a city of perdition and sin since the closing of the casinos by President Cárdenas, this unfavorable image still endures to this day. There has been much improvement in regards to international business and assembly plant

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production; however, many still visit Tijuana for its cheap drinks, medicines, and prostitutes. The most popular spot in the city is Avenida Revolución—a quarter jam-packed with tacky bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There are also strip clubs, nightclubs, and cabarets that cater to the tourist interested in having sexual encounters with female prostitutes. Some people also come hoping to get a glimpse and experience gay Tijuana. During the time of the Mexican Revolution a new type of erotic show emerged, the Theater revue. These were shows created for the fighting armies “in which women and maricones17 (effeminate men) performed for ‘regular’ men” (Carrillo 19). All in all the decade of the 1920s was the golden era of Tijuana because local businesses were expanding and booming: By the end of the 1920s there were more than 260 businesses located in the downtown area, many of them along Avenida Revolución. These included many service businesses beyond the many bars. Besides liquor, Tijuana also had the attraction of almost unregulated prostitution and related vice establishments. (“The Founding of Tijuana”)

It was not until 1980 when Tijuana had already entered the industrialization and assembly plant era that gay groups started to organize. The first gay pride parade took place in 1995. Currently LGBT groups from Tijuana fight to obtain more legal rights against police harassment (Williams and Gideonse). A new philosophy arose as a consequence of the Mexican Revolution then in its Institutional Phase. The 1920s brought a nationalist view of Mexico or Mexicanidad centered in maintaining and promoting Mexican cultural traditions about the family, gender relations, sexuality, and in promoting Mexican history (Carrillo 23). Occurring almost coincidentally was Mexico’s transformation into a modern nation, greatly influenced by its neighbor to the north not only in its technological knowledge but also in its culture whereby an American way of life was disseminated in radio, films, and television (Carrillo 27). For most of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries both influences, nationalistic and modern, have been a part of Mexico’s development. In La ley del ranchero once again, Tijuana becomes the place where the habits of “old Mexico” converge with the new American lifestyle. Tijuana is a most appropriate example to show Border culture as a product of the Mexican migratory process (internal and external) and how sexual life at the U.S.Mexican Border has evolved. The twentieth century saw sweeping changes in the Mexicans view of sexuality and the new century has embraced these practices. One consideration is of Mexican machismo, defining men as tough, unemotional, and superior to women. Machismo, states Héctor Carrillo, is the maintenance of the patriarchal domination of women and in the traditional Mexican family it

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requires women’s subordination (23). Machismo allows men the freedom to leave the family and the house, partaking in secretive activities which Carrillo calls “prohibited sexualities” (25). Adding another layer to these relations is the treatment of effeminate men in Mexican society and of homosexuals in general. In the play La ley del ranchero: Texto dramático en un acto dividido en siete escenas “The Law of the Rancher: Dramatic Text in One Act Divided in Seven Scenes” this controversy is introduced. In scene VI: Mimí, a transvestite, is trying to seduce and frame Maximino. This scene enlightens the observer to the sexual roles available to homosexual males as observed in Mimí’s offer: “Juego el papel que quieras jugar: activo dominante o pasivo estrambótico. Echarte en suerte las cartas y ahora jugamos a los roles del poder sexual” “I will act out whatever role you want me to play: Dominant active or bizarre passive. Let the cards of luck decide and play to the sexual power roles game now” (Salcedo, La ley 321). Male homosexual sex in Mexico is regarded differently according to the position of the participants, pasivo (receptive partner) or activo (insertive partner) whereby: “Stigma was applied only to the pasivo, because of his effeminacy, which denotes less than a man—a maricón or joto—and, by extension, ‘like a woman.’ The activo, on the contrary, could maintain his status due to his masculinity” (Carrillo 24). Mexico is a patriarchal society with clear definitions and roles for men and women but Salcedo challenges this message. In La ley del ranchero, situations are reported and supported from multiple discourses as they begin to scratch the surface of transgressional limits of male sexuality in Mexico (Beltrán Pérez, “Una sutil línea”). Being that machismo allows for “respectable” men visits to spotty hangouts where patrons can engage in activities sanctioned by most of Mexican society, then it is possible for these individuals to have contact with prostitutes (male and female) and other characters of the underworld. As it was previously mentioned, Tijuana and many other Border towns boast a plethora of antros or establishments where patrons (national and international) can access this world. These antros can be clubs where people go hear music, dance, and enjoy themselves or dives that provide all types of prostitution. The underground antros make it acceptable for “respectable men” to have contact with “bad” women and with maricones in a space that is divergent to the daily “high world” in which they normally operate (Carrillo 25). Antros are locations where worlds coalesce: [They] provided the space for the inhabitants to push the boundaries between the two worlds, especially as modernization began to take hold. In this sense they constituted breeding grounds for the reinterpretation of prohibited sexualities and for attempts to bring those sexualities into the open, into the sphere of the high world (Carrillo 26).

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Figure 6.1.  Source: Archivo INBA, CITRU. © José Dominguez. La ley de ranchero by Hugo Salcedo. Foro la Gruta, Mexico City, February 2013. Dir. Edgar Valadez. Reprinted by permission of Archivo INBA, CITRU. © José Dominguez. La ley de Ranchero by Hugo Salcedo. Foro la Gruta, Mexico City, February 2013. Dir. Edgar Valadez.

Therefore, antros have served to expose forbidden sexualities in Mexican society and make them more acceptable. In La ley del ranchero Salcedo exposes the hypocrisy of a society that chooses to ignore other sexualities by setting his play in the antro of El Ranchero. Both classes, high and low, come crashing down in this stylish play but Salcedo does not openly criticize Mexican society, instead as Julián Beltrán Pérez has written, he confronts it from the underworld by presenting characters living at the margins of acceptable sexual decency and thus presenting the point of view of the other (Beltrán Pérez, “Una sutil línea” 116). El Ranchero antro acts as a metaphor of the Border by presenting daily life occurrences on the fringe. La ley del ranchero exposes the reader/spectator to the gay, bisexual and transvestite culture somewhere near the northern Border, in a town resembling Tijuana, where there is a bar called El Ranchero.18 Kid, the protagonist and unpunished assassin, prides himself in his sexual ferocity and conquests. Inside Kid’s world it is possible to have sexual relations with an effeminate and weak individual in order to satisfy his sexual needs and desires (even ignoring safe sex practices) and then discard him like trash: “Estando allá en el cuarto ése peor que establo, yo de plano le dije al cha-

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val que nada de gorritos, que nada de plásticos lubricados ni esas pendejadas” “Being there in that room worse than a stable, I flatly refused to use rubbers or lubricants with that young guy or any of that bullshit” (Salcedo, La ley 326). As long as Kid marries a woman and procreates, he will be a true macho like his father: “Voy a casarme finalmente con la Azucena, a tener hijos… De lo otro, mejor ni acordarse. Nadie vio a ciencia cierta, nadie supo” “I am finally going to marry Azucena, I shall father kids… Of the other issue, it is best not to remember. Nobody saw anything for sure or found out” (Salcedo, La ley 330). At the end of the play Kid decides to go back to the country and be a true Ranchero “cowboy” like his father. He must continue to be strong, proud, and unemotional. Salcedo skillfully introduces the old traditional macho, which will always stay in the closet, against the new homosexual or bisexual man. He also presents the topic of hate crimes and a call to stop this type of violence. La ley del ranchero examines the murder of a young homosexual man committed by a very tough Mexican cowboy. The young man was brutally murdered and thrown from a second floor balcony. Kid, the murderer, is never punished. Enraged because he feels that “el chaval” is mocking him for being a cowboy by asking him to sing the song “La ley del monte” “The law of the country,” Kid pushes “el chaval” from the balcony of a hotel.19 Kid decides to play and then apply to “el chaval” the true “ley del ranchero” “Law of the rancher or cowboy” and teach him a lesson: “Si algo llego a cantarte pues va a ser ‘La ley del ranchero,’ no ‘La ley del monte’ ni esas pendejadas. ‘La ley del ranchero’ y vas a tener que aguantarla todita, hijo de tu tal por cual” “If I happen to sing something for you it will be ‘The Law of the Rancher’ not ‘The Law of the Country’ nor any of that bullshit. ‘The Law of the Rancher’ and you are going to put up with it all, son of a bitch” (Salcedo, La ley 328). Beardsell believes the title of the play alludes to the law that if provoked one has to respond with violence to teach the other a lesson and to impose and state ones power and strength (“Teatro del Norte” 17). Kid’s monologues are alternated with dialogues between characters that are also in the cantina where the brutal murder takes place. These voices provide a variety of perspectives to help advance the action of the play and comment about homosexuality, eventually solving the murder. Moreover, the different monologues give a detailed glimpse inside the mind of a killer ingrained in a machista culture. The play presents an array of voices that describe the crime and crime scene. Mayeli, Alfredo, Tito, Toto, Max, and Mimí all are characters that live at the margins of society. The play also hypothesizes this death could have been an accident as a result of Kid becoming scared of his possible homosexuality, however, his words and actions make it clear that he is not remorseful of the crime.

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In La ley del ranchero the protagonist’s story reads like a musical composition. Scenes I, III, V, and VII contain four monologues delivered by Kid and expound his account. For Beltrán Pérez the gay bar El Ranchero becomes the bullring or arena where this cowboy will perform his expertise of El floreo “rodeo art of using the rope” in a very public stage. With each spiral that Kid executes, adds Beltrán Pérez, he will touch all who come in contact with him (“Sujeto y personaje” 6). In scene I: Floreo, Kid displays his expertise with the rope as he performs it in front of the audience. He is a proud Charro that learned the art from his father and is happy with his lifestyle. Kid ends the scene by uttering the phrase: “El orgullo de don Rosendo. ¡Ranchero igual como mi padre! Y fuerte. De una pieza” “The pride of Don Rosendo! A cowboy like my father! And strong! A real man” (Salcedo, La ley 294) In scene III: Violín, Kid speaks to the audience as he polishes his boots. In this monologue some of his peculiarities in reference to his sexuality begin to surface. It appears that Kid has engaged in bestiality regularly at his ranch. He has become a sexual being that is possibly not interested in women or marriage. He escapes this world to discover himself in the big city. In scene V: Flautín, Kid talks about living in the city and sings a Huapango “Mexican folk dance and music style” for the audience. He is convinced that he is the shepherd that played his flute but destiny had something else in store for him. Scene VII: Coda, contains the longest monologue of the play. Kid has returned home and is holding the rope as he performs his skills for the audience once again. He is now married to Azucena with whom he intends to have children to follow the norms of country folks. The last lines of the play are a repetition of the last phrases of scene I: “El orgullo de don Rosendo. ¡Ranchero igual como mi padre! Y fuerte. De una pieza” as Kid performs rope spiral tricks as the Mariachi song “La Negra” is heard (Salcedo, La ley 330). His reappearance on the ranch at the end of play gives the impression that order has been restored. But Kid never reexamines his sexual behavior or desires, and worst yet, he committed a crime for which he was not apprehended and is not remorseful. Contrary to Kid, the other characters of the play seem to live more freely and openly as homosexuals, transvestites, hustlers, and thieves. Upon a closer inspection Mayeli, Alfredo, Tito, Toto, Max, and Mimí live under a cloud of lies and deception while trying to conform to the norms of Mexican society. For instance, Mayeli and Alfredo were lovers but both were afraid of being different so they conformed. Mayeli had a sex change operation to openly be with men and Alfredo was going to get married. Still they are not happy: MAYELI. Oye, ya ni supe, ¿Te casaste? ALFREDO. No. MAYELI. ¿Por qué? ALFREDO. Por. . . .

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Figure 6.2.  Source: Archivo INBA, CITRU. © José Dominguez. La ley de Ranchero by Hugo Salcedo. Edgar Valadez as Kid. Foro la Gruta, Mexico City, February 2013. Dir. Edgar Valadez. Reprinted by permission of Archivo INBA, CITRU. © José Dominguez. Edgar Valadez as Kid. La ley de Ranchero by Hugo Salcedo. Foro la Gruta, Mexico City, February 2013. Dir. Edgar Valadez.

MAYELI. Y ya ves yo. Yo sí me operé. Me costó buen billete: muchos años de trabajo y de austeridades, pero lo conseguí. (Salcedo, La ley 301) “MAYELI. Hey, I didn’t hear, did you get married? ALFREDO. No. MAYELI. Why? ALFREDO. Because. . . . MAYELI. As you can see, I did have the operation. It cost me a pretty penny: Many years of work and hardship, but I was able to achieve it.”

