Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Deported
. . . .

Deported

Rick Coates - December 27th, 2010
Deported: Liz Larios faces life in Juarez
This is Part II of the story of Liz Larios and Russell Horn. Part I
appeared in the November 29 issue and may be read online at
www.northernexpress.com in the archives section.
Liz Larios and her family were deported to Juarez, Mexico from
Traverse City the day before Thanksgiving after spending years in the
region. Liz’s fiancé Russell Horn sold everything he owned and raised
$3,000 to join her in Mexico. The couple spoke to Express contributing
editor Rick Coates in a phone interview last week.

By Rick Coates:

NE: Liz, talk about this experience for you over the past month.
Liz Larios: This is a complete nightmare. I never thought this would
happen to me. I can truly say I was extremely happy with my life,
having a loving fiancé , my dog, and a great little home and two jobs
in Traverse City.
That day started out so perfect; I kissed Russell goodbye and he
headed to work; the next thing I know I’m in a cold room with no
blankets, hungry, and very upset, but at least I was with my mom. We
had each other to hold as we cried ourselves to sleep. I spent a total
of 15 days in jail, the worst thing I could have ever gone through.
Everyone was in there for drug-related reasons but I was there for not
having a piece of paper stating that I was legal.

NE: Where are you now?
Larios: I’m very thankful to be alive, Juarez is called a “ghost
town.” Everyone that can save money to move away does. There is at
least 15 murders a day and abandoned homes everywhere. I don’t think I
would be able to continue if I didn’t have Russell. He has been my
angel, giving me advice and telling me to be strong on the days when I
just want to give up; like the day my grandmother took us to my
parent’s old home where my brother was found dead a year and a half
ago. There I found the old wire he was hung from and all of the oils
and blood his body left behind. I liked to watch CSI and to me it
seems as nothing was properly processed.
I live in fear everyday afraid that something will happen to me and my
parents. I don’t go out in public once it is dark and I don’t use my
cellphone unless I’m indoors at a relative’s house.

Russell Horn: This place (Juarez has a population of 1.5 million) is
crazy. We hear gunshots and sirens all day and night every day.
Listening to mothers cry for their innocent children who get caught in
the crossfire of the drug war down here. We’ve been trying to keep a
low profile, but it’s not hard to tell that we’re not from around
here. My plates say I am from Michigan and the Mexican government
wants $800 for local plates. We have been followed home a few times
and just  keep driving until those following turn away. We have even
had bullets hit our house.

NE: This must be difficult; after all, in Juarez over the past few
years, hundreds of young women have fallen victim to sexual homicides
and their bodies dumped in ditches or vacant lots. Most of these
murders and disappearances go unsolved. A 2007 book called “The
Daughters of Juárez,” and the 2006 book “The Harvest of Women” by
journalist Diana Washington Valdez, along with the Jennifer Lopez film
“Border Town” has brought the spotlight on life for young women in
Juarez. You have to be frightened?
Larios: Yes, after what has happened to my brother, my sister-in-law
and other family members, I live every waking moment in fear.
I lived almost 20 years in the United States, I graduated from high
school in Traverse City. I had a life there. Now I am a person without
a home and really without a country. I do not speak fluent Spanish; my
relatives call it Spanglish. I try to look down and not speak to
anyone. We can’t go out at night. The drug cartel is known to kidnap
Americans, or even Mexicans with American families.
Horn: Liz is a prime target of the drug cartel. She is young and
beautiful. They grab women like her, sexually abuse them and kill
them. We are all vulnerable because of our American connections. If
the cartel finds out, we could be kidnapped and held for ransom.
Liz’s parents promised my mom that they would be killed before anyone
harmed Liz or I. The men here stare at Liz in a disgusting way and
give me a look as if they’re thinking of making me disappear. We’re
keeping our faith, and trusting in God to protect us. I’m not afraid,
because I know God has a plan for us.

NE: What is the next step?
Horn: We are currently living in a home that belongs to Liz’s aunt. It
has no furniture and is in very bad shape. Liz’s father is very handy
and I have brought his tools and he hopes to find work that way. We
are trying to fix up the home that belonged to the family, the one
that her brother was hung by the drug cartel and his wife beaten to
death in front of him. Our hope is to sell that.
I am using the money I raised in Traverse City to help them pay for
food and other necessary supplies. Soon I will apply for what is
called a fiancé visa. We are also looking into a student visa. It will
take six months to process those.
I have a friend who lives in Texas so I hope to find work there so I
am close to Liz. I need to come up with several thousands of dollars
to pay for the fees to get her legal again here in the United States.
After that we hope to get married soon and resume our lives in our
hometown of Traverse City. But like Liz, I am now a person without a
home or a job. We have to lock the gate around the small home each
night as well as deadbolt the doors and windows. I sleep at night with
a gun in my hand, wondering if this is the way God wants his people to
live.

After Part One appeared in the Express, a documentary filmmaker
contacted Horn and provided him with a digital camera to document his
travels. Details on the film project and an update on their progress
will appear in a coming issue of the Express. Several people from
Northern Michigan made financial contributions to assist Russell and
Liz and anyone interested may still do so by going to 5th/3rd Bank and
asking for the “Russell T. Horn, Jr.’s account Operation: Save Liz.”
To reach out to Russell and Liz, search for them on Facebook.

 
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