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1,200 words

Into the Beautiful North: In search of the Magnificent Seven by David Morales

After an epic journey to El Norte in order to save the small Mexican village of Tres Camarones by bringing back the men that had left to help defend the town from narcos, our heroine Nayeli finally takes a much deserved break from her journey to "Los Yunaites" and heads to the Taqueria e Internet: "La Mano Caida" owned by her good friend Tacho.

"Hey Nayeli, what'll it be today?" asked the spiked-hair Tacho, who now had his three foot-long spikes painted in red, white, and blue after returning from his trip to the United States with Nayeli.

"Lemme have your famous fried-oyster tortas. I really missed them after eating nothing but Yack-in-the-Bos for the past few weeks."

/ In search of the seven / 2

Nayeli made her way to the computer which was the Sinaloan city of Tres Camarones only e-connection to the outside world. To find out what was going on with her brothers and sisters up north, she logged into her favorite website that contained news about her neighbors to the north of Tres Camarones: Los Tres Sonorans. Nayeli read a story that troubled her and that would be the beginning of a new adventure.

Tacho brings out the plate to Nayeli and she has tears running down her face.

"Que pasa Nayeli?"

"Here Tacho, watch this video."

Tacho sat down and watched the video featuring mostly young women who were trying as hard as they could not to cry as they recounted what happened to them.

"Right in front of us... the authorities came in and took them away..."

/ In search of the seven / 3

"We have to help them!" proclaimed Nayeli, wiping tears from her eyes.

Tacho knew there was no way out of it. "OK, but this may be even more difficult than defeating the narcos."

The following morning Nayeli and Tacho took off and headed north to the Sonoran Desert town of Santa Costa. Just recently, the north Mexican state passed a slate of laws aimed at attacking the indigenous populations that still resided in the area and who refused to assimilate into Mexican culture. It began with an attempt to ban their language and imposing Spanish-only laws. Then they started racially-profiling the Mexican Indians, making sure everyone had their papers in order with no ties to indigenous peoples. The Yaquis and Opatas in the area were still a problem for the government who was trying to take river water away from them. Ironically, the state still used native place names and college students would take extra language classes, while the language classes were denied for those in secondary schools. Of course, only the richer folks could go to college, so this language ban unfairly targeted the poorer and darker Mexicans.

/ In search of the seven / 4

Even after flooding the state with modernism and consumerism via NAFTA, with capitalistic strip malls and cellphones and Mal-Warts, the attempt to break the spirit of the indigenous Mexicans was still not complete. While many fell into despair, feeling as immigrants to the urban centers who were "less-than," there was a growing core that instead of shunning their identity, where embracing it. "Somos indios." These anti-Mexican students began challenging aspects of Mexican society and government while embracing ties to groups such as the Aztecs, Toltecs, Zapatecs, Yaquis, etc. Some in their groups would shun the consumeristic society Mexico provided for them and instead focused on "Tierra y Libertad" and began retaking their land, planting ancient maize seeds in the soil that had been taken from their ancestors. The Santa Costa school district was not having it and came up with an indoctrination plan straight out of 1930's Germany. The leader of the Santa Costa district was a man by the name of Pendejon. "We cannot un-teach these literate brown kids from being able to read like my fellow Hicks, but we can govern what they read," declared Pendejon.

/ In search of the seven / 5

"From this day forward, there will be 7 books that will banned from our district, and I want my censorship monitors to take these books out of the classrooms tomorrow morning, during the class with all the brown kids in it. Let them see with their own eyes that we mean business."

The following morning, while the students were in class and reading, Pendejon's Posse went into their classroom with boxes and made their teacher start packing up even her own private books. Tears filled her eyes, which was the intention. Make it hurt. These books that changed lives, that these humans love so much, take it from them! The students started crying. First of all this intrusion was uncalled for, since this was a school and these books were used in colleges. But just like their native language, these cranial privileges of language and literature are only for the elites. The teacher put the last book into the box which was labeled "banned books." The district censors then abruptly left the room after issuing a warning; they would be monitoring every class for the rest of the year and if the teacher dared to use any of these books, she would be fired on the spot.

/ In search of the seven / 6

After arriving in Santa Costa, Nayeli and Tacho easily found the students since it was all over the news. They were able to organize a meeting with the group of students and teachers. While the students and teachers recounted the history of the conflict, Nayeli started to have a vision. She thought back to Tres Camarones and being in the Pedro Infante theater when everyone was gathered and watching the Magnificent Seven. That was when she had her original vision; to go up north and to bring back seven men that had left Mexico so they could save their village from the drug cartels.

"Tacho, it is time for the sequel to our story to begin. We must go to where these books were taken from the draconian Mexican government."

"We must free the Magnificent Seven!"

Tacho responded "how are we going to do that? You know how anti-brown people the Mexican government is right now, and we indians are the minority here."

/ In search of the seven / 7

Nayeli thought for a moment.

"I got it! I remember reading in Los Tres Sonorans about a similar situation that happened in Tucson. It was even worse there, they hated even the Mexicans and not just the indigenous. They even got vendido Mexicanos to start closing down schools and banning books." "But the community was victorious in the end." "Come Tacho, let us return to Los Yunaites and see if they can help us. They are our only hope or before you know it this censorship will be out of control. Heck they might even start teaching creationism in Mexican schools!"

"That's a scary thought!" said Tacho. "Alright, you've convinced me Nayeli. But instead of having to go to Tijuana this time, I know a section of border that has no fence outside of Tucson. It also belongs to an American Indian Reservation. Surely the good Americans will not hassle us brown folks on sovereign native land."

"Great idea, Tacho!"

They left first thing in the morning...