No Option But North by Kelsey Freeman

No Option But North by Kelsey Freeman

Author:Kelsey Freeman
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: IG Publishing
Published: 2020-05-14T16:00:00+00:00



“THE MORE I TOLD THEM I didn’t have (any money), the more they tortured me,” Abrahám recalled. A Honduran man in his early twenties, he wore a purple-and-white trucker hat on his head and an expression of utter defeat on his face. When he moved through the shelter, his gait was slow and deliberate, his right leg dragging behind. The skin above his eye stretched unnaturally over his facial bones, and the remains of a wound arched up from the edge of his mouth, only slightly obscured by a short beard.

Less than a month before our conversation, Abrahám had endured three days of terror after being kidnapped en route to the United States. He’d left Honduras in December, crossed through Guatemala, and made it as far north as Veracruz. He was on top of la bestia when all hell broke loose. “They threw me off,” he recollected, referring to members of the drug cartel, the Zetas. “And when they threw me off, more were waiting below, with bats and rocks and guns. And they said to me, ‘You Honduran son of a …’” His voice trailed off. “And then the first thing they did was tie me up here and here.” Abrahám motioned to his neck and arms. “Why the arms? Because the arms are your only defense.”

The men then took Abrahám to an abandoned house, where he spent three days in a dark room. His kidnappers occasionally gave him water or shoved a cookie in his mouth. Eventually, they began to demand money. Abrahám had nothing on him and refused to provide information about his family in the US. “I have family there, but I told them I didn’t,” Abrahám said, adding that even if his family had sent money, there was no way of knowing if the kidnappers would have released him. “So I told them I didn’t have anything and they began to beat me.” The men smashed his face with their pistols and kicked at his belly like a soccer ball. But the most visceral pain came from a splinter of wood imbedded in his right thigh. When Abrahám was pushed off the train, he had fallen with such force that a stick pierced his quadricep. “They didn’t take it out. It was in my leg for three days, and they used it to torture me.” He described how his kidnappers would twist the stick or move it back and forth like a saw ripping apart the flesh from inside.

The hours and days became a blur of beatings and intense agony, and Abrahám began to doubt that he would get out alive. However, on the third day, he heard one of his kidnappers say, “This one is a waste of time.” Just like that, he was set free. Bruised and battered, the stick still embedded in his leg, Abrahám walked for two hours until he arrived at a house. “The first house I came to helped me, but I didn’t let them take out the stick because it hurt,” he said mater-of-fact.


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