The beast Riding the rails and dodging narcos on the migrant trail

Oscar Martínez

Book - 2013

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Subjects
Published
London : Verso 2013.
Edition
English-language edition
Language
English
Spanish
Item Description
"First published as Los migrantes que no importan [copyrighted] Icaria Editorial 2010"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
xvi, 267 pages : color illustrations, map ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781781681329
1781681325
Main Author
Oscar Martínez (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An El Salvadoran investigative journalist for the Latin American gang violence project, El Faro, documents the recent abduction of 300 migrant workers from the border towns between Mexico and Arizona and how their disappearances reflect the increasing dangers facing migrants.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Presents the author's experiences during the two years he traveled the migrant trail from Central America to the United States.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, The Economist and The Financial Times  “Harrowing” true stories from two years of immersion reporting on the migrant trail from Chiapas to Arizona—an “honorable successor to enduring works like George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier” (New York Times)   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 kidnapped. 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.