Tito and Toto are both gay hustlers and thieves but dream of getting their passports and leaving this town for the U.S. They also agree to hook up but leave their pocketknives on the counter before their “encounter”: TITO. Si te animas, se arma. De compañeros de trabajo. De compas. TOTO. De compas pero sin broncas. (Muestra un par de condones) Yo pongo los gorritos (Salcedo La ley 316). “TITO. If you are up to it, then we set it up. As coworkers. As pals.

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TOTO. As friends but without any fights. (Shows a pair of condoms) I’ll provide the rubbers.”

Finally, Mimí is a transvestite that offers to help Max and jokingly tells him that she is his genie that came out of the bottle to grant his wishes. In contraposition to the main story of Kid, the encounters between these three couples end up relatively happy but the possibility is always looming that they could also end up in tragedy. Because, as stated by the protagonist, the nature of the patrons of El Ranchero (crowded around like worms, or animals in their fish tanks or zoo cages) is to always provoke violence and look for trouble (Salcedo, La ley 318). La ley del ranchero is “textual polyphony” that sends a message “whose echo is the voice of a degraded humanity represented by decadent beings who are also marginalized and gloomy” (Beltrán Pérez, “Una sutil línea” 116). Tijuana is a city that is both traditional and modern yet being gay here can be complicated. Compared to small rural towns Tijuana is very open and cosmopolitan and it is customary to see “effeminate males everywhere, including drag queens, and men can walk arm in arm and no one cares” (Williams and Gideonse). It is also not out of the ordinary to hear that someone was beat up, harassed, illegally imprisoned, or even killed for being gay (Salcedo, Interview). Tijuana and the whole U.S.-Mexican Border has become a hybrid space where traditional customs mix in with the modern and foreign and when it comes to sexualities, it is a place that has already embarked in a painful soul searching to start opening up its true sexual identity. G. BORDER CROSSINGS AND IDENTITIES Certain playwrights write directly about the city of Tijuana, others write of their experiences growing up between cultures. Playwright Gerardo Navarro (Tijuana/San Diego) presents the confused state of living in between the United States (San Diego) and Mexico (Tijuana) in Schizoethnic (1996) and Hotel de Cristal (1997). His characters suffer from schizophrenia, manically loving and hating their situation of living in a Border area. Unlike earlier writers who write their works entirely in Spanish (with some English phrases), Navarro writes in Spanish, English, and Spanglish. Hugo Salcedo writes that Navarro’s plays are a clear example of social and cultural hybridization and are not intended to be a linguistic experiment but rather an oral portrait that accounts for this emergent modality of the inevitable mestizaje “miscegenation” that has occurred in this area of the world at the beginning of the new millennium (Salcedo, “Dramaturgia en el norte de México” 46).20

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Hotel de Cristal,21 written in Spanglish, features two characters—the Gringo (a Mexican American) and the Morro (a Tijuanan). In the play they are both dialoguing in a sordid place where violence, drugs, the smell of urine, and hate dominate. Unexpectedly, Morro decides to sacrifice the Gringo in a horrific cannibalistic ceremony having tired of his air of superiority. Navarro’s most original work, Schizoethnic, written in English, shows great theatrical experimentation. In the play a sole actor is divided into two, Víctor (a Mexican) and William (an Anglo). His mind, culture, language, and even his way of dressing and moving are divided. Navarro’s plays encourage other people who like him live in between cultures, to find their own voice in these two worlds that are in constant clash. In spite of the immediacy of the city of Tijuana and other Mexican cities that border the United States, those that live there are reminded daily of the enormous borderline that serves to keep the ones without proper documentation away. For these residents terms such as transfronterizo “transborder” have no tangible meaning because the la línea “the line” is overwhelmingly real and dividing even to those used to crossing it with frequency. In order to cross la línea, people must wait in long and tedious lines to pass the checkpoints set up by INS and Homeland Security at San Ysidro, California. With 24 lanes and an average crossing time of 1 hour and 10 minutes, San Ysidro is the world’s busiest land port of entry (U.S. Customs and Border Protection).22 In Sinfonía en una botella, Hugo Salcedo presents a typical day at San Ysidro where people on their way to San Diego must deal with slow moving lanes. The play centers on four cars and their passengers as they wait to cross the Border. Cars 1 and 4 have two families. Cars 2 and 3 are driven by single drivers—Jackie and Grace. The long lines force them all to create routines to pass the time and bear the long commute. For instance, at the beginning of the play Grace is wearing a honey facial masque. She then slowly removes it from her face and proceeds to listen to an English lesson tape. Driving another car, Jackie decides to give David a ride somewhere near San Diego. Meanwhile Enrique with his wife Margarita, their infant, and his sister travel in Car 4. Enrique and Margarita fight constantly and crossing the Border for them nearly breaks up their nuclear family. Héctor Azar wrote that Sinfonía en una botella is the third vortex of the equilateral triangle of the El viaje de los cantores trilogy (the other two being El viaje de los cantores and Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur) because: “configura una farsa que toca los límites del esperpento clasemediero contemporáneo; ese que se regodea transitando por las rutas del American-way-of-life hasta llegar a los extremos fracturados de lo humano ridículo” “it creates a farce that touches on the limits of the ‘Esperpento’23 of the middle class who take joy in driving the roads and highways mimicking the American-way-of-life until reaching the extreme fracture of the

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ridiculous human condition” (Azar 10). Thus the play exposes its characters to the conformity and mediocrity they have reached in order to achieve a successful life, one that mimics the lifestyle of people in the United States. H. HISTORIC TRANSPORTATION CORRIDORS AND THE FORMATION OF A TRANSFRONTIER METROPOLIS In the latter part of the nineteenth century President Díaz set out to modernize Mexico by encouraging foreign investment and immigration, transforming the countryside and connecting it with the major cities of the country. In order to explore and exploit rich agricultural and mineral regions, Díaz embarked on an ambitious plan of railway construction to better carry people and haul freight. In the northern Mexican states he encouraged foreign immigration to help populate the territories. He also invited investors to help connect these areas to the rest of the country and bring them out of their isolation.24 One of the regions that Díaz wished to develop was Baja California. This is the story told in the play Expreso Norte by Virginia Hernández. The role of railways in the development of the state of Baja California was significant and playwright Virginia Hernández has chosen to honor the workers that built these rails with her play Expreso Norte. Because of the proximity of San Diego with the cities of Tijuana and Tecate, rail lines connected them in the early twentieth century.25 Expreso Norte illustrates the importance of Historic Transportation Corridors (HTCs) and how they forged the development of Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito, and San Diego.26 As the play opens, somebody or something caused for part of the train tracks to be destroyed. During the construction of the San Diego-Arizona and Inter-California lines, floods and landslides would oftentimes destroy tracks in several parts along the route. During the Mexican Revolution, the Magonistas that invaded Baja California destroyed tracks as well. In the play problems with the train tracks force a company of American actors filming a movie nearby to stay in the Estancia Castillo. The play presents the obstacles rail workers encounter while repairing the train tracks and the setbacks a group of actors encounter while filming their movie project. Rivalry among the workers and mistreatment at the hands of their boss, Mister Castillo, and the owner, Mister Richard, characterize the work culture in Estancia Castillo. There is enough information to implicate Castillo’s sexual molestation of Catalina (Tecatita, Catarina, or Catucha which are also nicknames given to the city of Tecate), a child who is Romero’s sister and works in the Estancia. On the other hand Rosaura (Rosa, Rosaura, Rosarito are also nicknames given to the city of Rosarito) harasses and beats up Güido,

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a young man who works at the Estancia. Mr. Castillo and Mr. Richard are also abusive with Güido. The workers are dissatisfied because they have not been paid and feel exploited but they keep on working on the railway tracks carrying on with their lives to achieve this feat of engineering success. Books, movies, and pictures have roughly inspired the story presented in Expreso Norte but in the play the events appear distorted by digitized, commercialized and globalized images. The scenes move quickly and are accompanied by the colloquial dialogue of local characters with tourists. Music and dance are interlaced within these conversations. The setting is isolated and surrounded by desert and sea. Eventually, incessant Santana winds bring the whole area to its demise. The scenes take place in the Estancia Castillo and its surroundings and alternate between a movie being filmed, the train tracks being fixed, and the tourists arriving at a nonspecific place of Baja California. The play also presents comparisons between the nascent locomotive industry of Baja California in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the emerging cinematographic industry of Baja California of late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.27 It is impossible to determine the time period of Expreso Norte because it juxtaposes historical information of Baja California, specifically of the foundation of Tijuana, Tecate, and Playas de Rosarito, with the scenes that take place in Estancia Castillo. It is alluded that some scenes take place during the Mexican Revolution. Additionally, contemporary accounts of the destruction of the Twin Towers during the September 11th attacks and the subsequent bombings in Afghanistan are superimposed and displayed on a big screen. Upon further reading, historical clues begin to surface focusing on the mining boom that helped create the town of Real del Castillo. Founded in 1870, Real del Castillo was the capital of the Partido Norte that later became the state of Baja California. Real del Castillo’s rise and ultimate demise in 1882 gave birth to Colonia Tecate, which eventually became known as Tecate. The official date of Tecate’s founding is November 19, 1876 making it the oldest city in the state since Tijuana, Rosarito, or Ensenada were only ranches that had not yet achieved the status of city (Santiago Guerrero 14). Expreso Norte suggests the importance of the railroad in shaping the history of Tijuana, Tecate, and Rosarito and how it united these territories with the rest of Mexico. This construction united the northern separated regions of Mexico with the west (the Sonora desert). The play also displays images that evoke scenes of classic Mexican films such as Viento negro “Black Wind” (1965) or contemporary American films such as Titanic. Expreso Norte is inundated with symbolic references that translate in space and time to form allegorical sketches—from conventional magical realism up to a postmodernist cinematic collage of images—accumulated through the camera lens in the digital era (Trujillo Muñoz 226).

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Expreso Norte displays many stereotypical images of the U.S.-Mexican Border and other tropical places through the use of irony and humor. The absurdity of a situation inserted into a real event attempts to evoke in an audience a reaction for change. During the second sequence of the play, the stage directions set a scene packed with tourists and sensual natives: “Se ve una franja azul como un trozo de mar (efecto lumínico). Tres mujeres con el torso desnudo se bañan. Juegos y risas. Sonido de tren que se acerca y pasa rápidamente. Los turistas, jubilosos, observan por las ventanillas. Las mujeres saludan a su paso dejando apreciar sus enormes colas de sirena” “A blue border similar to a section of ocean is seen (lighting effect). Three women with bare torsos bathe. Games and laughter. The sound of a train approaching and passing quickly is heard. Jubilant tourists observe through their windows. As they pass, the women say hello letting their big mermaid tails be seen” (Hernández, Expreso Norte 224). The image of women bathing with enormous mermaid tails suggests the arrival to a destination that has been manufactured for tourists. The reality presented is illusory and artificial. Far away, big groups of undocumented migrants with their respective smugglers are seen in the shadows of this amusement park like atmosphere contrasting their stark reality. In Expreso Norte, some of the “natives” that live and work in this makebelieve amusement park world sell “folk” art to the tourists. Even the undocumented migrants become commodities whereby tourists expect to see and purchase human beings as well as other Mexican souvenirs. The tourists are about to board the train when el Pollero “the smuggler” enters followed by a family of undocumented persons—a father, pregnant wife, and their three children (Hernández, Expreso Norte 245). The Pollero is an entrepreneur that tries to sell handicrafts: sombreros, sarapes, blankets, paper flowers, piggy banks, and more. Ironically he also attempts to sell the family that he is trying to smuggle as merchandise. He even tries to bargain prices for them: POLLERO. ¡Sarapes, sombreros, cobijas pa’l frío, Mister! ¿Quiere un jardinero? Aquí hay uno, mire usted, véalo usted, toque usted, por mirar no se cobra . . . (Tomando uno de los indocumentados, le descubre la espalda). Mire nomás, está hecho a mano, made in México, espaldas buenas pa’ la fábrica, apúrese que se acaban… MAQUINISTA. ¡Expreso Norte. Saliendooo! GUÍA. (Llegando) ¡Six o’clock, very good! Vayan subiendo, con cuidado. (A la familia que va subiendo) ¡Hello, welcome! ¿Do you. . . ? POLLERO. ¡Cobijas, sarapes, Mexican curios for American citizen! (Hernández, Expreso Norte 246)

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“POLLERO. Sarapes, sombreros, blankets for the cold, Mister! Do you want a gardener? There is one over here, take a look, look at him, touch, I won’t charge you for checking him out . . . (Taking one of the undocumented, he uncovers his back). Just look, he is made by hand, made in Mexico, a good back for the factory, hurry up as I am running out of them. . . MAQUINISTA. Expreso Norte. Leavingggg! GUÍA. (Coming) Six o’clock, very good! Watch your step. (Says it to the family that is walking up the steps of train) Hello, welcome! Do you…? POLLERO. Blankets, sarapes, Mexican curios for American citizen[s]!”

