The plight of the border kids have dragged the repressive and violent machinery of the state into broad daylight right before our eyes. It’s horrifying, but we can’t look away. Nevertheless, state violence towards poor families doesn’t only take place at the border and often happens in silence without public condemnation.
Much later, I thought a lot about my own role in people’s stories of violence and how I’d also bought into the romance of supposedly primitive cultures. I thought a lot about how tourism to Maya communities could co-exist with state violence against those same communities, how the state had tried to exterminate the very people that it also wanted to serve as tourist attractions.