Hear My Testimony: Maraia Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador

By María Teresa Tula; Lynn Stephen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13

LIVING IN THE UNITED
STATES

I finally was able to leave in January 1987. The women from CO-MADRES helped me to leave for Mexico. I left legally with a passport and went with an official delegation. While I was in Mexico I was sent an official invitation to visit the United States signed by about 48 congresspeople including Senator Kennedy. Armed with this letter, I went to the United States embassy in Mexico City to get a visa.

We arrived at the embassy at 4:30 in the morning so that we could get in at nine o'clock. There is always a long line for visas. When I reached the office, they looked my name up in the computer and then told me that I couldn't go to the United States. "You are a communist and a terrorist. That's what it says here. We are very sorry but this status does not allow you to enter the United States. Your request for a visa is denied."

" How is it possible?" I asked. "I have all of these letters and one is signed by all of these congresspeople. Don't you respect the wishes of your own Congress?" I said.

They told me, "That is Washington, and this is Mexico. We can do what we want here." So I never got the visa.

I stayed in Mexico and worked for a while. Then in February 1987, I started thinking again about going to the United States. I decided to go visit my sister who was in Los Angeles. I left on February 14th on a bus for Hermosillo. From there I went to Piedras Negras and then across the border to Arizona. We crossed the border on March 3rd through a desert.

-169-

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