Two Sons of Removed Spies, Left in U.S., Completely Broke
Juan Lazaro Jr., 17, and his half brother, Waldo Mariscal, 38,ara the sons of Journalist Vicky Pelaez and her husband, Juan Lazaro. Until two weeks ago, the family lived comfortably in Yonkers, MY, which is in Southern Westchester County, about 1/2 hour from Manhattan. Their parents are now in Russia. Vicky Pelaez is planning on leaving Russia for Peru, and ultimately Brazil.
Her son Juan, Jr. , at 17, is building a career as an accomplished pianist. He's got a shot at making it, according to his teachers.He wants to stay in NY and finish.
But, the Government has seized their home in Yonkers and they have no money. They have asked the Red Cross for help.
Lazarro fooled his wife and children. Ms. Pelaez's lawyer heard her ask her husband in court last week, "What was your real name?"Turns out, Lazarro had the whole family fooled. [More...]
This is a classic case of children being made to pay for the misdeeds of the father. It's very unfair to them. If you hear of anyone collecting money on their behalf, let me know, and I'll put a link up asking readers to contribute.
For the skeptical among you, who tend to believe the leaf doesn't fall far from the tree, I remind you of Chesa Boudin, who went on to become a Rhodes Scholar.
Fron the Tribune in 2002:
Chesa Boudin has said of the activities of his four parents, "We have a different name for the war we're fighting now. Now we call it the war on terrorism; then they called it the war on communism. My parents were all dedicated to fighting U.S. imperialism around the world. I'm dedicated to the same thing."
He's made a good start. With a resume that includes organizing with the Institute for Policy Studies; Yale University; a year of study in Chile; work for prison reform in Bolivia, El Salvador and the United States; speaking engagements; and a book in the works, this kid should be on everyone's watch list.
In 2009, he published Gringo: Coming of Age in Latin America.
I first wrote about Chesa in 2002, in "Children of the Left."
In 2003, I wrote Chesa Boudin, Son of Kathy Boudin. I ended it with:
I have to believe that Chesa Boudin's parents are as proud of him as I am of my child--in the end, there is no greater contribution any of us can make as parents than to send our children out into the world to find their own way, and watch as they choose a career of public service, or one dedicated to improving the plight of those less fortunate, be it in medicine, law, politics, education, or any other field. I hope I get the chance to meet Chesa one day.
In 2008, I wrote about Chesa in a piece called "Children of the Incarcerated." Chesa visited his parents in prison for 17 years, since he was a toddler. Of that experience he wrote:
Inmate 83A6158 is my father. Both my biological parents have been serving life sentences since I was 14 months old. After their arrest I was adopted by their friends, my other parents, who already had two children, my brothers. This visit may be my grandmother's last. I remember when she took care of me; now I steady her while we walk.
As we enter the loud, crowded visiting room, I rush my father. Our embrace is restricted by the wide table separating us, but it's great to feel his powerful arms around me. Usually my father is delighted when he sees me but today his eyes are sad. His best friend in prison has died of AIDS. Although prison deaths are common, this untimely news casts a pall.
Juan Lazaro Jr., has just lost the only family he has ever known. He is an American. His life has gone topsy-turvey all in two weeks. He has a chance to excel as a pianist. What a shame if money prevents him from following his dream. Again, if you run across any sites collecting scholarship and living money for him, let us know.
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