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Mexico’s Immigrant Oasis: Last Stop Before the Border

The town of Altar, Sonora, is the last stop for thousands of migrants who plan to illegally cross the border that separates Mexico and the United States in search of a better life. Here, the economy revolves around migration. Along its streets we can find everything from special slippers to avoid detection by motion sensors installed in the Arizona desert, camouflage clothing to avoid being spotted by Border Patrol agents, backpacks, gloves, and even contraceptives for the women — as it is estimated that 80 percent of them will be raped during their journey.

We wanted to know how difficult this crossing is for the migrants. It involves walking across the desert for days on end, abuse at the hands of human traffickers, and being hunted by Border Patrol agents. VICE news visited the Sasabe desert, between Sonora and Arizona, which registers temperatures of up to 120 degrees during the day and drops below 30 degrees at night. In this hellhole, the migrants may run into Father Prisciliano Peraza, a cowboy who apart from delivering mass, also travels through the desert in his pickup truck, dropping off supplies to those attempting to cross the border — to help them avoid meeting their death during the attempt.

Post Series: Mexico
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