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- Albert Einstein

Maquiladora

Along the lengthy Mexico-U.S. border, about twenty miles inside Mexico, there are thousands of mainly foreign-owned factories, which assemble products to be shipped out of this country throughout the U.S. and other parts of the world.

These colonies, which are called maquiladora, were made legal under a U.S.-Mexico agreement in 1965. The rationale behind legalizing maquiladoras was to set up shop along the six Mexican Border States, to produce goods for export, as a way of absorbing labor before it came illegally to the U.S.

But as events later displayed, this program not only did not reduce illegal immigration to the United States, but also increased health and environmental problems in both sides of the border.

Hundreds of colonies had emerged and are emerging, with millions of cheap laborers crammed into areas notorious for their human misery and environmental destruction.

The inhabitants of these shantytowns are the poorest of Mexico and other Latin American countries. They are products of imperialism’s plunderage who are swarming continuously to fill the empty places of those who already disabled or died in the maquiladoras.

They are cheap laborers of exported American jobs, who work 48-60 hours a week, and receive nothing more than a worn out body and a cardboard to extend their night moans into the hell of the next day’s slavery.

There are miles of narrow paths and streets infested with garbage, animal & human wastes and even dead corpses; sewage and factory leftovers flooding along exposed canals throughout the streets, make it impossible for a visitor to stay there for more than a few minutes without suffocating of the musty smells. Air, water, food and the whole environment are so polluted that even before NAFTA’s implementation in 1994, the American Medical Association termed these areas “a virtual cesspool and breeding ground for infectious diseases”.

These awful conditions have increased the rates of certain diseases and birth defects such as brain and spinal cord abnormalities.

These cheap laborers of the maquiladora have to pay nearly half of their salaries for their bus services to attend their workplaces, while the same corporation that owns the factory usually provides the transportation. The rest of their salaries go to food, medication and if still there is any money left they can rent a place to sleep at night.

Brothels are everywhere and so are narcotics. Those who spend money here have to sleep under cardboards and run to their workplaces in the morning.

In these lawless communities, there are no protective measures for the benefits of workers and their families. AIDS is rampant and so is violence against women and children; life is sad, short and disposable.

Obviously the reason behind the creation of maquiladoras was cheap labor, and as capitalism advances and the hunt for growing benefits breaks out throughout the world, we will witness the globalization of maquiladoras. But this will not be the final word. The final word is glorious global socialism, which will be written inevitably by the people in the next page of history.

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