The word “curio” is effectively introduced for the first time in this scene, alluding to mass-produced native trinkets sold cheaply in outdoor markets and the callous way in which the natives are treated. For Daniel Arreola the American notion of a theme park and marketplace provide a sanitized version for Americans to experience the journey to an exotic place where they can safely shop, eat, and get a very diluted glimpse of culture and history.28 The tourists arrive to this remote place located in the desert sand dunes where a guide gives them a detailed and concise itinerary providing them with a quick and superficial experience of Baja California: GUÍA. Tengan cuidado al bajar. No olviden sus pertenencias. Bienvenidos a México. Son exactamente las diez de la mañana. De diez a doce, haremos el recorrido hacia el centro de la ciudad para conocer la iglesia y las tiendas de artesanías donde ustedes podrán adquirir sus recuerdos; de doce treinta a una treinta, daremos un paseo por el Jardín Juárez donde escucharán a los conjuntos norteños y aficionados locales. De una treinta a tres treinta, tendrán free time para saborear platillos regionales: les recomiendo los tacos de carne asada y de pescado con tortillas de harina y de maiz y el pollo asado al carbón. Posteriormente, de cuatro a cinco y media, degustaremos la exquisita cerveza que se elabora en esta planta. Pueden ustedes caminar tranquilamente. La gente es pacífica y amable. El regreso es a las seis en punto. Six o’clock. Bienvenidos, welcome, bienvenidos. (Hernández, Expreso Norte 225–26) “GUIA. Be careful when getting off. Do not forget your belongings. Welcome to Mexico. It is exactly ten o’clock in the morning. From ten to twelve, we will go to downtown to see the church and craft shops where you can buy souvenirs; from twelve thirty to one thirty, we will walk through the Jardin Juárez where you will listen to the norteño and ameteur bands. From one thirty to three thirty, you will have free time to savor regional dishes: I recommend the carne asada tacos and fish tacos cooked with flour and corn tortillas and roasted grilled chicken. Subsequently, from four to five thirty we will taste the delicious beer that is produced in this plant. You can go for a walk safely.

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People are peaceful and kind. We’ll return at six o’clock. Six o’clock. Welcome, welcome, welcome.”

The Border town curio presents an image that functions as a substitute of Mexican culture by means of an invented landscape. The most strategic places to provide this service to U.S. tourists are the Border towns in northern Mexico (Arreola 11) with Tijuana being the most successful and well known. Its proximity to California allows U.S. tourists easy access because they are closer, cheaper, and less exotic than other towns in central Mexico. Excursionists want to play in a “Mexico-land of their imaginations” and Tijuana could possibly fulfill this dream (Arreola 16). Tourists want the illusion of being in a well-known Mexican colonial town or beach resort without the need to travel or be steeped in Mexican culture.29 Tijuana started its own fabrication of the Border town curio at the turn of the twentieth century during San Diego’s International Fair of 1915. Tijuana’s Feria Típica represented the prototype of the new Tijuana, and Avenida Revolución was the best example of a town curio. Another characteristic of town curios is the selling of mass produced items (cheaply made) that are readily accepted as true examples of authentic culture.30 In Expreso Norte, the Pollero tries to sell a jardinero (gardener), a cleaning lady, a washer, or a cook along with piggy banks of Lucas the Cat or Porky Pig and explains that all of them are handmade in Mexico. The harshness of the scene is exacerbated by the peddler’s blatant commodification of real human beings with no sense of remorse. These human beings are now objectified by tourists interested in having the illusion of obtaining the most authentic experience of Mexico and sold in exchange for their dollars. Expreso Norte also tackles the topic of immigration (legal and illegal) in the Tijuana area and the state of Baja California. The play introduces the topic of Chinese immigration to Mexico at the turn of the twentieth century and that of the Mexican emigrants that presently use Tijuana as a springboard to cross to the United States illegally. China was given “most favored nation clause” in 1899 by President Porfirio Díaz. Chinese immigrants in Mexico held jobs as manufactures, shopkeepers, merchants, tailors, shoe repairmen, laundry servicemen, cooks, and hotel clerks (Hu-DeHart 71). More than 60,000 Chinese immigrated to Mexico at the turn of the nineteenth century. In the play the character of El Chino, a hardworking foreigner that does not speak Spanish well, has been able to set up his own business as a cook and convenience store clerk. During this era most of the private businesses that offered quick services and goods to Mexicans working on the railway and the agriculture industries were similar to the convenience stores that are so prevalent in contemporary Mexico and the U.S.: “Much like a 7–eleven convenience store in the United States today, Chinese grocery and dry goods

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were found on virtually every street corner in places like Sonora, Chihuahua, and Baja California in early twentieth century” (Chao Romero 2). Despite his work ethic, el Chino is subject to constant taunting and ridicule because of his very accented pronunciation of Spanish and appearance. Even if the Chinese were the largest immigrant group in Mexico at the turn of the nineteenth century, they were not welcomed or accepted in this society. In a scene at Estancia Castillo the stranded artists realize that the place is very primitive. El Chino, who is their cook, complains about where he will have to set the kitchen. They taunt him: CHINO. (Enfadado) Chino cocina pala la compañía, pelo así no. Chino no puede. La gente se enfelma. Chino no tiene la culpa. CAMARÓGRAFO. Ya cállate, mongol. (Hernández, Expreso Norte 228) “CHINO. (Angry) Chinese cooks fol the company, but nol like this. Chinese can’t. The people will gel sick. Is nol the Chinese fault. CAMARÓGRAFO. Just shut up, you Mongol.”

As can be seen el Chino’s speech is written phonetically to show that his Spanish is rudimentary. El Camarógrafo “Camera man” insults him by calling him a Mongol instead of Chinese also implying that he is mentally disabled. People, especially in the northern states, believed the Chinese immigrants were stealing jobs from other Mexicans and had no intention to assimilate. They treated them unfairly and expelled a great number back to China.31 Some of the Chinese that came to Mexico did it with the intention of crossing illegally the U.S.-Mexican Border. In the words of Robert Chao Romero the current illegal Mexican immigrants to the United States owe the Chinese a lot because: The Chinese were the first “undocumented immigrants” from Mexico to the United States. As part of their efforts to circumvent the U.S.-Chinese Exclusion Laws, Chinese immigrants created a vast, “transnational” smuggling business that involved agents and collaborators in China, Mexico, Cuba, and various cities throughout the United States. The Chinese also developed a variety of schemes and techniques to smuggle immigrants into the United States via train, boat, and “coyote,” or guide. (3)

In the play, parallels are presented between El Chino and the family of illegals. Both groups, the Chinese and the Mexican, were and are ridiculed and vilified in the countries where they decided to emigrate and reside. Both waited in Tijuana and other Baja California cities and were ready to cross the Border illegally to the U.S. in hopes for a better life.

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At the end of the play, when the railroad tracks have been fixed, the Expreso Norte train departs with tourists and some of the people from the ranch. A new city has been created and founded, Tecate City, and other ones are yet to be established. The song “My Heart Will Go On” is heard while Actor 1 and Actriz 1 are seen both extending their arms as if they were Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett in the movie Titanic reminding everyone of the filming at the 20th Century Fox Baja Movie Studios in Rosarito, Baja California.32 The actors also find out that Rosaura has decided to become the producer of their film and will move the studios to Playas de Rosarito from Real del Castillo.33 In a final multimedia scene that includes music, explosions of the train tracks, the September 11th attacks, the war in Afghanistan, and the Santa Ana winds, a new place emerges. After the destruction, the neon lights of a bar are seen with an array of characters known to be part of the stereotypical Tijuana: tourists, marines, local people, and exotic dancers. All of them dance to the Manu Chao song “Welcome to Tijuana” being performed by Catalina: Welcome to Tijuana, Tequila, sexo y marihuana. Welcome to Tijuana. (Hernández, Expreso Norte 257)

Then the voice of the movie director shouts, “Cut!” The musical version of the foundation of the cities of Tecate, Tijuana, and Rosarito has ended and been kept for posterity. In Expreso Norte (2003) Virginia Hernandez presents the creation of three neighboring cities of the state of Baja California (Tecate, Tijuana, and Playas the Rosarito) in a virtual world and timeline. Like a social scientist, she displays the new dilemma faced by the three neighboring cities in the new millennium: “The urbanized areas of Tijuana, Tecate, and Playas de Rosarito are expanding toward each other at such a rapid rate that they may soon form one large zone” (Institute for the Regional Studies of the Californias 7). Academics Dear and Leclerc have also studied and observed the phenomenon as the three major cities of Baja California expand and integrate (Postboder City xii). Even though Hernández comments on the foundation of Tecate and Rosarito, she always keeps in mind Tijuana’s strategic and centric location. Because of their proximity to San Diego and ever expanding governmental and private sector investments and population, these four cities have the potential of becoming the most dynamic conurbation of the Borderlands: “Tijuana, Rosarito y Tecate tienen la oportunidad de constituirse como una nueva metropoli fronteriza líder, ligada a una de las dinámicas internacionales más comptetitivas del orbe. Hará falta el consenso temporal y espacial para lograrlo” “Tijuana, Rosarito, and Tecate have the opportunity

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to construct themselves as a new leading border metropolis, linked to one of the most competitive world dynamics. Temporal and spatial consensus will be needed to achieve it” (Páez Frías 19). Enrique Mijares has written of the multifocal nature of the play in which Expreso Norte presents different angles and covers geographical terrain from the railway yard in Tecate to the Fox Baja Film Studios in Rosarito but all under the watchful eye of the city of Tijuana (30). Partida Tayzan sums up Expreso Norte and the particular situation of this brand new mythical paradise, located on the northeast Mexican Border, which is the personification of the cities of Tecate, Tijuana, and Rosarito (294). Tijuana is an enchanting point that sits close to the Border near the city of San Diego, California. It is an enigma as stated by García Canclini that allures: “The border as a stage continues to seduce artists, because what remains undecided there serves as a context for art’s uncertainties, its indistinct boundaries. Hybridization is not synonymous with reconciliation, in the same way that artistic fusions cannot eradicate contradiction” (Rewriting 284). Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur, Agua Caliente, Bulevar, La ley del ranchero, Hotel de Cristal, Schizoethnic, Sinfonía en una botella, and Expreso Norte, are artistic works that discuss the city of Tijuana and its vicinity but do so in uncommon ways. The playwrights no longer display the recognizable negative stereotypical expressions and characters that people from the center of Mexico and abroad have of Tijuana in their collective imaginary, unless they so desire and use in subversive ways for their own ends. In the plays discussed in this chapter Hugo Salcedo, Gerardo Navarro, and Virginia Hernández create their own theatrical language that is a kaleidoscope of images. The result is a captivating blend of plays with an ironic flavor, digitalization, historical investigation, cultural questioning, and much more to present a dual Tijuana that is the new transcultural metropolis of the twenty-first century and a large Mexican city that borders the most powerful nation of the world. NOTES 1.  Nortec Collective, “Tijuana Makes me Happy,” The Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3, (Hollywood, California: Nacional Records, 2005). Music and song lyrics of “Tijuana Makes me Happy” were done by Pepe Mogt (aka Fussible).  2.  Charles A. Higgins, To California Over the Santa Fe Railway Company (Chicago: Passenger Department, Santa Fe, 1905) 105. 3. Sara Mary Griffin, “Adiós Happy Híbrido: The Experience of Fission in Contemporary Art From Tijuana,” Thesis, Datmouth College, 2009, 39–40. In her Honor’s thesis Griffin contends that Nortec Collective enticed other local artist and academics to represent the newness of the city of Tijuana by setting it up as an artistic

