La Frontera

La Frontera, by Sam HawkenThe question of Central American migration across the border of the United States is one of the most pressing of our time.  As children are ripped from their parents, as National Guardsmen threaten to shoot innocent people for daring to approach the Rio Grande, as politicians compare human beings to vermin, it’s never been more important to understand the forces at work.  La Frontera makes that connection.

Telling three intertwined stories, La Frontera covers the migration issue from the perspectives of every party involved.  Ana Torres is a Texas Ranger working in a tiny outpost along the border, whose experience with immigrants has stained her soul.  When she discovers a rape tree, evidence of coyotes systematically assaulting the women and girls they bring across, she also finds the body of a murdered immigrant.  What follows is an investigation which lays bare the true cost of border enforcement.

Marisol Herrera has been saving money for her entire life to escape the poverty and violence of El Salvador.  Staying is impossible, and the odds against her successful migration are also long.  Traveling alone, one woman in countries not her own, dealing with the laws of every entity in her path, Marisol will risk everything for the chance to find something better at the end of her journey.

Luis González was once a coyote, a guide across the border for those who could afford his services, but as the drug cartels expanded their business to include human trafficking, Luis got out and sought a quieter existence running a store selling supplies to those who make the crossing.  He has a pack of formerly stray dogs at home for whom he cares like children, and he has a burgeoning love for a dental assistant who lives in town.  He doesn’t want to go back to the life he had before, but circumstances might just require that, with a heavy price to be paid.


“Hawken’s words will keep you hooked until the very last sentence.” — New York Journal of Books


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