Según la Abogada Susana Prieto Terrazas: “Es mejor perder el trabajo que la vida.” – According to Attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas: “It is better to lose your job than of your life.”

By Miguel Juárez

In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mexican government, health and health authorities at the local level have not only engaged in hiding information from workers, but since many of these companies have been deemed as “essential,” they have placed the life and health of thousands of workers at risk.

Since last week, Attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas has taken to YouTube to inform the 400,000+ maquiladora workers in Cd. Juarez and Matamoros about their rights regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Mexican government has called for a work moratorium until the end of April which guarantees workers 100% pay, but companies have found methods around it.

SJOIIM Secretary General Juan Villafuerte Morales stated that unions from all over the Republic of Mexico will ensure work stoppages in companies that continue to work and expose workers to the dangers of COVID-19.

Villafuerte Morales stated that State governmental personnel would be visit the maquiladoras that continue to expose the workers to see why they continue to work during this health crisis. Companies were presented with a copy of the decree issued specifying that they must abide by the provision to send their employees home with 100% salary,

Numerous American plants continue working and are offering workers bonuses to show up to work risking their lives and the lives of the families (see letters below). They are also having employees sign non-disclosure statements and are offering them 3,000 pesos to resign their positions, in clear violation of the governmental decree.

Cd. Juarez press has reported 19 people have become infected with the virus, but the number may be much higher due to misinformation and under-counting of cases.

* SJOIIM stands for Sindicato de Jornaleros y Obreros Industriales y de la Industria Maquiladora en Matamoros.

Miguel Juarez

Miguel Juárez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He is a multi-disciplinary scholar, artist and Paseño (El Pasoan) and the Editor at El Paso News. He has an Master of Art degree in Library Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a BA in Communications; an MA in Border History; and PhD in Borderlands History from UTEP; as well as graduate Arts Administration and Museum Studies coursework from CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Long Beach, Calif.

He was an academic librarian and archivist from 1999 to 2013. He has published two books: _Where Are All the Librarians of Color: The Experiences of People of Color in Academia_, co-edited with Rebecca Hankins (2016, Library Juice Press) and _Colors on Desert Walls: The Murals of El Paso_, with photographs by Cynthia Weber Farah (1997, Texas Western Press).

He has published reviews, articles and opinion editorials in the Bryan College Station Eagle, the El Paso Times, El Paso Herald Post, El Paso Herald Post (online), Fusion Magazine, Latino Rebels, Medium and PlayBuzz.

He was previously on the editorial board of Latinx Talk, an online, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, and moderated forum. He is currently on the editorial board of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association. You can contact Miguel at: or follow him on Twitter @migueljuarez