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Near a small rail side town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, Enrique hobbles up towards a field hand. He is severely beaten, and dressed only in his underwear. The field hand gives him clothes and water, while women from the town give him money. A mayor from a neighboring town arrives in a pickup truck, and takes Enrique to a local hospital. Though the task irks him, the mayor knows it costs more to bury a dead migrant than to pay the $60 county fee to have him treated by a doctor. The mayor has already buried eight migrants in the last eighteen months.
Enrique agrees to go to the hospital, but recoils when he sees the mayor’s driver, whom he recognizes as someone who robbed him the day before. Nazario explains that the Mexican judicial police routinely stop trains in order to rob and beat migrants. Corrupt police have even been known to kidnap migrants, and hold them for ransom from family in the United States.
Nazario rewinds her narrative to explain how Enrique ended up here. Enrique has now made six attempts to cross through Mexico towards the United States. His first attempt was explained in the previous section - he and his friend Jóse were apprehended by la migra (Mexican immigration authorities) after thirty-one days of travel and then deported on what they call the El Bus de Lágrimos (Bus of Tears). Over 100,000 migrants ride this bus annually when being returned to the border with Guatemala.
On his second attempt, Enrique was caught on the trains and deported. His third attempt was ceded after only two days in Mexico. On his fourth attempt, he was caught sleeping on top of a mausoleum in a graveyard.
His fifth attempt was also short lived - he was caught only a week into his journey. His sixth was almost successful. Enrique traveled 1,564 miles to reach the Rio Grande, which marks the border between Mexico and the U.S. He was eating alone next to the railroad tracks when la migra found him and sent him to a Mexican detention center called El Corralón.
Each time he is deported, Enrique knows he must quickly reenter Mexico to avoid the dangers of the lawless Guatemalan border towns. Enrique prefers to cross the river in El Carmen, which he does on his seventh attempt. He reaches the trains and begins to ride, but is soon attacked by six men at night. They rob him of his clothes and money, and savagely beat him.
One of the men strangles him with the sleeve of a jacket, while another beats him with a club. As he is being accosted, Enrique sees the slip of paper with his mother’s number flutter away. When the man strangling him slips, Enrique stands quickly and flees them, jumping from the top of the train to a lower level, and then off the train altogether. He crawls to the safety of a mango tree, where he sleeps for twelve hours.
Enrique is taken to a medical facility, where his injuries are treated. His left eye lid is damaged and may never recover. His back is bruised, and there are several lesions on his right leg. Three teeth are broken, and he has an open wound on his head. The doctor tells Enrique that he is lucky. Every month, ten migrants fall from the train or are beaten by gangsters and are then treated at this facility. Other migrants are mutilated by the train, losing their limbs in the process.
Enrique leaves the hospital after one day of care. As he hobbles down the street, headed back to the trains, men and women give him pesos out of pity. Enrique flags down a car and asks for a ride, but the driver proves to be an immigration officer and Enrique soon finds himself on the bus back to Guatemala. Although he has failed again, Enrique remains determined to reach the United States.
Back in Honduras, María Isabel waits for Enrique to return. She blames herself for his departure and grows thin and ill, wondering whether she is really pregnant. María Isabel quits her job and decides to also brave the journey north with a friend, in search of Enrique