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and cultural center of the U.S.-Mexico Border: “The Nortec musicians, accompanied by friends and counterparts in the visual arts, were responsible for a cultural boom in the city that inspired a feverish string of museum exhibitions, discourses, gallery shows, and enthusiastic articles hailing Tijuana as a new postmodern mecca.” 4.  Historian Michael Mathes has noted that the name Tijuana is not a Yuman word. He believes the name first appeared in the writings of a Jesuit missionary Clement Guillen some time around 1719 and 1721 as the name of a ranchería in an area near Loreto or San Luis Gonzaga in Baja California Sur. For further information please consult the book by T.D. Proffitt, Tijuana: The History of a Mexican Metropolis (San Diego: San Diego UP, 1994) 48. 5.  Olga Vicenta Díaz Castro also known by her penname “Sor Abeja” did research and write on the legend of Tía Juana and believed her to be a noble woman, Doña Juana de Villalpuente, who came from Spain during the era of the California Missions and helped in the catechization and habitation of an area near the San Diego Mission that became known “Rancho Tía Juana.” Please check Entre la historia y la magia: Tradiciones, mitos y legendas de la frontera, ed. José Manuel Valenzuela Arce (Tijuana: COLEF and Plaza y Valdéz, 2000). 131–60. 6.  After Mexico’s independence in 1821 the country was in a difficult financial situation. It could not afford to maintain and protect the Californias. It was decided that the territory needed to be politically reorganized. The series of California missions had to be secularized. Ranchos became the main centers of the settlements. Because of the financial situation, soldiers protecting the Mexican territory from foreign invasions received large land grants from Governor Echeandía instead of money. In 1825 José Manuel Machado received Rancho El Rosario comprising close to 19 thousand hectares. In 1829 Santiago Argüello received 10 thousand hectares in an area south of the Mission San Diego de Alcalá. In 1833 Juan Bandini received a property that included 4 thousand 500 hectares near the Tecate Creek and east of the Mission San Diego de Alcalá which gave the origin of the present city of Tecate. For more information on the three rancherías that would go on to become Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, and Tecate please check: Luis Enrique Mora, “Tijuana: Territorio y metropolis,” Diagnóstico sobre la realidad social, económica y cultural de los entornos locales para el diseño de intervenciones en material de prevención y erradicación de la violencia en la region norte: el caso de Tijuana, Baja California Norte, ed. Silvia López Estrada (Tijuana: COLEF, 2009) 30. Also check article by L. Bibiana Santiago Guerrero, “La independencia del sistema misional en la frontera de Baja California” http://senado2010.gob.mx/docs/independenciaRevolucion/laIndependenciaBajaCalifornia.pdf. 7.  Historian Celso Aguirre Bernal believes that the appointment as judge of don José María Bandini marks the birth of the town of Tiajuana on January 2nd, 1864. Celso Aguirre Bernal, Historia compendiada de Tijuana, (Mexicali, Baja California: Ediciones Quinto Sol, 1989) 99. 8.  The heirs of Santiago Argüello disputed the land where the city of Tijuana now lays for over one hundred years. The land was first granted to Mr. Argüello by the then Governor of California José María Echeandía on November 21, 1828. The titles of this land were extended to Mr. Argüello in 1848, rectified in 1861, and in 1869

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President Porfirio Díaz gave Pilar Ortega Viuda de Argüello, Santiago’s widow, the rights of possession of the land. In 1929 the land was expropriated from the Argüello Family heirs by the government of the Republic of Mexico. The legal fight continued for decades and there were many fights within the Argüello family. It was not until 1972 when an agreement was formalized and $42 million Pesos were paid to a local company who had bought the rights of possession from the heirs. For further information please see Aguirre Bernal 252–59.  9. Paul Vanderwood believes that what drew Americans in droves to Tijuana was the hope that they would get a glimpse of “Old Mexico” if they visited the city: “Mexican culture, stereotyped as The Spanish Alhambra, bullfights, and romantic guitar serenades, lay at our doorstep. Crossing the border to savor bawdy Tijuana, the Ace of Dives, had for some time tempted tourists yearning (or daring) to touch a toe on foreign soil.” Paul Vanderwood, Satan’s Playground: Mobsters and Movie Stars at America’s Greatest Gaming Resort (Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2010) 44. 10.  When the casinos and other places of vice were closed, the city restructured its tourist industry, by promoting a more family-oriented scene. Tijuana developed a greater variety of attractions and activities to offer its visitors. “Tijuana History,” Tijuana Mexico Insider, http://www.tijuanamexicoinsider.com/tijuana-history.asp. 11.  At the end of the play the author acknowledges the Historical Archive of the city of Tijuana part of the Municipal Institute of Art and Culture as a source he used for the creation of the play (138). Hugo Salcedo, Agua Caliente, Tramoya 84 (JulySeptember 2005) 138. 12.  There is a newer racetrack nearby the old complex. Caliente Racetrack no longer features horse racing instead greyhound races and a casino continue in operation. “Tijuana History,” http://www.tijuanamexicoinsider.com/tijuana-history.asp. 13.  Remnants of the Agua Caliente casino can be seen in the outdoor swimming pool and in the “Minarete” (actually an incinerator chimney) situated nearby the southern end of Avenida Sánchez Taboada, on the grounds of the Lázaro Cárdenas Educational Complex. The school does not to have an entrance for the public but the “Minarete” can be seen from the parking lot of the Centro Comercial Minarete . The “Minarete” was damaged by a fire in the 1950s and was reconstructed in the 1980s as a symbol of the city and presently adorns tourist brochures and postcards. “Tijuana History,” http://www.tijuanamexicoinsider.com/tijuana-history.asp. 14.  A singer known as “la Faraona” was shot in the Agua Caliente complex because of a love-triangle. Her death gave birth to the myth of the beautiful lady ghost of Agua Caliente. “Tijuana History,” http://www.tijuanamexicoinsider.com/tijuana history.asp. 15.  The “5 y 10” intersection is one of the most famous in the city and with the heaviest traffic. 16.  The Erinyes often stood for the rightness of things within the standard order. Predominantly, they were understood as the persecutors of mortal men and women who broke natural laws. In particular, the Erinyes persecuted those who broke ties of kinship through patricide, fratricide, or other such familial killings. “Erinyes,” AskDefine http://erinyes.askdefine.com/. 17.  Derrogatory adjective used to refer to effeminate men in the Hispanic world.

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18.  In downtown Tijuana near Avenida Revolución and Plaza St. Cecilia there is a dive gay bar known as El Ranchero that is very popular and frequented by characters such as the ones mentioned in the play. The bar has two levels. The lower level is more traditional “with men in cowboy hats dancing slowly to more traditional Mexican music.”/ In the second level the music is a mixture of Latin and American pop with red vinyl chairs, glowing red lighting, and large screen televisions. Williams and Gideonse indicate that El Ranchero is a predominanty gay festive place but that patrons should be careful because there could be hustlers and pickpockets. For further information please check Rob Williams and Ted Gideonse, “Tales from TJ,” Gay Lesbian Times 960 (18 May 2006) June 6, 2012 http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=7364. 19.  “La ley del monte” is a ranchera song made famous by Vicente Fernández. 20.  Hugo Salcedo feels that Gerardo Navarro will continue searching for other forms of expression that will keep up with the pace of the imminent globalization to the beat of a new Border theater that is not solely marked by the geography but that borders in a new unipersonal/performance/dance/theater spectacle. For further information please read Hugo Salcedo, “Dramaturgia en el Norte de México,” Teatro del Norte/Teatro de Frontera: Antología de ensayos y ponencias, ed. Rosa María Saénz (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua), 46. 21.  Hotel de Cristal is a one-act play product of Primer Taller de Dramaturgia Teatral of the state of Baja California that was sponsored by CAEN (Centro de Artes Escénicas del Noroeste) in 1996. 22.  Approximately 80 million people cross the Border every year. San Ysidro has some 50,000 northbound transit riders and 25,000 northbound pedestrian crossers daily. There is currently a project to expand the number of lanes to ease traffic jams and wait times and to build a pedestrian crossing. An outlet mall, Outlets at the Border, was recently built to take advantage of the Mexican crossers and Tijuanans’ purchasing potential. The project will cost an estimated $577 milllion and should be completed by 2014. Please check “BWT CBP Border Wait Times,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection, http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist11/departments/planning/pdfs/GSA_SanYsidro_Fact_Sheet. pdf; http://theoutletsattheborder.com/the-market/border-facts.html. 23.  Comes from Valle Inclán’s literary expression meaning horrible or nauseating persons or things. 24.  Four of the principal railroads meet at the U.S.-Mexican Border and also in Mexico City. They connect with the most important regions of the country. Since U.S. companies were in charge of the construction of these lines, many of them connect and continue in U.S. territory. For further information please consult María Eugenia Castillo, “El ferrocarril San Diego-Arizona y el ferrocarril Tijuana-Tecate: Un corridor de herencia cultural binacional,” Frontera norte 16.32 (Julio-diciembre 2004): 117. Also consult John A. Kirchner, Baja California Railways (Los Angeles: Dawson’s Book Shop, 1988). 25.  The San Diego-Tijuana rail line arrived in Tijuana in 1910. It finally connected Tijuana with Tecate in 1916. 26. Christina Cameron, “The Challenges of Historic Corridors,” CRM 16.11 (1996): N.p. defines an Historic Transportation Corridor (HTC) as: “an historically significant route along which people and/or goods have moved, in which there is

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evidence that the natural environment has been modified by mankind” (“Historic Transportation Corridor”). These linear landscapes fuse natural and cultural environments. They comprise trails (including aboriginal and missionary travel routes), roads, waterways, and railways. In the Californias the HTC is a relic of the Camino Real Misionero, a 1,800 mile-road that connected all the California missions. 27.  Fox Studios Baja was originally built for James Cameron’s epic film Titanic in 1996. The complex is located on forty-five acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California. It has since become the premier spot to do expansive water shoots and realistic underwater productions. The set has a contrasting variety of landscapes: mountains, desert, sea, forest, village, city, etc. 28.  Arreola believes that the first theme marketplaces were the idyllic New England villages which eventually were transported to many parts of the U.S. Daniel D. Arreola, “Across the Street is Mexico: Invention and Persistence of the Border-town Curio Landscape,” Yearbook. 61 (1999) 9–41. 29.  Please check previous information on Lawrence Herzog’s “tourism gaze.” 30.  Lisa Shaw and Stephanie Dennison Pop Culture in Latin America: Media Arts and and Life Style (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2005) 4, have also written about the subject. The act of acquiring (purchasing) a “preindustrial other” is something that international and domestic tourists in Latin America desire “…[they] frequently seek out the ‘exotic,’ which more often than not in cultural terms means the folkloric… This pursuit of the ‘exotic’ or folkloric in turn affects cultural production in the region, since many producers of traditional handicrafts; for example, depend on the tourist market for their economic survival.” 31.  Strong anti-Chinese sentiment was observed at the turn of the twentieth century in northern Mexico. As Chao Romero, The Chinese in Mexico 1882–1940 (Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2010) 5, has explained: “By the 1920s, Chinese merchants developed a monopoly over the grocery and dry goods trade in northern Mexico. Their great success engendered organized anti-Chinese protests and campaigns replete with lootings, boycotts, massacres, and racist legislation. Sonoran anti-Chinese laws banned Chinese-Mexican intermarriage and ordered the segregation of Chinese into racially restricted neighborhoods. Tragically, anti-Chinese sentiment also expressed itself violently.” 32.  20th Century Fox Baja was originally built in 1996 for the film Titanic. It was sold in May 2007 to a local group of investors. Baja Studios has forty-six acres of land and 3,000 feet of ocean front overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Rosarito, Baja California. The studio possesses some of the world’s largest stages and filming tanks. It is cheaper to hire local film crews in Baja Studios than in Hollywood, California. 33.  Lawrence Herzog and other researchers have mentioned that the reason for 20th Century Fox to construct a studio in Rosarito stems from a need to find a cheap setting close to Hollywood free of environmental laws. This phenomenon has led Herzog to label Fox Baja Studios a “movie maquiladora,” or an “assembly plant for film making.” See “Global Tijuana: The Seven Ecologies of the Border,” Postboder City Cultural Spaces of Bajalta California, eds. Michael Dear and Gustavo Leclerc (New York: Routledge, 2003) 128. Also see Dennis R. Judd, Ed., The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City in North America (New York: M.E. Sharpe) 237.

