By Oscar Martinez, Daniela Maria Ugaz, John Washington, Francisco Goldman
Someday many years ago, 300 migrants have been abducted between the distant barren region cities of Altar, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. an area priest got 120 published, many with damaged ankles and different marks of abuse, however the rest vanished. Óscar Martínez, a young writer from El Salvador, used to be in Altar soon after the kidnapping, and his account of the migrant disappearances is only one of the harrowing tales he garnered from years spent touring up and down the migrant path from Central America and around the US border. More than 1 / 4 of one million Central Americans make this increasingly dangerous trip every year, and each year as many as 20,000 of them are
Martínez writes in powerful, unforgettable prose approximately clinging to the tops of freight trains; discovering respite, work and complication in shelters and brothels; and driving shotgun with the
border patrol. Illustrated with stunning full-color photos, The Beast is the first publication to make clear the tough new reality of the migrant path within the age of the narcotraficantes.
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Extra info for The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail
Evaporate. It’d be as if nothing had ever happened. Pitbull turns to look over his shoulder at a couple of migrant women leaving the shelter. ” he yells. Fleeing, it seems, isn’t always a somber procession. At least not for Pitbull. He takes a drag of his cigarette, then sinks back, lying down beside the rails and propping his head on a rock. He looks up at the sky and takes another drag. His posture makes him look like he could be a patient talking to a shrink. After he saw that body fall, Pitbull got out of Chalchuapa for a while.
But they still stick out enough to almost glow: three young men with loose pants and tennis shoes on a bus entirely full of indigenous folks. And they’re not just migrating, remember, they’re fleeing. You can tell. They’re the ones with the light sleep. The ones who peek out the windows when the bus comes to a stop. It doesn’t matter if the bus stops for someone to pee, or to pick up passengers, the boys get nervous every time. In Oaxaca, they part ways; the brothers travel on, first by bus. They keep in touch, texting by cell phone.
Auner is the quiet one. A humid heat wraps around us, so thick I feel I could push it away. The brothers are talking about the next step in their escape. There’s a decision that needs to be made: stay on the train like stowaways, or take the buses through indigenous mountain towns with the hope that they can avoid checkpoints. A journey through the mountains would take them through the thick green Oaxaca jungle, well off the migrant train trails. But it’s a route studded with checkpoints and migration authorities, and usually only taken with the help of a guide, or coyote.