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Through a mixture of oral testimony, analysis and personal encounter, the harsh and deadly penalties meted out to those attempting to travel across the Mexican border into the United States are evoked. Many have already suffered extensively at the hands of corrupt police and marauding paramilitary gangs as they travel into Mexico, even before risking their lives to go further north. Devastated economies, in hock to ‘trade’ agreements dictated by the US, render these journeys essential, for migrant remittances now outstrip oil and agriculture in many national economies. Yet failure — and many do fail — can entail robbery, rape, mutilation and murder.

More information


Journal article


Race & Class

Publication Date





28 - 38


Central America, Guatemala, Mexico, migration, remittances, US border, wetbacks