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Press Releases

Friday, September 28, 2007

WWII Internment of Japanese Latin Americans is next 'Mind Shrapnel' Topic

SALISBURY, MD---During World War II, the United States government orchestrated and financed the deportation of nearly 2,300 Latin Americans of Japanese descent to internment camps in the United States.

While 13 Latin American countries collaborated with the U.S. government in the deportation program, Peru was its most active supporter, boarding 10 percent of its Japanese-descent community onto military ships bound for U.S. internment camps.

Dr. Stephanie Moore of Salisbury University’s Modern Languages Department discusses this little-known chapter of Latin American and U.S. history during her talk “World War II Internment of Japanese Latin Americans,” the next installment of the Bellavance Honors Program’s “Mind Shrapnel ’n’ Cookies” Lecture Series. Looking at the role of racism, war hysteria, and geopolitical maneuvering, the program is 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 16, in the Bellavance Honors Center at 1122 Camden Ave.

Once in the United States, numerous Japanese Latin Americans were traded for United States citizens trapped in the Far East. At the war's end, the U.S. government informed Japanese Latin Americans that they were in the United States illegally—despite the fact they had been brought against their will—and therefore faced deportation to Japan, to which many acquiesced. Only a minority were able to return to their Latin American homes, even though many were citizens of those countries.

A faculty-led discussion follows the talk. Admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-677-5070 or visit the SU Web site at

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