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The Beast : Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail
by Oscar Martinez and Daniela Maria Ugaz and John Washington and Francisco Goldman


Overview - One day a few years ago, 300 migrants were kidnapped betweenthe remote desert towns of Altar, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. A local priest got120 released, many with broken anklesand other marks of abuse, but the restvanished. Oscar Martinez, a youngwriter from El Salvador, was in Altarsoon after the abduction, and his accountof the migrant disappearances is onlyone of the harrowing stories he garneredfrom two years spent traveling up anddown the migrant trail from CentralAmerica and across the US border.  Read more...

 
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More About The Beast by Oscar Martinez; Daniela Maria Ugaz; John Washington; Francisco Goldman
 
 
 
Overview
One day a few years ago, 300 migrants were kidnapped betweenthe remote desert towns of Altar, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. A local priest got120 released, many with broken anklesand other marks of abuse, but the restvanished. Oscar Martinez, a youngwriter from El Salvador, was in Altarsoon after the abduction, and his accountof the migrant disappearances is onlyone of the harrowing stories he garneredfrom two years spent traveling up anddown the migrant trail from CentralAmerica and across the US border. Morethan a quarter of a million CentralAmericans make this increasinglydangerous journey each year, and eachyear as many as 20,000 of them arekidnapped.
Martinez writes in powerful, unforgettable prose about clinging tothe tops of freight trains; finding respite, work and hardship in shelters andbrothels; and riding shotgun with theborder patrol. Illustrated with stunningfull-color photographs, "The Beast "is thefirst book to shed light on the harsh newreality of the migrant trail in the age ofthe "narcotraficantes.""

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781781681329
  • ISBN-10: 1781681325
  • Publisher: Verso
  • Publish Date: October 2013
  • Page Count: 267


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Emigration & Immigration
Books > Social Science > Violence in Society

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-09-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

This searing account of the hardships suffered by Central American migrants headed through Mexico to the United States comes from true shoe-leather reporting. In 2007 and 2008, Salvadoran journalist Martinez criss-crossed the most dangerous parts of Mexico to capture stories of Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans traversing what's increasingly become a criminal narco-state. Robbery, kidnapping, rape, and assault are "the inevitable tolls of the road" imposed by cartels that have branched out into human trafficking and extortion. Martinez observes that today, human trafficking and prostitution isn't "…a scar-faced man tending a cage of women. It's a complex system of everyday lies and coercions that happen just behind our backs." A journey marred by armed assaults and fatal accidents on "The Beast" (a freight train running north through the state of Oaxaca) is a trip "soaked with blood." This straightforward translation, first published in Spanish in 2010, doesn't flinch at migrants' plight, and as the drug wars further rend Mexico asunder, it's hard to imagine the situation changing. (Oct.)

 
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