I never thought that I would encounter the phoneme right here in our own New Mexico. But I was wrong, it exists and it confirms the most important precept of the Cornell Cultural Anthropology longitudinal research project conducted in the 1960's in Vicos, Peru.
The project, over a number of years, studied the cultural anthropological aspects of community life in a community named Vicos in the Andes of Peru. It was estimated that Vicos was a community that was living 400 years behind the times and this was the reason Cornell decided on an in depth study of community life in Vicos.
I was in charge of part of the Peace Corps in Peru at the time and I assigned two volunteers to work on the Vicos Project. Cornell University anthropologists, moved into the community for a number of years and among their of observations concluded that, "... the worst thing that can happen in a community that has traditionally been maligned by a dictatorial "patron" system, was that one of the oppressed members of the community be placed in charge of his own people." "If you want to see oppression, that is the recipe," was one of the conclusions of the study. In other words, one who rises above his own, serves the motives and purposes of the "Patron" better than the Patron himself would. In other words the "vendidos" do a better job of betraying their own people than the exploiters do themselves.
Scenes In Vicos, Peru
Planting Potatoes - Snow capped Andes in Background Fiesta In Vicos
So what is the connection to New Mexico in 1998? I encountered the same phenomena in the Disabled American Veterans organization right here in Albuquerque. If what I encountered is common throughout, the DAV is even more bigoted and racist than the "patron" system, albeit out of ignorance. A state official of the organization, a swarthy, fat, threatening individual, who looks more Mexican than Pancho Villa or General Santa Ana joined in a conversation about what to call those of us who are descendants of the original settlers to New Mexico, the Indo-Hispanics. He objected to my use of the term Chicano and/or Mexican American to describe those Americans who like myself are descendants of, in my case Major Rafael Chacón, who commanded the Northern troops at the Battle of Valverde against the Confederates; and who can trace our genes back to the Governor Don Fernando Chacón of New Mexico from 1794 to 1804, and to el Marquez de la Peñuela Admiral Don José Chacón Medina Salazar y Villaseñor, Governor of New Mexico from 1707 to 1712.
The Vicos project concluded that the way to select the most exploitative candidate among the villagers is to select and name as leader one who had just learned to write his name, no more than that, teach him only that and no more, pray tell, that he learn to think for himself!
The Latifundia system, throughout South America, thrived with the application of this simple truth. Select a "vendído" and he is money in the bank for the Establishment, i.e. the Colonial System.
The next question is who are the DAV? Are they really disabled? Or are they opportunists? Some may be disabled, but to this observer, I have not seen a single one at the "Club" on a wheel chair or who looks disabled; impaired yes, most have a constant buzz after drinking beer after beer. (I have since heard that most came over from the nearby Titos Bar when it closed and are not necessarily veterans.)
So I sought to join the DAV to find some answers. I asked for an application, I filled it out made copies of my DD 214's and bingo, I became a member of the DAV. Like at the American Legion most of the members I have encountered spend their time telling stories about how they won the war against the Japanese in the Asiac-Pacific Theater or in Italy or Germany against the Germans, in Panama, Viet Nam, or Gulf I. After listening to some of the retold stories, some which obviously are made up, you begin to wonder. They never produce a DD-214 to back up their tales.
But then there is the State Adjutant. A fellow with a Mexican name if there ever was one, Urioste, who objects to being called a Chicano or a Mexican-American and insists he is an American. He thinks he got it on merit!!!!
Free Lance Writer & Ex-Adjunct Professor, UNM
Chicano Motivational Speaker.