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WORKS CITED Aguirre Bernal, Celso. Historia compendiada de Tijuana. Mexicali, Baja California: Ediciones Quinto Sol, 1989. Print. Alegría, Tito. Metrópolis transfronteriza: Revisión de la hipótesis y evidencias de Tijuana, México y San Diego, Estados Unidos. Mexico City: El Colegio de la Frontera Norte and Porrúa, 2009. Print. Arreola, Daniel D. “Across the Street is Mexico: Invention and Persistence of the Border-town Curio Landscape.” Yearbook. 61 (1999): 9–41. Print. Azar, Héctor. Presentación. El viaje de los cantores. 2nd Ed. Mexico City: CONACULTA, 2001. 9–10. Print. Beardsell, Peter. “Crossing the Border in Three Plays by Hugo Salcedo.” Latin American Theatre Review. 29.2 (Primavera 1996): 71–84. Print. ———. “Teatro del norte, teatro del mundo.” La ley del ranchero. Mexico City: Ediciones del Milagro/CECUT, 2005. 9–24. Print. Beltrán Pérez, Julián. “Una sutil línea fronteriza entre lo ficcional y lo meramente real en la literatura de Hugo Salcedo.” Revista Universitaria de la UABC. 69 (JanuaryMarch 2011): 115–19. Print. ———. “Sujeto y personaje: el juego literario en la ley del ranchero, de Hugo Salcedo (del género sexual al género textual).” Conference Paper. La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. N.d. ———. “Sujeto y personaje: el juego literario en 41 closets de Heriberto Yépez y La ley del ranchero de Hugo Salcedo—del género sexual al género textual.” Conference Paper. Spain. N.d. Berumen, Humberto Félix. Tijuana la horrible: entre la historia y el mito. Tijuana, Baja, California, México: El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, 2003. Print. Beverido Duhalt, Francisco. “Arena: mar y desierto. El paisaje como personaje en la joven dramaturgia del norte de méxico.” Tramoya 59 (April-June 1999): 119–26. Print. Campbell, Federico. “La Frontera Sedentaria.” Convivio Noviembre 2005. Web. http:// letraslibres.com/revista/convivio/la-frontera-sedentaria ———. “Tijuana Reclaimed.” The New York Times. 16 Oct. 2010. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/opinion/17campbell.html?. Carrillo, Héctor. The Night is Young: Sexuality in Mexico in the Time of AIDS. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2002. Print. Chao Romero, Robert. The Chinese in Mexico 1882–1940. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2010. Print. Cruz Menéndez, José Raúl. “Procedimientos discursivos en el teatro de Hugo Salcedo.” Teatro, memoria y ficción. Ed. Osvaldo Pelletieri. Buenos Aires: Galerna, 2005. 127–32. Print. Dear, Michael and Gustavo Leclerc. Introduction: The Postborder Condition: Art and Urbanism in Bajalta California. Postborder City: Cultural Spaces of Bajalta California. Michael Dear and Gustavo Leclerc Eds. New York and London: Routledge, 2003. Print. 1–30.

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Dear, Michael and Andrew Burride. “Cultural Integration and Hybridization at the United States-Mexico Borderlands.” Cahiers de Géographie du Québec 49.138 (2005): 301–18. Print. Fadanelli, Guillermo. “Tijuana: territorio límite.” PUB Magazine. 3:13 n.d. ———. “Tijuana: La City Narrable.” Nexos 32.3 (November 2004): 53–57. Print. “The Founding of Tijuana.” Baja Tiempos 25 April 2012. Web. http://bajatiempos .com/2012/04/25/the-founding-of-tijuana/. García Canolini, Nestor. “Rewriting Cultural Studies in the Borderlands.” Postborder City Cultural Spaces of Bajalta California. Michael Dear and Gustavo Leclerc Eds. New York: Routledge, 2003: 277–85. Print. ———. Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity. Christopher L. Chiappari and Silvia L. López Trans. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005. Print. Hernández, Virginia. Expreso Norte. Dramaturgia del norte: Antología. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Monterrey, NL, Mexico: Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2003: 221–58. Print. Herzog, Lawrence A. “Global Tijuana: The Seven Ecologies of the Border.” Postboder City Cultural Spaces of Bajalta California. Michael Dear and Gustavo Leclerc Eds. New York: Routledge, 2003: 119–42. Print. ———. Return to the Center: Culture, Public Space, and City Building in a Global Era. Austin, TX: U of Texas P, 2006. Print. Hu-Dehart, Evelyn. “Indispensable Enemy or Convenient Scapegoat? A Critical Examination of Sinophobia in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1870s to 1930s.” The Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean. Walton Look Lai and Tan CheeBeng Eds. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill P, 2010. Print. Insley, Jennifer. “Redefining Sodom: A Alter-Day Vision of Tijuana.” Mexican Studies/Estudios mexicanos 20.1 (2004): 99–121. Print. Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias. “Quality of Life in the Greater San Diego-Tijuana-Tecate-Playas de Rosarito Region: Working draft QOLVS.” San Diego State University, 18 Nov. 2005. Web. 15 June 2012. irsc.sdsu.edu/docs/ pubs/QOLv5.pdf Jiménez Beltran, David. The Agua Caliente Story: Remembering Mexico’s Legendary Racetrack. Lexington, KY: Eclipse P, 2004. Print. Kolbowski, Jens and Brian Daley. “The History of Tia Juana or Tijuana/ Mexico.” DigThatCrazyFarOutPlanetMan. N.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. http://www.digthatcrazy farout.com/oldtj/TJ_history.htm Lucero, Héctor Manuel. “Peopling Baja California.” Postborder City: Cultural Spaces of Bajalta California. Eds. Michael Dear and Gustavo Leclerc. New York: Routledge, 2003. 83–115. Print. Madrid, Alejandro L. “Navegating Ideologies in ‘In-Between’ Cultures: Signifying Practices in Nor-tec Music.” Latin American Music Review/ Revista de música latinoamericana 24.2 (Autumn 2003): 270–86. Print. ———. Nor-tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World. New York: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

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Manú Chao. “Welcome to Tijuana.” Clandestino: Esperando la última ola…. Virgin Records, 1998. CD. Mckee Irwin, Robert. Mexican Masculinities. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2003. Print. Navarro, Gerardo. Hotel de Cristal. Vicios privados: Antología. Ed. Hugo Salcedo. Tijuana: CAEN, 1997. Print. 77–85. ———. Schizoethnic. 1996. Web. http://elcamporuse.org/Navarro1196/NavarroP4.html. Niemann, Greg. Baja Legends: The Historic Characters, Events, and Locations that put Baja California on the Map. San Diego, CA: Sunbelt Publications, 2002. Print. Nortec Collective. The Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3. Nacional Records, 2005. CD. Occhiuzzi, Dorian. Tijuana—zona kitsch en la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos. Diss. University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2010. Print. Páez Frías, Elías. “Procesos históricos hacia la conformación especial de la zona metropolitan de Tijuana-Rosarito-Tecate.” Mexicali: UABC, N.d. Unpublished Manuscript. Parfit, Michael. “Tijuana and the Border. A Magnet of Opportunity.” National Geographic 190.2 (Agosto 1996): 94–107. Print. Partida Tayzan, Armando. “Virginia Hernández: Construcción de un discurso fronterizo de género.” Teatro del norte/ Teatro de frontera: Antología de ensayos y ponencias. Rosa María Sáenz Fierro Ed. Chihuahua: U Autónoma de Chihuahua, 2012. Print. Piñera Ramírez, David. “Historia Mínima de Tijuana.” Tijuana- Historia Mínima. H. XX Ayuntamiento de Tijuana. N.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. http://www.tijuana.gob.mx/ ciudad/CiudadHistoriaMinima.asp. Proffitt, T.D. Tijuana: The History of a Mexican Metropolis. San Diego: San Diego UP, 1994. Print. Salcedo, Hugo. Bulevar. Teatro del Norte: Antología. Ed. Hugo Salcedo et al. La Presa, Tijuana, BC, Mexico: Teatro del Norte, 1998. 59–84. Print. ———. Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur. El viaje de los cantores y otras obras de teatro. 2nd Ed. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las artes, 2001. 49–71. Print. ———. Sinfonía en una botella. El viaje de los cantores. 2nd Ed. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2001. 73–112. Print. ———. La ley del ranchero. Dramaturgia del norte: Antología. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Monterrey, NL, Mexico: Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste, 2003. 291–330. Print. ———. Agua Caliente. Tramoya 84 (July-September 2005): 119–38. Print. ———. Personal Interview. May 2008. ———. “Dramaturgia en el Norte de México.” Teatro del norte/ Teatro de frontera: Antología de ensayos y ponencias. Ed. Rosa María Sáenz Fierro. Chihuahua: U Autónoma de Chihuahua, 2012. 37–54. Print. Santiago Guerrero, L. Bibiana. La gente al pie del Cuchumá: memoria histórica de Tecate. Mexicali, BC, Mexico: UABC/ Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas/ Fundación La Puerta, 2005. Print.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “BWT CBP Border Wait Times.” N.d. Web. N.d. http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/. Taylor, Lawrence D. “The Mining Boom in Baja California from 1850 to 1890 and the Emergence of Tijuana as a Border Community.” On the Border: Society and Culture Between the United States and Mexico. Andrew Grant Wood Ed. Lanham, MD: SR Books, 2004. 1–30. Print. Titanic. Dir. James Cameron. 20th Century Fox, 1997. DVD. Trujillo Muñoz, Gabriel. La gran bonanza: Crónica del teatro en Baja California 1856–2006. Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico: Porrúa & Universidad Autónoma de Baja California P, 2006. Print. Valdés Medellín, Gonzalo. “Bulevar: Realidad trágica.” Revista Online Siempre! Feb. 13, 2011. Web. http://editorialemergentes-prensa.blogspot.com/2011/03/bulevar -realidad-tragica-por-gonzalo.html. Vanderwood, Paul J. Satan’s Playground: Mobsters and Movie Stars at America’s Greatest Gaming Resort. Durhan, NC: Duke UP, 2010. Print. Williams, Rob and Ted Gideonse. “Tales from TJ: Gay Life Below the Border.” GLT 960 May 18, 2006. Web. June 6, 2012. http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=7364. Yépez, Heriberto. Made in Tijuana. Mexicali, B.C., Mexico: Instituto de Cultura de Baja California, 2005. Print. Zavala Mora, Luis Enrique. “Tijuana: Territorio y metrópoli.” Diagnóstico sobre la realidad social, económica y cultural de los entornos locales para el diseño de intervenciones en materia de prevención y erradicación de la violencia en la región norte: El caso de tijuana, baja california norte. Silvia López Estrada Ed. Tijuana: COLEF, 2009: 22–50. Print.

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It has been eighteen years since my first encounter with Hugo Salcedo and the theater being produced in the north of Mexico. The Teatro del norte or Teatro de frontera has proven not to be a fad, but instead, a movement that has cemented itself by continued growth and expansion. It is a theater nurtured and influenced by new and established playwrights, actors, directors, and audiences. These pieces shape and define an aesthetic that represents the northernmost Mexican states that border the United States (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, Nuevo León, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas). The most noted playwrights, Salcedo, Mijares, Talavera, Galindo, Hernández, Celaya, Zúñiga, and others continue to write, direct, teach theater workshops, and edit anthologies and studies on the Teatro del norte1. Their groundbreaking work resonates and reflects the way in which local men and women of the frontera norte de México have survived for centuries by enduring multiple invasions, oppression and persecution, mistreatment, abandonment, assassination and rape, along with demographic and economic expansion and growth to create a thriving multinational community. These playwrights continue to operate as islands in oceans of white sand dunes, or to use the metaphor of Mijares, as islands belonging to an archipelago that gather together at theater festivals, conferences, theater collections, publications and afterwards resume their own paths (Galicia). These playwrights share a commonality that binds them together but retains their separate individuality. Their plays are distinguished by the ever-present spirit of the región Norte de México “northern Mexican region” and resonate universally. There are many theater and Borderlands associations or groups in the Border region. One of the best known is the Teatro del Norte A.C. Association of Tijuana, Baja California. Initiated in the mid 1990s and led by Hugo Salcedo and Adolfo Zúñiga, some of its goals were the organization of colloquia of 251

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Figure 7.1.  Source: John Gillooly. Playwright Hugo Salcedo. Distinguished Scholar, Suffolk University, Boston, March 11th, 2008. Reprinted by permission of John Gillooly. Playwright Hugo Salcedo. Distinguished Scholar, Suffolk University, Boston, March 11th, 2008.

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dramatic literature and the publication of literary criticism and plays. The association organized six colloquia “South Border/Frontera Norte” in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2003 and published six volumes of theater of the north anthologies titled Teatro del Norte: Antología. The first volume presented the works of five of the most important playwrights of the northern Border area: Manuel Talavera Trejo (Chihuahua), Enrique Mijares (Durango), Hernán Galindo (Nuevo León), Medardo Treviño (Tamaulipas), and Hugo Salcedo (Baja California by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco). The subsequent volumes of the collection Teatro del Norte were coordinated and edited by Salcedo and featured new young voices from playwrights workshops he taught, mainly in the Tijuana area.2 Enrique Mijares is the force behind the Editorial Espacio Vacío of the Universidad Juárez of the state of Durango. Mijares has written books of theory about Teatro del Norte and teaches playwrights workshops to promote young dramatists. As the director of Teatro Juárez de Durango he also has staged a myriad of plays that deal with the Teatro del norte dramaturgy and its major themes since 1980. In 1996 Mijares published a collection of three plays of an iconic norteño playwright, Jesús González Dávila. This book gave birth to the Teatro de Frontera collection that currently consists of 28 volumes. The collection has introduced the work of the most influential as well as the up-and-coming playwrights of the north of Mexico. It provides a thorough introduction to the best plays written by contemporary playwrights of the northern Mexican territory. Another publication, Dramaturgía del Norte (2003), compiled and analyzed by Enrique Mijares and published jointly by CONACULTA and Fondo Regional para la Cultura y las Artes del Noreste contains more significant works by playwrights of the north. Mijares’ Teatro virtual “Virtual Drama” continues to be studied and spread in the many workshops led by the author. The best plays of these workshops are chosen and printed in subsequent editions of Teatro de Frontera or other special collections edited by Mijares. The author has humbly stated, in spite of all his awards and prizes, that his most important contribution has been the dissemination of the dramaturgy of northern Mexico “para mí la obra más importante a la que me dedico, es a difundir la dramaturgia de los autores del norte y hacer talleres de dramaturgia con jóvenes de ciudades de la frontera” “the most important job that I devote myself, is to disseminate the dramaturgy of the playwrights of the north and to organize playwrights workshops with the young people of the border” (“Teatro de y en la frontera” 5). Now that the elite writers of Mexican fronterizo theater have been published and their works studied and staged, Mijares believes it is time to make room for new blood.

