Enrique Lomas, founder and director
of the CIEM (Center for Information and Studies on Migration)
from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and supporter and collaborator
of the Border Agricultural Workers Project in El Paso, Texas,
died during Holy Week. His death is a great loss for the movement
on defense of the human rights of the undocumented and the refugees.
We mourn his death because he was a good friend and he was a
committed social fighter. Recently, he was helping us with our
"Bracero project." He was also very active in the international
campaign to bring peace with dignity to the indigenous people
of Chiapas. In honor of the friend, the advocate of the peasant
and the undocumented, we present the following remembrance. Rebeca
de la Rosa wrote this memorial in the day of Lomas' funeral,
April 8, 1998, in the City of Chihuahua, México.
Rest in peace...
On Wednesday April 7th of 1998, in the city of Chihuahua, Enrique
Lomas Arrellano died having succumbed to a painful illness, at
the age of sixty-three.
He was a theologian, with a title from the Methodist church of
which he was pastor for ten years in Parral, Chihuahua and in
Tampico, Tamaulipas. He separated from the church along with
Raul Macin in order to initiate social work on behalf of the
poor and the migrant worker through a program known as the CECOPE.
He traveled through a number of countries in Latin America, in
the Caribbean, through Scotland, Russia, and other countries
in Europe, giving testimony of the plight suffered by the poor
in our Mexico, and above all else undocumented people.
In 1975, in Ciudad Juárez, along with the now since deceased
Dr. Victor Manuel Oropeza and the "squatter" from the
CDP Ramón Nuñez (also unfortunately assassinated
in 1977), he founded the Partido Mexicano de los Trabajadores
(PMT) or the Mexican Workers Party. This party was funded on
a national scale by the Engineer Heberto Castillo, who died a
It was a time in which the leftists refused to participate in
the electoral struggle, and the members of the PMT or the pemetistas
where being accused of being "openers" due to the democratic
widening the president at the time, Luis Echeverria preached
about. In Ciudad Juárez, it was the time of the "burro
Chon", (a donkey which was a mayoral candidate of the left)
Regular writer of El
Diario de Juárez for approximately
12 years, his column was always a platform in which he denounced
those crimes committed by our neighbors to the north aimed at
He traveled as far as to Huntsville, Texas, to visit Cesar Fierro
who sat and waited for his death sentence in this cell, in just
another one of his struggles to demonstrate the double standard
with which "white people" dictate justice on Mexicans.
To Enrique Lomas, undocumented people were not illegal, since
its been due to migration that human kind has populated the Earth.
A highly cultured man, with a lexicon worthy of Cervantes and
a natural spark, he often said that happiness is formed solely
on singular instances, and that we should be prepared to live
them regardless of the consequences, good or bad, because the
rest is only struggle.
Enrique Lomas left behind many children, many friends, his companion
"Tina" who was always by his side through the good
times and the bad times. To us he left a legacy: the commitment
to fight for our rights as human beings, as citizens of the World.
Rest in peace, Enrique Lomas.
FINAL NOTE: Enrique Lomas was specially affected by the massacre
in Acteal, Chiapas on Christmas Eve. He became involved in the
movement to demand justice for the victims and to demand the
end of the PRI-Government supported "Death Squads."
He wrote this article for this website. We invite you to read
this article again in memory of the victims of Acteal and in
memory of Enrique Lomas.
Massacre in Acteal!
by Enrique Lomas
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