Crossroads of Death



The crossroads in this story wind through the desolate landscapes of the Sonoran Desert where the Mexico/U.S. border becomes at once an intensely violent inscription and almost an afterthought. Sometimes this border seems meaningless, part of our deterritorialized global “reality.” Sometimes the consequences are monumental, the difference between life and death. The official crossroads, represented by lines on the maps, have become impossible for some—for those whose names are destined for little white crosses, those who carry their dreams and lives on their backs, those who do not get cited in our academic journals. Those who are not us. I can still cross with relative ease. So can you. For an afternoon of shopping, cheap drink, trinkets, and souvenirs. Yes, it is different for us. For others, another story most of us will never read. They cannot cross where we can cross. But, there are many other ways, though infinitely more deadly. The deadliness of these other crossing points gives rise to this story and to the struggles I have in telling it in the way I think it should be told, with words worthy of the human beings who live it and those who die in it. Of course, I cannot claim that this story, which is ultimately my story, is the one others would tell were we to listen. I cannot pretend to know what their stories would be. For there are other unauthorized crossroads that snake through risky territory and these, too, must be considered.


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© Elizabeth Dauphinee and Cristina Masters 2007

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