Baltimore’s Latino/Latine community rallies to support those affected by Key Bridge disaster

Baltimore’s Latino/Latine community rallies to support those affected by Key Bridge disaster
3 apr 2024 · 1 h 5 min. 6 sec.

When the iconic Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed around 1:30am on Tuesday, March 26, eight men who were working on the bridge at the time were plunged into...

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When the iconic Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed around 1:30am on Tuesday, March 26, eight men who were working on the bridge at the time were plunged into the cold waters of the Patapsco River. Two of those men were recovered alive, six were not. As TRNN previously reported, all existing evidence points to the fact that these workers—who were working for a non-union contractor, Brawner Builders, filling potholes on the bridge—did not receive any warning from emergency dispatch that the shipping vessel Dali was about to plow into the bridge. 

As Baltimore reels from the shock of the bridge collapse, as investigations begin into the root causes of the accident, and as we begin to take stock of the seismic economic and potential environmental impacts that this catastrophic accident will have, the families of the six workers who died are mourning an incalculable loss. As Clara Longo de Frietas writes at The Baltimore Banner, “All of the men confirmed or presumed to be dead had emigrated from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador or Mexico. They were Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35; Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26; Miguel Luna, 49; Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, 38; Jose Mynor Lopez, 35; and one as-yet-unnamed man… All of them came to Baltimore for a better life.” 

Amidst this tragedy, volunteers, community organizers, immigrant and Latino/Latine justice organizations, businesses, and more have responded with tireless efforts to support the families of the deceased workers, and to provide support for Baltimore’s Latino/Latine and immigrant communities in general. In this special bilingual podcast, recorded in Spanish and English at El Taquito Mexicano restaurant in Fells Point, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez sits down with a panel of community and immigrant justice organizers and members of Baltimore’s Latino/Latine community to discuss those efforts, what we know about the men who were working on that bridge, and what this tragedy tells us about the plight of immigrant workers in Baltimore and around the US. Panelists include: Ricardo Ortiz, vice president of the Centro de Apoyo Para la Superación del Inmigrante (CAPSI); Susana Barrios, vice president of the Latino Racial Justice Circle; Carlos Crespo, who volunteers at CAPSI; Lucia Islas, president of Comité Latino de Baltimore; Norma Martinez, a high-school student in Baltimore, born in Honduras (and Max’s foster daughter); Claudia, co-owner of El Taquito Mexicano; Victor, co-owner of El Taquito Mexicano

Baltimore Immigrant Community Fund Key Bridge Emergency Response

Studio Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Alina Nehlich

Read a transcript of this podcast here

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