Words in the wind from Mexico

24 Jun 2018
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Migrants and refugees fleeing danger in Central America are trapped and exposed to more violence in Mexico due to ever tighter and more callous US border control policies. And Mexico is effectively becoming a final destination for thousands of vulnerable refugees and migrants, left exposed to further violence by criminal gangs who prey on them.

Photos: Juan Carlos Tomasi/MSF


Alexi, 42 years old.

“I have two grown children, I got married out of obligation, although I did love my wife. I was physically abused by my family in Honduras. My uncles tortured me when they found out I am homosexual. I still have physical and psychological scars. I just want to live freely in a safe country.”


Andy, 29 years old, wife and two children in Honduras.

“I’ve been trying to enter the US for eight years. I walked from Laredo through the desert for three days, with no water or food. I hope to be reunited with my family and find a job in Mexico. I don’t want to be deported again. They treat us like human waste.”


Santiago. 43 years old.

“In my country, Honduras, right now there is a lot of violence on the streets by gangs, but also by the government, which is against the people. There is no work, you can’t go out or go shopping, or do anything. There is too much violence.”
Studies show that 25% of people in HIV care will interrupt their treatment at some point, for some reason, for a few days to several months.


Eugenia. 23 years old.

“I’m from Honduras and I have a son and daughter. I’m going North, I want to be something else in life. I’m using a contraceptive method that is effective for three months. In Mexico, things happen to women. It’s a little scary, but I’m going with a group of compatriots.”


David, 61 years old. A farmer all his life.

“The gangs have made it impossible to continue growing my coffee. I have been robbed two years in a row. I’ve reached this age, being careful not to hurt anyone and I’m not going to start now, even though I had a gun at home, in Honduras. I better move away. I hope to stay in Mexico and start a small business.”


Magda, 26 years old.

“I ran away from my husband, who beat and raped me and that’s why he went to jail. But I was getting threats against me and my children from prison. That’s why I left. I earned my living in Honduras, I sold sweets. He was suddenly released from jail. Even the lawyers there advised me to flee.”


César, 22 years old.

“I’ve been traveling since I was 16 years old. We are eight brothers and my mother, who cleans houses. That’s why I’m in a hurry to get somewhere, anywhere, and be able to work and make money to buy a house for her. I can read a bit, add and subtract. Multiply, not anymore. I studied for three years.


Anonymous, 31 year old.

A group of four young men. We were walking, we saw two riders on a motorbike, that was in the morning. We didn’t see them again. We walked all day and we went to a church to sleep. The ones on the motorbike arrived. They had machetes and a gun. They beat us with the flat machete, on the back, on the legs, on the head; that’s why my buddy’s cut is now being sewn up. They threw our shoes, they took our money and threatened us, “you won’t tell anyone”.