Friday, 7 November 2014

La Bestia

This post took forever to write and add for some reason...

Thanks to Claire Kyndt for the tipoff to this story, which takes a bit of unpicking and has attracted my attention over the last few weeks either side of the summer break and now have had a few minutes to finish if off over half term. This features as part of our Walls unit - coming soon to a 'Teaching Geography' article.

It relates to 'La Bestia', which is the name given to a train service running at the US-Mexican border.
It is notorious for being dangerous but being used as a vehicle by migrants during their efforts to cross the border.
There is a newspaper article in 'The Independent' which sparked my interest as it mentioned a song that had been released by the US Border authorities to try to dissuade migrants from attempting the crossing.


Image by Peter Haden, shared on Flickr under Creative Commons license

This requires a bit of analysis, and there are lots of different sources of information that can be viewed, some of which are shocking and may need some mediation.
The song is apparently part of a campaign which aims to change perception of the ease of crossing the border and what happens afterwards.
The Huffington Post had a useful article fleshing out this aspect.

Let's adopt an approach to finding out more about this issue.
A follow up to this is a story of a group of women who have been feeding the people on the train.

What about this video too, which was designed to be shown in El Salvador apparently, and shows the relationship with the coyotes (guides) and pollos (people who pay to be guided)

The El Paso Times has an interview with passengers sharing their experiences.

Update
Time magazine article on Michael's journey is a reminder of the many thousands of people who risk their lives every year to make their way to a new life.
This also connects with recent decisions on the way that migrants attempting to enter via the Mediterranean and Lampedusa may be treated.

More to come on this as the term progresses...

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