La Bestia

April 15, 2014

	 Source	based on Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) of the University of Texas at Austin Author: Liesel

One of the overlooked aspects of this country’s problem dealing with illegal aliens is the subset of this population which comes from Central America, often at great risk to life and limb. The treacherous route these migrants take  north relies upon a network of freight trains known as La Bestia, (The Beast), or El tren de la muerte, i.e. the train of death, which is self-explanatory. A fascinating new work by a young Salvadorian writer explores the nature of this perilous journey, which often leaves those who survive it permanently impaired, either physically or psychologically.

A group of these victims-originally from Honduras-is now petitioning the Mexican Senate to allow them to come into the United States without being detained and/or prosecuted. It’s good to see the pervasive violence visited upon Central Americans living in Mexico explored by the same media which routinely airs the grievances, however trivial, of Mexican illegal immigrants. One would hope that this awareness would extend to their reportage about the American side of the debate, re: illegal immigration, which never seems to recognize the humanity with which this country treats people who, after all, have committed a crime. Not that this generosity of spirit is often reciprocated.

Perhaps this is a sign that reporters are attempting to portray a fuller, more accurate picture of illegal immigration to America.

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