Interview: Rosa Martha Zarate Macias

by: Chuy Ramirez
Posted: August 18, 2021

A former nun disenchanted with her superiors pursues a path aimed at improving the lives of others less fortunate.  In part, that break with a strong tradition arises from a faith that liberation theology may provide answers that tradition may not.  Rosa Martha Zarate Macias tells of finding a place in the farmworkers’ labor movement once led by Cesar Chavez.  A singer-songwriter, Zarate Macias would find herself on makeshift stages as the union movement organized lettuce and grape pickers.  For the past decade, Zarate Macias has focused most of efforts as an advocate for the remaining, living members of the bracero generation (1942-1964). see the clip from the Movie, El Bracero del Ano with Piporro and the vignette,  Manda Marries the Wetback, elsewhere in this edition of IberoAztlan.

The braceros (Mexican nationals) entered into contracts to provide primarily stoop labor in all of the southwestern states of the United States. Those contracts required that a portion of the bracero’s compensation would be held in a benefits bank account by Mexican banks.  Some 80 years later, the Mexican government has still not be able to account for all of the financial benefits which were due to the braceros.  In her interview, Zarate Macias describes the legal, diplomatic and public relations struggle which she and her cohorts face to recover some of the financial benefits due them.

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Video: Rosa Martha Zarate Macías Interview

Interview Date: August 5, 2021
Chuy Ramirez is an attorney practicing law in the Rio Grande Valley since 1983, and dabbles in writing.

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE

The September 2021 edition of IberoAzltan will be our ninth. We had projected publication of six editions which would be focused primarily on an interview project which we began in 2017, called the Chicana/o Legacy Project. The interest in and support for IberoAztlan was Unexpected.

Rather than ceasing publication as originally intended, we are offering to transfer all publisher’s rights, powers, and legal authority to anyone (individually or otherwise) who has the interest and wherewithal to carry on the project.  The purchase price is $1.00, and the consideration and conditions are negotiable.

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Ibero Aztlan, a digital magazine, is published by First Texas Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 181 San Juan Texas 78589 | contact@iberoaztlan.com

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