This week, we share an update from the U.S./Mexico border, as well as two more illuminating conversations from inside the Brazilian prison system. First, we hear from Luce, who has just returned to the U.S. after doing legal aid for unaccompanied minors at the Barretal migrant shelter in Tijuana.
As we mentioned in last week’s episode, Kite Line contributor Micol Seigel spent time this fall with students in São Paulo, teaching a course on American prison history at the state university. Seigel’s academic host introduced her to an activist civil servant at the Secretariat of Penal Administration, who connected her to the members of a work release program. We have two more conversations between Seigel’s students and members of this work release program. They were conducted in Portuguese, translated to English by the students in the class, and the translations were recorded here in our Bloomington studio.
In one of these conversations, a prisoner points out that in Brazil, one set of laws and sentences apply to the rich, while a different set applies to the poor. The same could be said of the U.S.- particularly after a week in which an 8-year-old Guatemalan child died in U.S. custody, who was guilty only of fleeing with his family from violence and starvation in Guatemala. His name was Felipe Alonzo-Gomez and he was bounced between half a dozen different facilities before he died. We’ll have more updates from the border detention facilities, along with more interviews from Brazil, in upcoming Kite Line episodes.