|BLOG NEWS THE PROJECT CONTACT ENGLISH ESPAÑOL NEDERLANDS|
THE TRAIN: LA BESTIA 15551 KM / DAY 259 / NOVEMBER 30, 2011 - 06:37 / ARRIAGA, MEXICO
For the undocumented Mexican or Central American migrants moving north, the cargo train from Arriaga, Southern Mexico, is the most convenient way to travel - it`s not only free, but also the most efficient way of avoiding migration checkpoints.
When I arrive in Arriaga, there`s no train in sight. Here and there I see some migrants by the rail tracks, but not much else. There are supposed to be hundreds of them waiting. Where are they? I go visit the main shelter here. Few people are hanging around. The padre tells me that most people are waiting in security houses: basic rooms where coyotes, who take groups of people to the US, house the migrants while they wait for the trains to arrive..
In the evening the train appears at the station and indeed, suddenly there is a lot of movement. It`s kind of creepy, everyone is very silent, afraid of the journey into the unknown. And people are right to be scared: there have been many reports of the train being forced to a halt and people being kidnapped, reports of people falling or jumping off the train while trying to escape from mafias or migration officers. It soon becomes clear that the train won`t leave that night, but the next morning. When it's time, I climb on the roof and tie myself with a rope to a steel bar. People look scared and cold but hopeful. It`s their ride in the hope of a better life.
DAY 363 FINAL DESTINATION