Hidden History – Justice Denied
During World War II, the U.S. government imprisoned over 140,000 “enemy aliens” and U.S. citizens in over 60 detention camps and facilities in the United States. Crystal City Internment Camp was the largest multi-national immigrant family concentration camp, run by the U.S. Department of Justice, for “potentially dangerous” children, women, and men of Japanese, German, and Italian descent — both immigrant residents and citizens of the U.S. and from Latin American countries Barbed wire and guard towers surrounded all.
At its peak, Crystal City held more than 2,300 prisoners of Japanese ancestry. Many of these prisoners were seized at gunpoint in Peru or other Latin American nations under the direction of the U.S. government, transported to the U.S. where they were declared “illegal aliens,” and imprisoned without due process. Later many of their families were also brought under armed guard to Crystal City where they were reunited for the purpose of hostage exchange for U.S. citizens held in the Far East war zones by Japan. The camp closed in 1948, long after the end of World War II.
Despite the passage of seven decades, the U.S. government has yet to properly acknowledge and redress the severe human rights violations under the WWII Latin American rendition program. Surviving Japanese Latin American internees and their families continue to educate about this “Hidden History–Justice Denied,” demanding full disclosure, proper apology and redress.
Survivors and descendants of this internment camp, and their friends and families, will be making a historic pilgrimage to Crystal City, Texas on October 31 – November 3, 2019.