#FridayReads: The Beast by Oscar Martinez

One day a couple of years ago, 300 migrants were kidnapped between the remote, dusty border towns of Altar, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. Over half of them were never heard from again. Óscar Martínez, a young writer from El Salvador, was in Altar at the time of the abduction, and his story of the migrant disappearances is only one of the harrowing stories he tells after spending two years traveling up and down the migrant trail from Central America to the US border in The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail


More than a quarter of a million Central Americans alone make this increasingly dangerous journey each year, and last year 18,000 of them were kidnapped.


Martínez writes in beautiful, lyrical prose about clinging to the tops of freight trains; finding respite, work and hardship in shelters and brothels; and riding shotgun with the border patrol. Here is the first book to illuminate this harsh mass migration in the age of the narcotraficantes.

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