by Joseph SorrentinoI spent six weeks in Mexico in 2015, investigating the effects of *Plan Frontera Sur*, the Mexican program supposedly designed to keep Central Americans migrating through that country safe. All it really did was stop them — sometimes brutally — from riding *La Bestia*. After five weeks of traveling, interviewing dozens of people in five shelters, and staying in two of them, I was back in my room in Mexico City, badly in need of a break. That ended my first day back when Polo, a Mexican reporter I’d met, called me to tell me that a group of Hondurans, all of whom had lost limbs to *La Bestia* were staying in a shelter and he was heading there. Now. He told me to meet him. That wasn’t the way I expected my break to go but I grabbed my camera and tape recorder and headed out.
La Caravana de los Mutilados consisted of 17 Honduran men who were determined to make it to the U.S. and, while they traveled, to warn others about the dangers of riding La Bestia. The men belonged to the Associación de Migrantes Retornados con Discapacidad (AMIREDIS). All of its members had been severely injured during their journey to the U.S. The majority of the members are men but there are a few women, although none were part of the caravan. Most of the group actually made it to the U.S. where, the last time I had contact with them, they were applying for asylum.
I interviewed several of the men in the shelter and went with them on a trip to the zocalo in Mexico City where they staged a small protest. On the way there, they had to navigate stairs, the Metro (Mexico City’s subway system) and long walks to connecting trains. I was awed and humbled by their gritty determination.- - - - - -
**Joseph Sorrentino is a freelance photojournalist whose work has been published in In These Times, The Santa Fe Reporter, and *Commonweal. *View more of his work at: **http://www.sorrentinophotography.com/index.htm