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a very powerful book about man's inhumanity to man
on 19 December 2013
The Beast is a train that Central America would-be illegal migrants to the US often ride on their journey - 6 hours minimum at a stretch on the top of cars and often in freezing temperatures so that it's easy to fall asleep, lose concentration, fall off and be dragged under to death or lose a limb or part of one. And you can also be robbed by people moving along from one carriage to the next with arms of various kinds...
It's one chapter in this book long collection of journalism about illegal migrants passing through Mexico with a view to crossing illegally into the North. We get a sense of why people do this - e.g because they are fleeing gang violence and will die anyway if they remain back home, of just what the hardships are on the journey (you can't report any crime/hang around for any trial and so are fair game for exploitation of any kind by the local, by bandits, narcos, police etc - you can be kidnapped and ransom extorted from relatives, killed, raped, robbed at any point) and of the increased difficulties of crossing - whether the Rio Grande or various parts of the wall (normally into the desert with long hard walks ahead, going through the same channels as narcos who will extort a tax, and with the risk of being picked up on the other side and deported back to your country of origin).
This is a very powerful book about man's inhumanity to man. The first couple of chapters in particular pack a very powerful punch. I would strongly recommend this to others.