These readings look at how the immigrant’s journey north through Mexico to the United States has changed over the past 20 years.
Delfino II describes what a typical coyote’s job looked like taking migrants and immigrants over the border in before 9/11. The desert represented the worst of the danger.
Militarization and surveillance on the U.S. side of the border has been increasing steadily since the 1950s, forcing more people towards the most impassable parts of the desert. The rise of Mexican drug cartels increased the danger exponentially. In the mid to late 2000s, the most dangerous crime group for migrants was the Zetas, defectors from the U.S.-trained Special Forces of the Mexican Army. The Zetas went beyond moving illicit drugs through Mexico, and instead began to kidnap, tax, and otherwise extort money migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States, especially from Central America.
In 2008, the Zetas moved into Guatemala. Martínez describes the results for both the drug trade for the coyotes. At the same time, the deteriorating situation in Central America meant that immigration from that region grew while Mexican immigration was diminishing.
What differences do you see between the experience of immigration in the late 1990s and early 2000s versus the 2010s?
How would you describe the intersections between immigration, the drug trade, and organized crime based on these readings?
Write reading response for this, summary reading. also to leave some space to answer those three question: something that stood out to you and why, something that left you wondering and why, something you’d like us to discuss and why, et
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