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On Sara Alina

In Tijuana, Mexico part of the fence separating the United States and Mexico is the home to makeshift tents where people live, stuck between two countries. The area is far from pleasant; trash surrounds the area, driven there by the sewage that runs through the nearby Tijuana River channel. The smell is overwhelming and makes it tough to breath, and even harder to imagine how any human could live here. Yet, an estimated 4,000 people call this area home, a stretch known as “El Bordo,” or “the border”. The area is inside Mexico, just outside the city limits of Tijuana.

A person residing in the area named Fernando Miranda has nowhere to go and no place to call his own. Miranda was born in Mexico, and 25 years ago he illegally immigrated to the United States, the country where he worked and prospered, where his children were born, educated and given better opportunities. Miranda was sent back to Mexico in 2011, one of 2 million people who have been deported since President Obama took office. Last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed close to 369,000 undocumented immigrants — most from Mexico and Central America — from the United States.

When they arrive back in Mexico, they have no form of identification, no money, and usually just the clothes on their back. I understand that they came in to this country, but improvements need to be made for immigration reform. We can’t keep breaking up families.

–Love Sara Alina

Indonesia - Latin America Cooperation: Strike While The Iron's Hot

On Sui Generis

Many people said that one of the toughest issue to be managed by Indonesia’s future president relates with how our nation’s foreign policy shall be formulated. Some of them said that a major changes will be unlikely, because Indonesia’s next president will have to deal with plenty domestic issues such as poverty eradication, health insurance, managing risk on informal economic sector, and infrastructure establishment. In other articles, some said that in terms of regional cooperation, Indonesia will trying to maintain its influence among South East Asian countries under ASEAN’s platform. It is considered to be important that our nation embed its identity in this region in order to achieve a proper economic and security payoff in the future. But the question is, will there be a potential for us to expand our wing into another region? Will Latin America be exotic enough for Indonesia’s foreign policy destination?

The answer is: it depends. Let’s analyze the cost and benefit for Indonesia to build a more comprehensive partnership with Latin American countries.

The very first disadvantage is obviously geographical barriers. The westernmost point of Latin American region is Galapagos Island, Ecuador. It means that the closest international airport to Jakarta in Latin American region belongs in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. Divided by the Pacific Ocean between the two continents, by a direct plane it means that Indonesian delegates have to go through approximately 12.000 kilometers. Twelve times further compared to Jakarta – Singapore or Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur distance.

The distance barrier brings us to disadvantage number two: high transportantion expenses. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Jakarta to Quito. We still have to transit either in Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, or any other city depends on your flight. The fastest flight itself will get the delegates there for 32 hours long and cost them 16 million rupiah each. Imagine how much money our Ministry of Foregin Affairs have to spent to fund the transport itself. Not to mention the expense given for the accomodations and consumptions.

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