THE BEAST: RIDING THE RAILS AND DODGING NARCOS ON THE MIGRANT TRAIL -- a harrowing, searing account of the hardships suffered by Central American migrants headed through Mexico to the United States
The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail by Óscar Martinez (2014, Verso; 224 pages)
One day a few years ago, 300 migrants were kidnapped between the remote desert towns of Altar, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. A local priest got 120 released, many with broken ankles and other marks of abuse, but the rest vanished. Óscar Martínez, a young writer from El Salvador, was in Altar soon after the abduction, and his account of the migrant disappearances is only one of the harrowing stories he garnered from two years spent traveling up and down the migrant trail from Central America and across the US border. More than a quarter of a million Central Americans make this increasingly dangerous journey each year, and each year as many as 20,000 of them are
Martínez writes in powerful, unforgettable prose about clinging to the tops of freight trains; finding respite, work and hardship in shelters and brothels; and riding shotgun with the
border patrol. Illustrated with stunning full-color photographs, The Beast is the first book to shed light on the harsh new reality of the migrant trail in the age of the narcotraficantes.
I listened to the author of this book -- a young journalist and writer from El Salvador named Óscar Martinez -- on NPR and I was totally shocked by what he was taking about: his eight journeys on top of the freight trains known as La Bestia. La Bestia is the only way for hundreds of migrants to cross every year from different countries in Central America, across Mexico and up to the U. S. Border.It is not a pleasant journey and it is not pleasant reading in the sense that the reader will have to learn about gang violence, kidnapping, human trafficking, government corruption, rape, and the physical dangers that the protagonists of this treacherous adventure have to confront riding non-stop, for days, on top of a train. The reasons why a growing number of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans are taking this horrible risk is very well known for those who choose to be informed.
Once read, this book will never leave you, and will most likely change your perception about the “immigration” issue.
Find this title in our catalog: The Beast
Recommended by: Maite