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When human traffickers (“coyotes”) get their hands on children, they are often referred to as “pollos,” the Spanish word for chickens. When local artist Sonya Fe heard the phrase, it affected her so strongly she was motivated to investigate the situation more, and she decided to do something about it.
“I was aware of this nightmare and did small paintings of it,” she said.
As an artist, Fe said she aims to spread awareness through her art. She was offered a wall and went big with the work. She is encouraging artists across the country to take up the call of “Chickens and Children do Not Belong in Cages.”
“The kids [in detention along the border] are lost. They are going to human trafficking,” she said. “This is a horrible state for us to to be in. My mural is showing the emotional depression they are all going through.”
A friend of Fe’s, artist Lalo Garcia, is working on the same theme in California.
“We are trying to have artists in other states get on board with this campaign,” she said. “I’m an angry artist. My paintbrush will be mightier than the sword. Maybe we can get together a fundraiser for the supplies. It’s just two of us now, and eventually it’s going to snowball.”
Fe said she and Garcia are calling on artists to submit their artwork under the umbrella of “Chickens and Children do Not Belong in Cages,” but the work can be of any style or subject as long as it has the phrase on the image somewhere.
“The more murals we paint, the louder the voice for these kids,” she said.
The mural is located on the wall along the railroad tracks off Hoagland Road, behind the house at 2005 Carlisle Drive in Las Cruces. Fe can be found on Facebook or reached at 926-606-8213 for more information.