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Figure 7.2.  Source: Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Playwrights Manuel Talavera Trejo and Antonio Zúñiga. Final Dress Rehearsal of Rompe-Cabeza by Antonio Zúñiga. Chihuahua City, September 2014. Reprinted by permission of Alberto Orozco Ahumada. Playwrights Manuel Talavera Trejo and Antonio Zúñiga. Final Dress Rehearsal of Rompe-Cabeza by Antonio Zúñiga. Chihuahua City, September 2014.

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The current work by Manuel Talavera Trejo and Rosa María Saénz Fierro from Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH) has put them at the forefront of research and criticism of Teatro del norte. At UACH they have been conducting research initiatives, “Formación de espectadores” (spectator’s training), geared toward the training of audiences to the appreciation of regional, national, and international theater, and organizing colloquia. This endeavor allows for plays of the north of Mexico to be staged. One goal of Talavera and Saénz is the publication of critical book collections dedicated to the Teatro del norte. To date, they have published two critical collections: Mecanismos de fabulación en la dramaturgia mexicana actual y la identidad revolucionaria (2010) and Teatro del norte/ Teatro de frontera: Antología de ensayos y ponencias (2012). One last ingredient for the foundation, strengthening, and propagation of Teatro del norte has been the creation of influential regional theater companies to stage plays from the north of Mexico. Oftentimes, talented directors are also the company’s resident playwrights and leaders. Enrique Mijares leads the group Espacio Vacío; Manuel Talavera Trejo is in charge of Teatro del Seguro Social de Ciudad Delicias and the program in the School of Fine Arts of the UACH in Chihuahua City; Antonio Zúñiga leads group Carretera 45 Teatro A.C.; Medardo Treviño heads Grupo Tequio; Edeberto “Pilo” Galindo heads group Taller Teatro 1939; Angel Norzagaray heads group Mexicali a Secas; Virginia Hernández heads Compañía de Teatro de Ensenada; Jorge Celaya is artistic director and founder of Descierto perro Producciones; and still more lead theater troupes throughout the northern Border. The environment for theater in this area of the country is promising because the federal government and local organizations are providing more money for grants to fund theatrical productions. Medardo Treviño is a dramatist, theatrer director, actor, and founder of Grupo Tequio in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. He has been an ardent advocate of Teatro del norte for decades. During the twenty-five years of Tequio’s existence, Treviño has trained young actors, directors, and playwrights. Larisa López, Demetrio Ávila, and Leticia López Sánchez are Treviño’s best known pupils. Their plays have been published in several of the theater collections already mentioned and have received considerable acceptance from the critics. Treviño and his Grupo Tequio have been important in staging and propagating the work of northern Mexican playwrights. Tequio’s version of Rascón Banda’s Apaches and Mijares’ Jauría earned it praise and recognition all over Mexico and helped disseminate the plays throughout the country and abroad. In December 2012 Treviño received the coveted “Mi vida en el teatro” “My Life in the Theater” medal given by the Coordinación Nacional de Teatro del

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Figure 7.3.  Source: Mario Morales. Playwright Jorge Celaya. Reprinted by permission of Mario Morales. Playwright Jorge Celaya.

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INBA (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes) for promoting the state of Tamaulipas’ theater beyond the state’s borders and mentoring actors, directors, and dramatists in the north of Mexico. In the works presented in this study, I have focused on the U.S.-Mexican Border. In these Borderlands, a simultaneous fight between assimilation by the prevailing cultures of the U.S. and Mexico and retention of native Border voices takes place every day. The plays written by Rascón Banda, Salcedo, Mijares, Zúñiga, Talavera, Galindo, Hernández, and others talk of new heroes and myths and on the founding of the northern Border. Their plays show the magic spell of this region and reflect the pain and joy for life on the Border. Other dramas present the Border from diverse points of view and gradually remove all the layers that comprise this region until the very essence of the individual, the resident of the Borderlands, is all that is left. Symptoms of a national illness are better observed in the outer regions of the Mexican territory and in the outer layers of its society. The ancient bitter fights and disagreements about the territories resulted in a new border periphery in 1848. The playwrights of the north of Mexico are able to present these ailments in their plays. A common topography that binds all the playwrights is described and analyzed in the chapters of this book. The desert, a dry, hot, and sandy territory permeates the plays because as Peter Beardsell states: “[I]t creates the shades or nuances that feed its vision and conform its unique identity” (11). Writers are looking for ways of expressing the intersection in which the randomness of life blends with the history and geography of the Border. The curious way, in which this terrain expands and is laid out, somehow resembles the unnerving and harsh way in which people exist and live their daily lives in these northern Mexican territories. The roughness and violence that oftentimes emanate from the Border are two constants analyzed in several of the chapters of this book. In the northern playwrights’ work, the rugged territory between the United States and Mexico becomes the protagonist and sometimes the main antagonist preventing hopeful and dreamy characters to reach the promised land of the United States and an economic solution to their woes. Ajustes de cuentas or revenge killings by narcos and the bizarre and deadly games of a few masochists are plastered daily in numerous yellow journalism pages of magazines and newspapers. The victims of these violent crimes are men and women of all ages and social status. The reasons for their killings and disappearances have been theorized ad infinitum by law enforcement, criminologists, sociologists, reporters, etc. and are presented in several of the plays and analyzed in various chapters of this book. As painful as these crimes may be, the dramatists give these victims a voice that cannot be silenced letting the world know of the

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uncertainty that Mexico and, more specifically, the northern Mexican Border region, have been dealing for decades. The randomness of drug violence and femicides are presented in many plays written by these artists. Personal relations and love affairs happen by chance and are presented in many plays. The births and deaths of santones and of influential men and women of the region are recorded in the pages of the dramaturgia del norte as well and the untimely deaths of the thousands of Mexicans citizens who venture out into inhospitable desert terrains to cross to the United States in search of a better life. Because a few control and retain power and money, corruption at all levels of society occurs. In this book, several plays depict situations of greed and dishonesty ending with the killings of El Niño Fidencio, El Tiradito, Prometeo, as well as Rodolfío, Luis Donaldo Colosio, and the many killings of girls and women of Ciudad Juárez. In a progressively more interconnected and interdependent world, where manufacturing production is often moved overseas, Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez have become competitive centers in North America and the world. In areas of the northern Mexican Border where there is a great number of maquiladoras or assembly plants they have not only provided much needed jobs but also a higher standard of living in comparison to the rest of Mexico. These factors in addition to Mexico’s proximity to the United States have created changes in Mexican society that Salcedo, “Pilo” Galindo, Hernández, Ávila, Mijares, and others discuss in many of their plays. Gender relations have been transformed as more women have now joined a work force of over one million maquiladora workers. There has also been more openness and acceptance of homosexuality as well as less concern with issues of honor and more with modernization and earning a living to pursue the dream of a better life. Fourteen years after my keynote address, “Vivir en Nepantla: Teatro fronterizo en el nuevo milenio,” in Saltillo, Coauhila in the Colloquium South Border/Frontera Norte, the explosion of new playwrights, published anthologies, and plays that pertain to Teatro del norte is astounding.3 The continued publication of articles and theatrical reviews in scholarly magazines and book collections has helped expose the playwrights of the northern Mexican region. Additionally, the national and international recognition of various authors, such as Hugo Salcedo and Enrique Mijares, both winners of the Tirso de Molina international Prize in 1989 and 1997, propelled other writers to compete for the best plays. Recent recognition has been given to Bárbara Colio, awarded the Premio Maria Teresa León in 2004, Virginia Hernández, received a mention of the same award in 2000, Antonio Zúñiga, Alejandro Román, amongst others, who have won other prestigious awards. The year 2011 came to an end with intense drug cartel and government fighting, and with the publication of an innovative play, Música de balas written by Hugo

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Salcedo, winner of the National Dramaturgy Prize jointly awarded by Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, University of Guadalajara, and Secretaría de Cultura del Gobierno del Distrito Federal and considered the most prestigious prize given to contemporary Mexican playwrights. The play’s acute criticism towards the bloody and senseless battle that has left more than 121,000 Mexicans dead since former president Felipe Calderón took office in December of 2006 is a plea for the prompt return to peace and a defiant work of experimentation and creativity that only a dramatist of the north of Mexico could have written. In the United States the magazines Latin American Theatre Review, GESTOS, and Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea occasionally publish articles and reviews dealing with plays from northern Mexico. Furthermore the Latin American Theater Today Conferences are dedicated to the continued discussion of theater from Latin America.4 They have included Mexican Border theater sessions with participation by Hugo Salcedo, Enrique Mijares, Manuel Talavera Trejo, and others and theater companies that have staged well-known plays such as Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda’s La mujer que cayó del cielo “The Woman that Fell from the Sky” and Hugo Salcedo’s La Bufadora. The last Latin American Theatre Today conference took place in 2008 at the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia organized by Dr. Jacqueline Bixler. Can Border issues revealed by the Teatro del norte and analyzed here bring our two countries closer? Before this happens the plays and the playwrights need greater exposure in the U.S. through articles and books on their work, conferences, and talks. Specialty magazines previously mentioned, such as LATR, GESTOS, Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea, and others like Tramoya, Paso de gato, and book collections as Libros de Godot or Teatro de Frontera have published plays or collections of plays that analyze playwrights and/or theater of the north of Mexico. The plays are getting greater notoriety through widespread reviews in magazines and newspapers as well as digital magazines in Mexico, the United States, and other countries around the world. While these are great avenues to display and analyze the dramatic works currently being written in the north of Mexico, they only reach out a small number of readers. The majority of these publications and reviews are written in Spanish and distributed primarily in Mexico. In order for these plays and their playwrights to be more relevant they must be staged and published in English. Translations of the plays need to be published in the United States or perhaps kept in a database in the hopes of reaching university theater and graduate programs in theater and film. English speaking audiences could then be influenced through these performances. Professors and students in many graduate programs often undertake innovative, multicultural,

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and international projects as in the example Victoria para Chino (2004) by Cary Fukunaga, Theater with Purpose by Catholic Relief Services and Villanova University, or The Lark Play Development Center with their yearly U.S./ Mexico Playwright Exchange Program. Chicano theater companies might also hold the answer in disseminating the plays of northern Mexico to the United States. These projects would give a glimpse of the current U.S.-Mexican Border situation and its most pressing needs, giving voice to the playwrights and people of the northern Mexican Border. Finally, it would be advantageous if more of these playwrights would attend international workshops like Sundance in Utah, in order to have a larger forum where their voices could be heard. Currently the playwrights from northern Mexico seem to be searching for other situations taking place in the farthest interstices of their own society or in universal settings. Violence still permeates the plays written by these playwrights that now have ventured to depict mara or gang violence, rebel uprisings, and vicious actions against women and girls all throughout the world. Some of them are focusing on the plight of people for daily survival, including the native inhabitants of the southern Mexican Border or the undocumented attempting to enter Mexico from Central or South America. Others are concentrating on the conditions that make one group of people hate and mistreat others considered weaker and without a voice around the world. Is there still a Teatro del norte? I posed this question to the many dramatists and theater critics I interviewed for the preparation of this book. There is still a need for an unbiased assessment of the movement and role playwrights, directors, promoters, actors, and even critics have played in the development of Teatro del norte. Their answers were affirmative but required a lengthy and somehow elaborate answer: “It happens that those concepts that a group of friends used to handle and was pursuing during the last fifteen years have been modified also according to particular interests that are understandable… Yes, the Teatro del norte does carry on, but I believe that a self-critical revision is important and is needed to be able to see what direction and what course to follow” (Salcedo Interview). The playwrights analyzed in the book have now embraced a new role as mentors to a new wave of writers. They believe it their duty to teach what they deemed as successes or failures in allowing the younger generation of playwrights from northern Mexico exposure and inspiration for the new and original ways of expressing their ideas and messages. But the most established and better-known playwrights continue writing and directing plays. The Teatro del norte persists despite being on the geographical, political, and cultural periphery of Mexico because it has rightfully earned a spot in world dramaturgy. For additional information, please visit www.TheatreoftheBorderlands.com.

