Federal Enforcement Actions Recall Authoritarian Crackdowns for Central Americans in U.S.

Lariza Dugan-Cuadra.

Photo courtesy of CARECEN SF.

Lariza Dugan-Cuadra.

Almost two weeks ago, protesters in Portland, Ore., were detained by federal police and taken away in unmarked cars. Five days later, President Trump said that he would send federal agents to a dozen other liberal cities, including Oakland. For some of the Bay Area’s Central American residents, there are parallels between this moment and their own experiences with authoritarian governments in their countries of origin. Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, director at advocacy and social service nonprofit CARECEN SF, spoke to “Civic” about how the Bay Area’s Central American diaspora is reacting.

 “One of the things I always ask myself, like, why doesn’t the American people rise up? And the question for me has always been, is the American people ready for that? And I think that what we’ve seen through these last few months is that yes, at some point something has to give. So we are watchful and we’re also, as Central Americans, trying to draw a parallel.”

— Lariza Dugan-Cuadra

A segment from our radio show, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM in San Francisco.