The Other Side of the American Dream – Powerful Portraits Show the Abuse of Migrants Passing Through Mexico

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Gonzalo, 22 years old.

His family in Honduras hope he will make the trip to the U.S , here you can see him holding a message to his wife and 9 months old daughter ” Lorena, Rafaela, I miss you a lot. Back soon”

portraits of migrants abuse

Al Otro Lado Del Sueno, or The Other Side of the American Dream is a hard project to stomech, photographer Nicola ” Okin” Frioli captures the heartbreak and devastation of migrants families and individuals that are seeking security and stability in the United States. In hopes of escaping the gang violence of places like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala or Nicaragua a huge number of men, women and children pass through Mexico.

Many are subject to violent beatings, sexual abuse, kidnapping and murder while going through the treacherous passage, Frioli began his project in 2008 while visiting the Shelter Jesus Buen Pastor in Tapachula, Chiapas.  a Mexico Catholic shelter offering aid and medical care to injured migrants. In his amazing images, the injured stand alone, confronting the fact that their bodies are irrevocably altered. Under Frioli  spotlight, they look wounded but resilient, as their wounds turn to scars, their personal possessions remain alone against blackness, becoming a reminder of a shared humanity that transcends all borders. Here are some of the stories:

 

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Mariana, 29 years old from Honduras

She was assaulted while crossing as an undocumented person through Mexico. she waited 15 days in the hospital to receive an operation and the last doctor that saw her only requested a new splint and a call to immigration

portraits of migrants abuse

Teofilo Santos Rivera, 42 years old from Panama

The victim of a mass gang assault, in January 201 the doctors only gave him 40 days to live. Teofilo only wishes to reach the US to see his children and grandchildren and say goodbye

portraits of migrants abuse

A wheelchair adapted from a plastic garden seat.Donated by the International Organization – free wheelchair mission

portraits of migrants abuse

Salvador Santo backpack

he wrote the phone number of a relative in Honduras on the inside to prevent gangs from finding it and abduct him for ransom

portraits of migrants abuse

Wendy and her three children escaped Honduras after an attempted murder by her husband which is a member of the Mara Salvatrucha

portraits of migrants abuse

Armando from El Salvador

while trying to get to the U.S he was deported in Baja California while riding a cargo train from Mexico. when he tried again to reach the U.S he fell from a train and his arm was amputated. Now he awaits the document certifying him as a refugee

portraits of migrants abuse

This water bottle is owned by Benjamin Cavarrie from El Salvador, the loop is for carrying water while traveling on the roof of a train

portraits of migrants abuse

Anonymous with a cardboard message ” I have worked with drug traffickers ( in Honduras) to support my family until I fled for the safety of my children”

portraits of migrants abuse

This hat belonged to the husband of Lydia from Honduras. He died two years ago from brain trauma while trying to board a train to the U.S. it was the only item returned to Lydia when they delivered the body

portraits of migrants abuse

To protect Elsa Santos during her journey, her employer gave her this Rosary

portraits of migrants abuse

Drawing done by a 6 years old girl from Honduras. She only wants to return there with a grandmother

portraits of migrants abuse

” I’m 14 years old and I traveled with my brother. During the trip on top of the beast( train) I was attacked”

portraits of migrants abuse

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Yanifer, 8 years old

Along with her 12 years old sister and another 11 migrants, she was injured in a truck accident while trying to cross the border

portraits of migrants abuse

” I’m 21 from Guatemala while in the U.S my brother Danilo and I were deported and my brother was killed. I lost everything and I keep trying”

portraits of migrants abuse

Brian

Although he and his sister have Canadian passports they traveled with their mother in the same conditions, while in Honduras he was assaulted ” My mother was deported and they returned us to Honduras. I am 15 and do not want to suffer anymore”

portraits of migrants abuse

See more work from this artist on his website: Nicola Okin Frioli

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