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NOTES 1.  Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda was one of the most important voices of Mexican dramaturgy and Teatro del norte. He was the best known dramatist of the north of the country. Even though he lived in Mexico City for many years, he never forgot his home state of Chihuahua. He died in the summer of 2008. 2. There have been six volumes of the Teatro del Norte: Antología collection published up to 2006. They comprise thirty plays which are examples of important literary prizes or significant theater productions. The first volume was published with funds donated by the five playwrights it included. The subsequent volumes were financed by CONACULTA and FONCA. 3.  The Binational colloquy Border/Frontera Norte was organized by the civil organization Teatro del Norte from 1997 to 2003. 4.  Other Latin American Theatre Today conferences took place in 2003, 2001, 2000, 1997, 1992 in the University of Kansas and were sponsored by Dr. George Woodyard.

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Wade, Mariah. “Colonial Missions in the North American Southwest: Social Memory and Ethnogenesis.” Narratives and Social Memory: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches. Eds. R. Cabecinhas and L. Abadia. Braga, Portugal: U of Minho, 2013. 253–65. Washington Valdez, Diana. The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women. Burbank, CA: Peace at the Border, 2006. Print. We Shall Remain: Geronimo. Dir. Dustinn Craig and Sarah Colt. PBS, 2009. Film. Worcester, Donald E. The Apaches: Eagles of the Southwest. Norman, Oklahoma: U of Oklahoma P, 1992. Print. Which Way Home. Dir. Rebecca Cammisa. Bullfrog Films, 2009. DVD. Williams, David. “Mexico’s NAFTA Experience.” AgExporter. (January 2004): 14–15. http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/agexporter/2004/January/pgs%2014–15.pdf. Williams, Rob and Ted Gideonse. “Tales from TJ: Gay Life Below the Border.” GLT: Gay & Lesbian Times. 18 May 2006. Web. June 6, 2012. http://www.gaylesbian times.com/?id=7364. Woodyard, George. “La ciudad y el sexo: Las mujeres asesinadas de Hotel Juárez.” El teatro de Rascón Banda: Voces en el Umbral. Eds. Jacqueline E. Bixler and Stuart A. Day. Mexico City: Escenología, 2005. 73–80. Print. Wyler, Grace. “Mexico Drug Carnage: Nearly 40 Killed Over the Weekend.” The New York Times. 14 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 July 2011. http://www.businessinsider .com/drug-war-death-toll-nearly-40–killed-in-mexico-over-the-weekend-2011–2. Xenos, Nicholas. “Refugees: The Modern Political Condition.” Challenging Boundaries. Global Flows, Territories Identities Ed. Michael Shapiro and Comp. Hayward R. Alker. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. 233–46. Print. ———. Made in Tijuana. Mexicali, B.C., Mexico: Instituto de Cultura de Baja California, 2005. Print. Yépez, Heriberto. “El ciclo inconcluso del mito.” Ánimas y santones: Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde. Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Libros de Godot, 2008. 5–14. Print. Zavala Mora, Luis Enrique. “Tijuana: Territorio y metrópoli.” Diagnóstico sobre la realidad social, económica y cultural de los entornos locales para el diseño de intervenciones en materia de prevención y erradicación de la violencia en la región norte: El caso de Tijuana, Baja California Norte. Ed. Silvia López Estrada. Tijuana: COLEF, 2009: 22–50. Print. Zúñiga, Antonio. Rompe-cabeza. México City: Paso de Gato, 2007. Print. ———. Estrellas enterradas. Hotel Juárez: Dramaturgia de feminicidios. Ed. Enrique Mijares. Teatro de Frontera 22. Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008. 319–35. Print. ———. El Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador. Ánimas y santones: Vida y milagros del Niño Fidencio, el Tiradito y Malverde. Antología dramática. Ed. Rocío Galicia. México, D.F.: Libros de Godot, 2008. 71–134. Print. ———. Personal Interview. 27 May 2008. ———. Message to the author. 4 June 2009. E-mail.

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Index

1848, xii, 5, 168, 242, 257 Agua Caliente (casino), xvii, 103, 220–222, 224, 243nn13–14 Agua Caliente (play), xvii, 210, 221–223, 241, 243 ajuste de cuentas, 134, 146 Amexica, xii–xiii “Anacleto Morones,” 104, 111 Anapra (Ciudad Juárez, Mexico), 173 Anderson, Gary Clayton, 36, 38–39, 55, 67n18 antros, 227–228 Apaches, xvi, 36–37, 44–47, 51, 53–55, 63–64, 66n14, 67nn15–18, 68n19, 68nn22–23, 255 Apaches (play), xvi, 36, 47, 49, 50–56, 63 apaches de paz, 45–46 Arde el desierto con los vientos que vienen del sur, xvii, 210, 217, 233, 241 Areola, Melissa, 211 Areola, Mónica, 211 Arizona Cruising, xvi, 2, 7, 12–13, 15–17, 21, 28–29 Arreola, Daniel, 237, 245n28 art narco, 151

Avenida Revolución, 212, 226, 238 Ávila, Demetrio, ix, xvii, 162, 197, 255 Babylon, 213 Bachomo, Felipe, 123 Backyard (movie). See El traspatio Baja California, Mexico: conquest of, 35, 40, 42–44, 65n8, 66n12; historical account, 5; Historic Transportation Corridor, 234, 244n26; hybridity of, 209–213, 215–217; Juan Soldado, 103; Teatro del Norte, vx, 251–253, 234–235, 237–240 banda music, 147, 149 banda sinaloense, 149, 209 Banderas, Juan, 59, 69n25 Bárbara Gandiaga (historical character), 39–44 Bárbara Gandiaga (play), xvi, 35, 39–40, 42, 63 Beardsell, Peter: Bárbara Gandiaga, 44; Salcedo, Hugo, xv, xviin2, 12, 257; Tijuana, Mexico, 218 Bernal, Heraclio, 123 Berumen, Humberto Felix, 212–213 black legend: Ciudad Juárez, 167; Tijuana, 210, 212, 214 281

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282

Index

blood sacrifices, 195 Book of Revelation, 77, 213 border crossings, xii, 3–4, 10, 101, 232 borderland captives. See borderland slavery borderland slavery, 36–37, 45, 50–51, 53, 67n18 Bordertown (movie), 163, 175 “Border Renaissance,” 210 Border Santo: coyotes, 18–20; journeys, 26, 28; santones, xvi, 25, 76, 102–108, 110; U.S.-Mexico Border, 2, 10, 101 Border Theory, 2–3 Bowden, Charles, 203n19 Bracero Program, 6, 170 braceros (laborers), 6, 170, 223 Braceros (play), 9 Bulevar, xv, xvii, 210, 224–225, 241 Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, 97–98, 111n10 Cábora (Sonora, Mexico), 64, 86–88, 90, 92, 95–96 Cajita, 75, 108 Calderón, Felipe, 115, 142–143, 156n24, 259 Campbell, Joseph, 12 Canción de Cuchillo Parado, xvi, 2, 10, 18, 21, 28–29, 62–63 Cañedo, Fancisco, 123, 125, 127 Capilla de los Deseos, la, 96–100 captives, 36–37, 45, 50–51, 53, 66nn11– 12, 67nn15–18 Cárdenas, Lázaro, 103, 169, 221–222, 243 Cartas al pie de un árbol, xvi, 2, 7–10, 27–28 Castillo, Arturo, 76, 90 Castillo, Roberto, 211 Cavarero, Adriana, 138, 143 CBP. See Customs and Border Protection CECUT. See Centro Cultural Tijuana Celaya, Jorge: drug violence, 118, 156n28; Teatro del Norte, ix, xvi, 255, 256; Venado viejo . . . Venado joven, 35, 56, 58, 62, 69n31

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Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), 211 Charro, 230 Chávez, María Rebeca, 87. See also Urrea, Teresa Chavéz Castillo, Susana, 161 Chinese Exclusion Act, 6 Chinese in Mexico, 118, 238 Christian, Ed, 188–189 Cielo rojo, xvii, 118, 134–135, 151–152 cocaine, 118–119, 129, 131, 153n7 colonias, 171 colonos, 46 Colosio, Luis Donaldo, 85, 110n6, 258 Comanches, 37, 44–46, 49, 63–64, 67n18, 68nn20–21 congregaciones, 37–38 Constitution of 1824, 45 Corella, Roberto, 76, 95 Cotton Field, the, 173, 202n10 coyotes, 6–8, 18, 22, 97, 111n10 Cristero War, 78, 81 Crosthwaite, Luis Humberto, 211 “cuernos de chivo,” 148, 153n7 curanderos, 81, 108 curio, 236–238, 245n28 Customs and Border Protection, U.S., 5, 244n22 Dante Almaraz, Sergio, 175 Danza del Venado, 58, 70 Devil’s Highway, 4, 11n101 “Día de la Santa Cruz, El,” 4 Díaz, Porfirio: Tijuana, Mexico, 238, 242n8; Urrea, Teresa, 86–88, 90, 82–93, 111n8; Yaqui, 59, 64 Dominican order, 37, 43–44 drugs: border flow of, xiii, 105–106, 152, 165, 189, 220, 233; history of Mexican trafficking of, 118–120; Malverde, Día de la santa cruz, 129, 131; violence due to, 116, 171 “El Egipcio,” 174–175, 182, 188 El jinete de la Divina Providencia, 124–127 Ellingwood, Ken, 6

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Index 283

El Tiradito, xvi, 75–77, 96–98, 100, 103, 108, 128, 258 El traspatio (movie), 163, 175, 202n11 El viaje de los cantores: illegal immigration, 2, 7, 10, 13, 20, 22–23, 25–29; Teatro del Norte, xv; trilogy, 217, 233 Escobedo, Mario, 175 Espinazo (Nuevo León, Mexico), 78–79, 81–82, 85–86, 96 espiritualismo, 91, 110 estética narco, xvii, 151 Estrellas enterradas, xvii, 162, 184–187, 200 ethnogenesis, 36, 39, 53, 55–57, 63 Expreso Norte, xvii, 210, 234–241 ex-votos, 83, 124 Fadanelli, Guillermo, 211–212 Familia Michoacana (drug trafficking organization), 120, 134 Faust, 199–200 femicide, 161, 162–164, 165–167, 172– 176, 181–182, 184, 192 leminicidios, los, xvii, 161, 163, 184 Feria Típica Mexicana, 220 Fidencio, José de Jesús Síntora Constantino [“El Niño Fidencio], xvi, 76, 78–79, 85, 108, 224 folk saints, 76–77, 109, 128, 231. See also Santones Franciscan order, 37, 65n7 Franco, Jean, 117, 120, 155n17, 186, 195, 197, 203nn19–20 free trade zones, 169, 201n7 Frías, Heriberto, 87, la frontera norte: Bulevar, 216, 225; theater, xi–xii, xv, 251, 253; Tirso de Molina, 258 La fuerza divina, 76, 90–94, 108 Fussible (Pepe Mogt), 209, 241n1 Gadsden Purchase, 5, 66n13 Galicia, Rocío: femicides, 161, 202n18; folk saints, 77, 91, 94, 99, 109, 111n8; narco-violence, 117, 124, 128, 154n11; Teatro del Norte, xiii, xiv, xviii

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Galindo, Edeberto “Pilo”: Arizona Cruising, xvi, 2, 12, 28; Lomas de Poleo, xvii, 162, 176–177; Northern Mexican playwrights, 1, 255 García Canclini, Nestor, 214 García Uribe, Javier “Víctor,” 175 gente de razón, 51 Geronimo (Jerónimo), 48, 50, 66n13, 67n15 globalization, 213, 215, 244n20; femicides, 162, 173, 197, 200; imperialism, 166; Mexican government, 2; Tijuana, 213, 215; world citizen, 3 gomero, 118–119 Gomorrah, 199, 211, 213 González Meza, Gustavo, 175 González Rodríguez, Sergio, 110n6, 135, 155n21, 197 Grayson, George, 141, 149–150 Great Depression, the, 6, 9, 169 guadalupanos, 149, 156n27 Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of, xii, 5, 66n13, 168 Hämäläinen, Pekka, 35, 55 Hamelin, 199 Herlinghaüs, Hermann 3, 117, 155n22 Hernández, Virginia: Border Santo, xvi, 2, 25, 76, 101–102, 107; Expreso Norte, xvii, 210, 234, 240–241; La cuidad de las moscas, 163, 199; Mexican identity, 28; Teatro del norte, 255, 258 Herzog, Lawrence A., 212–214 Horrorismo: Naming Contemporary Violence, 138 Hotel de Cristal, 233 Hotel Juárez, xvii, 161–162, 170–173, 184, 188–192, 200–201 Huapango, 230 hybridization, 214–215, 232, 241 INEGI. See Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía Mexicano Indian captivity, 50

