Remembering Edgar Chocoy
Play serves as a reminder of the sometimes fatal flaws in the U.S. immigration
By Greg Campbell
1:05 a.m. MT Mar 27, 2008
Four years ago this Thursday, a 16-year-old boy was gunned down in the streets of Villanueva, Guatemala, by members of a notoriously violent gang from which he tried heroically to free himself. The regularity with which such murders occurred in places like Villanueva made the death of Edgar Chocoy at the tattooed hands of Mara Salvatrucha wholly unremarkable. But the circumstances of his being on the streets in the first place made those gunshots echo around the world.
They will be heard in Fort Collins as a play based on Edgar’s struggle to save his own life comes to the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University. It’s a documentary look at how a troubled boy who was trying desperately to change his life was sentenced to death by a flawed U.S. immigration system.
Chocoy’s story begins and ends in the slums of Guatemala, but his fate was sealed in a Denver courtroom. His Fort Collins lawyer, who hasn’t yet seen the play, said knowing his story will be told on stage brings back a flood of emotions, including anger and sadness. But there’s also hope and opportunity.
“There was a lesson to learn in Edgar’s death and we haven’t learned it,” said immigration attorney Kim Baker Medina. “I’m very glad that they did the play because we shouldn’t forget about Edgar Chocoy as a person and for what he represents. The system failed him terribly, and we need to learn about why that happened and we need to work to see that it doesn’t continue to happen.”
READ MORE OF THIS ARTICLE
STORY IN THE DENVER POST
ORIGINAL STORY FROM 2004
Du Novo, Part 1: Lil’ Silent will be performed in
Date: Monday, March 31
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lory Student Center as part of CSU’s week-long celebration of Cesar Chavez.
Spanish translation will be available on a limited basis.
A second performance will be held:
Date: Wednesday, April 2
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: the University of Colorado Law School in the Wolf Law Building’s Wittemyer Courtroom.