Two days with 10 men who left Central America in early November to embark on an exhausting journey, made riskier by the Mexican authorities’ crackdown on migrants.
ARRIAGA, Mexico — The police truck appeared suddenly, a glint of metal and glass. The migrants broke into a sprint, tripping over cracked pavement as an older woman sweeping her stoop urged them to hurry.
The 10 men rounded the corner and hid behind a row of low-slung trees. Four days into their journey from Central America, the new reality on Mexico’s southern border was setting in: Under pressure from the United States, the Mexican authorities were cracking down.
Minutes passed. The men fanned out and doubled over to catch their breath. Along the tree line, a man approached, wearing flip-flops and a collared shirt. He told them not to worry — he knew the way north.
Small, with jaundiced eyes, he was practiced in the art of smuggling. He could spot patrols, flag down vehicles for rides, even navigate the hidden trails carved into the lush countryside. They could trust him, he promised. He just wanted to help.
At first, they barely acknowledged him. But the more he talked, the harder he became to ignore. What was the alternative? It came down to going with him or going it alone, back into unfamiliar streets brimming with the Mexican authorities.
It was a migrant’s choice: Weigh the risks of pushing forward against the prospect of going home. The men — six Hondurans and four Guatemalans — reluctantly agreed.
“There are two kinds of stories on this trip,” said one of the men, Rafael Lesveri Pérez, a 38-year-old Guatemalan and three-time veteran of the journey, shouldering his bag as the group prepared to set off with the smuggler. “There are the true ones, and there are lies. Only time tells which is which.”
Pour lire le dossier en entier : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/08/world/americas/mexico-migrants-central-america.html?emc=edit_tnt_20160208&nlid=49063493&tntemail0=y