Monday, September 24, 2012
The term "la bestia" or "the beast" refers to the freight trains traveling from Southern Mexico to different cities in Northern Mexico. Many Central American migrants aboard la bestia to avoid traveling the immensity of Mexico by foot. Ultimately, their goal is to come to the U.S. driven by the hope to have a better life.
Those who haven't started their journey hear about the atrocities other migrants encounter on la bestia — by "on la bestia," I mean they, literally, sit on the top part of the freight trains, stand in between the train cars or try to hang below them, hoping to God they don't fall off — but they are so eager to come to the U.S. that they disregard these warnings or they, simply, have no other choice but to disregard them because the only option they see in front of them to escape the extreme poverty in their native countries is to come here and work.
For Central American migrants, crossing the Guatemalan-Mexican border is like entering the gates of hell. They not only have to worry about falling off the train but also defending themselves from Mexican gangs that are like crows, waiting for the best opportunity to come on the trains with machetes and rob the migrants; female migrants add rape to that list of concerns.
Living in Arizona, sometimes, we only hear about the dangers migrants face in the desert. But what about migrants who come from as far as Guatemala and Nicaragua?
La Bestia has been the saddest documentary I've watched so far. It features a bunch of interviews with them, so you will learn about why they decided to leave their native countries and hear about their experience on la bestia.