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284

Index

indios bárbaros, 38, 49, 54, 64, 65n5 indios mansos, 37, 65n5, 67n17, 168 indios de paz, 37, 49, 65n5, 168 Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía Mexicano, 115, 152n2 Invierno, xv, 2, 7, 16, 28–29 Jaramillo, Don Pedrito, 81, 110, 125 Jauría, xvii, 162, 192–197, 200, 202n17, 255 Jerusalem, 213 Jesuit order, 37 journey inward, the, 12 joto (derogatory term for gay men), 227 Juarenses, 168, 170 Juárez, Benito, 168 Juárez, Ciudad (Chihuahua, Mexico): apocalyptic setting of, 198–200, 258; drug violence in, 116, 123, 137, 141; Estrellas enterradas, 186; femicide in, 173–176, 165, 167; geographical location of, xii, xvii, 5,13; history of, 168–172; Hotel Juárez, 189–192, 193–194; Jauría, 195, 197; Lomas de poleo, 177, 180, 182–184 Juh, 47, 50, 53–55, 68nn22–23 Kirker, Santiago James, 50, 67n17 Knights Templar (drug trafficking organization), 120, 155n16 Kumiai, 35, 39, 216 La ciudad de las moscas, xvii, 163, 197, 199–200, 203n21 “La ley del monte” (song), 229, 244n19 La ley del ranchero, xvii, 210, 225–230, 232, 241 la línea: local drug trafficking organization, 175; U.S.-Mexico border, 13, 233 Latin American Theatre Review, xiv La tragedia de Macario (movie), 7 “ley fuga,” 103 Leyva, Jose María, 12, 59, 216 Liera, Óscar, xviiin3, 104, 124, 152

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Lomas de Poleo (Tíjuana, Mexico), 173, 180–181, 190 Lomas de Poleo (play), xvii, 162, 175– 178, 182–183, 194–195, 200 López, Cutberto, xvii, 118, 144, 148, 150–151, 156n25 Los Juniors (local gang), 175 Los Rebeldes (local gang), 174, 182 “Los Ruteros” (local gang), 175 “Los Toltecas” (local gang), 174–175 Lote Bravo, 173, 175, 190 Lot’s wife, 199 machismo, 226–227 Maldonado, Juan, 61, 203n20 Malverde, Día de la santa cruz, xvii, 118, 128–129, 133, 149, 151–152 Malverde, Jesús: Folk saint, xvi, 25; Narco-saint, 117–118, 123–124, 127, 129, 133 maquiladora: dramas on violence against workers, 188, 191, 195; harmful employment practices, 174– 175, 180, 182, 185, 225; PRONAF, 162, 167, 170, 172, 223; song, the, 164; Teatro del Norte, xvii marginal mysticism, 78, 108 maricón (derogatory term for gay men), 226–227 marijuana, 100, 118–119, 122 materia, 75, 86 Mexicali, 5, 168, 255 Mexican Postcards, 77–78, 83, 111n12 Mexican Revolution: historical account, 6, 9, 21, 64, 79; Juárez during, 162, 200; Tijuana during, 226, 234–235; Tomóchic, 87, 94–95 Michel, Norma, 211 Mijares, Enrique: Jauría, 162, 192, 193, 196; literary criticism, 44, 241; Niño Fidencio, 76, 79, 109, 112n14; Teatro del Norte, ix, xi, xiv–xviii, 1, 253, 255 millenarianism, 77–78 Mission of St. Thomas Aquinas, 39

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Index 285

missions: Bárbara Gandiaga, 63, 66nn11–12; Ciudad Juárez, 168; system, the, 37–39, 40, 44, 216 Monsiváis, Carlos 77–79, 81–83, 86, 93, 110n1, 111n12 Música de balas, xvii, 118, 142–143, 151–152, 156n24, 258 mythical journeys, xv, 2, 9, 10, 12, 28 NAFTA. See North America Free Trade Agreement narcocorridos: Cielo rojo, 153n10; Malverde, 128, 132–133; Rompecabeza, 135, 151; traffickers, 120– 122; Yamaha 300, 147–149 narco-fishermen, 146–148, 150, 156n26 narcolimosnas, 150 narcoteatro: Borderlands, 115; capitalism, 117; Malverde, 119, 121,123, 127, 133; violence, xvi– xvii; Yamaha 300, 151–152 narco-terrorism, 116–117, 135 narcotrafficker: Cielo rojo, 134–135, 153n10; gomeros, 119; Malverde, 117–118, 122, 128–131; Música de balas, 142; myth, 120–121; Yamaha 300, 144, 146–147, 149–152 Navarro, Gerardo, 232–233, 241, 244n20 Niño del diamante en la cabeza, El, xvi, 76, 79, 81–86, 108 “Ni Una Más,” 161 Nortec Collective, 209, 241n1 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 162, 171, 213 Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, 161, 164 Nueva España, 37, 64n2 Nueva Vizcaya, xviiin4, 37, 201n6 Nuevo México, 37, 168 Nuevo Santander, 37 Ojo Caliente (Zacatecas, Mexico), 24, 26 Old Mexico, 219–220 Olivera, Juan, xvi, 96–98, 100

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Operation Gatekeeper, 6, 7 Operation Hold the Line, 6 Operation Rio Grande, 6 Operation Wetback, 6 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, 98 Ortíz, Juan Mata, 68nn22–23 Pai Pai, 39 Panama-California Exposition, 220 panga, 146, 148–149, 156n26 Park, Jungwon, xv, 117, 189 Partida Tayzan, Armando, ix, xiv, 85, 107, 117, 163 Pascola (dancers), 57–58, 61, 69n28 Paso del Norte, El, 168, 169 “patriarchal sacrificial ritual,” 195 Pedro Páramo, 104 Peña Nieto, Enrique, 120 periphery: Baja California, xv, 210–211; femicides, 167; Mexico, xi, 117, 257, 260; santones, 76, 101, 108 Pimienta, Omar, 211 plazas, 119, 150 pollero, 236–238 pollos, 7, 19 Porfiriato, 125 Programa National Fronterizo (PRONAF), 162, 169, 213 Prohibition, 119, 162, 169, 220, 221, 222 PRONAF. See Programa National Fronterizo Rascón Banda, Victor Hugo: drug violence, 118, 133, 152; Hotel Juárez, 162, 172, 188; indigenous world of, 47, 62; Los ilegales, 10, 36; Teatro del Norte, xi, xiv, xvi– xvii, 259, 261n1 Real del Castillo, 216, 235, 240 Reducciones indígenas, 37–38 Rojo, Manuel Clemente, 40 Román, Alejandro: Malverde, 109, 118, 128, 133–134; Teatro del Norte, ix, xvii, 153n10, 154n11, 258

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286

Index

Rompe-cabeza, xvii, 118, 135–142, 151–152, 155n19, 156n23, 254 Ronquillo, Víctor, 177, 188 Rosarito, Playas de, 235, 240, 242n6, 245n27 Rulfo, Juan, 104 sacrificial rite of anthropophagy, 197, 202n17 sahurinos, 79 Salcedo, Hugo: Bárbara Gandiaga, 35, 41; illegal immigration, 2, 7, 11, 16, 20, 23, 26–28; Música de balas, 118, 142; Selena, 112n14; Teatro de Norte, xi, xiv–xvii, 251–253, 258– 259; Tijuana, 210, 216, 221, 223, 227–228, 231, 232–233, 241 San Diego (California): Expresso Norte, 234, 238, 240–241; geographic location, xii, 5; missions, 65n7, 215– 216; Tijuana’s twin city, 210, 212– 213, 217, 219–220, 223, 232–233 “Sangre mía” (poem), 161, 164 Sangre mía (poetry collection), 163–164 Santa Muerte, 132, 153n8, 154n14 santones: Catholicism and, 77–78, 110; El Tiradito 96, 100, 108; God, 92, 101; Malverde, xvi; Mijares, Enrique, 112n14; religion, 24, 76 Schizoethnic, 232–233, 241 Señorita extraviada, 163, 167 serranos, 46, 63–64 seven ecologies of the border, the, 212– 214, 245n33 Sharif, Abdel Latif Sharif, 174 Sibalaume, Juan María, 56, 58, 69n30 sicario, 131–132 Sinfonía en una botella, 210, 217, 233, 241 Sirenas del río, xvii, 162, 197–200 Sodom, 199, 211, 213 Soldado, Juan, xvi, 25, 75, 96, 101–104, 108, 112n13 Spanglish, 186–187, 214, 232–233 Spicer, Edward, 35, 64n1

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Spirititism. See espiritualismo Surem, 58, 61, 69n26 Surroca, Eulaldo, 39–43 Talavera Trejo, Manuel: Canción de cuchillo Parado, 2, 21, 28, 62; Tarahumara, 46, 53, 62–63, 65n6, 87; Teatro del Norte, ix xi, xvi, 253, 254, 255, 259 Teatro del Norte: Border Theory, 3; femicides, 172; Malverde, 127; Mexico, 258–260; Mijares, Enrique, ix, xi, xiv–xv, xvii–xviii, 251; Salcedo, Hugo, 2, 20, 224, 229, 244n20; Treviño, Medardo, 253, 255 Tecate, 216, 234–235, 240–241, 244nn24–25 Terrazas, Joaquín, 47, 50, 54–55, 68n22, 95 Texas Rangers, 5 thaumaturge, 78, 86 theology of immigration, 4 Tía Juana, 215–219, 242n5 Tía Juana, Rancho de la, 216, 242n5 Tigres del Norte, Los, 122, 135, 164 Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico): Border renaissance of, 209, 210, 211; dualism of, 212–215; expansion of, 221–225, 258; Expreso Norte, 233–235, 238–241; gay life in, 226– 228, 232; geographic location of, xii, xvii, 5, 20; history of, 216–220; Juan Soldado, 103; narcotraffick in, 111n10 Tiradito: Crónica de un santo pecador, El, xvi, 76, 97, 108 Tirso de Molina ix, xi, xiv, 258 Titanic, 235, 240, 245n27 Tohono O’odham Nation, 99 Tomóchic (book), 87, 94 Tomóchic (town), 87, 90–94 Tomóchic (rebellion), 64, 87, 90–91, 94 Torocoyory, 61 “transfrontier metropolis,” 213–214, 234 Tres Castillos (battle), 47, 68n22

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Index 287

Treviño Medardo, ix xi, 253, 255 tullidos, 79, 81 turf wars, xvii, 119, 141 Urrea, Luis Alberto 4, 87 Urrea, Teresa, (“La Santa de Cábora”), xvi, 87, 89, 90, 93–96 Venado Viejo . . . Venado joven, xvi, 35, 56, 59, 62–63 Victoria para Chino (movie), 7, 260 Victorio, xvii, 47, 50, 53–55, 68n22 Viejo Nana, 47, 49, 50, 53 Viento negro, 235 Volstead Act, 169, 222 voyage of self-discovery, 12 “Wellton 26,” 7, 16 Yamaha 300, xvii, 118, 144, 145, 148–152

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Yaquecita, La, 147 Yaqui: folk religion, 88, 92, 94; Spanish conquest, xvi, 35, 37; struggle for their land, 69nn25–31, 70n35; Yaquis of Sonora, 56–64, 65n6 Yori, 56–58, 61, 69n24 Yuma, 14, 7, 21 zahurinos, los, 7 Zambada, Ismael “El Mayo,” 154n12 Zapatistas National Liberation Army, 44 Zetas (drug trafficking organization), 20, 29n4, 116, 119, 152, 154n12, 154n14 zona libre, 170 Zúñiga, Antonio: Estrellas enterradas, 162, 184; Rompe-cabeza, 118, 135– 137, 140–141, 155nn18–20; Teatro del Norte, ix, xi, xvi–xvii, 255, 258; El Tiradito, 76, 97, 100, 109

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About the Author

Iani Moreno is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese in the World Languages & Cultural Studies Department at Suffolk University in Boston. She holds a BA in economics and international studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and an MA and a PhD in Hispanic studies from the University of Kansas. Her interests include contemporary Latin American theatre, U.S.-Mexican Border studies, Brazilian studies, Spanish and Portuguese language and literature, and contemporary Latin American cinema and music. Her publications discuss contemporary Latin American theatre and U.S.-Mexican Border dramaturgy. She has attended numerous conferences both at the national and international level in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Dr. Moreno has directed university productions of contemporary Latin American plays. She has also translated numerous dramatic works written by Latin American dramatists such as Hugo Salcedo and Carlos Canales. She grew up in El Salvador and the United States and lived abroad in Brazil. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and Spain. In 2005 she was selected by Rotary International to be Ambassador of Goodwill and Understanding in Brazil. She is an avid Pilates practitioner, enjoys music, and loves to spend time with her cats.

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