Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail (2012) Oscar Martinez Jr

Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant TrailGripping series of reports from a very brave Salvdoran journalist who travels with Central American migrants across Mexico to the US Border several times. The dangers, the hardship, uncertainty, and complete lack of ability to rely on any law or security in their home villages, across Mexico, across the border, across the desert, to hopeful reunion with family and hard work for wages to send back. One thing he learns is that all of these many tens of thousands of people on the move at any time are very aware they are in a life/death situation. Two or three of the chapters describe his experience with migrants traveling by “Beast.” These are trains from southern mexico that migrants ride on top of very many hours over many days getting north. Falling off is common. Falling prey to kidnap by drug gang outlaws is even more common. Rape equally common. Frighteningly grim tales are related. Cell phones had better not be found on a traveler by the outlaw (many of whom are Los Zetas) since this will key the assailants right in to a list of people to call for ransom. Recent film with Gael Garcia Bernal ___Who is Dayani Cristal?__ produced as a hybrid docudrama vividly portrays much of this. The writing is not great.. but it will stand as enduring testimony from a courageous source.

 

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