Book Tells of 'The Migrants Who Don't Matter'

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on September 24, 2010

A new book about the abuses suffered by Central American migrants passing through Mexico reports that one man visits a Western Union office in the state of Veracruz up to 35 times a day to pick up money sent to ransom those kidnapped by local gangs.

"It is clear evidence of the failure of the authorities to stop the abuses," said Salvadoran journalist Oscar Martinez, author of "Los Migrantes Que No Importan," or "The Migrants Who Don't Matter." The book is published by the Spanish publishing house Icaria.

The book reports that many Mexican officials are involved in the lucrative kidnapping trade.

Said photographer Edu Ponces, whose photographs are published in the book: "One migrant told me that after traveling 230 kilometers from the Guatemalan border he had been assaulted by five different Mexican authorities, (including agents from) the National Migration Institute, the local police and the Army."

In his introduction to the book, renowned Mexican journalist Julio Scherer calls it a story of "barbarism."