Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The border fence between Tijuana, Baja California and San Diego, California.

While the beauty of the Pacific Ocean shimmers just off-shore, the grim reality is that on this side of the fence is Mexico, and the other -- complete with a wide "no man's land" buffer zone -- is the state of California.

And each of these crosses represents a Mexican life lost, in the attempt to find a better life north of Tijuana.

The issue of the border fence is a highly-charged, contentious and emotional landmine. And if you ask questions, in an attempt to try and understand, you quickly discover that the answers and opinions you may receive are very deeply affected by which side of the fence you ask the questions on.

Yes, the issues are complex and are rooted in much history of expansionism, colonialism, and war. And the mere presence of these crosses is a grim reminder of how deadly serious this border has become.

Is the fence good, solid protection against "(insert worst fear here)"? Or is it the moral equivalent of the Berlin Wall of yesteryear? Which is worse: killing people trying to get out (Berlin), or killing people trying to get in (San Diego)?

(sigh...) I know it's complex, and comes with a lot of baggage and history. But every time I see the mute but powerful testimony of these crosses, it gives me pause.