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Friday, March 5, 2010

Review: Dead In Their Tracks

Since 1540 attempting to traverse El Camino del Diablo, crossing the 4,100 square mile no-man's land, the borderlands in the Southwest corner of Arizona, stretching from Gila Bend to Yuma has proved to be a daunting task. This trail has proved to be one of the deadliest for illegal immigrants crossing over from Mexico to the 'promised land'.

So why then do these fearless young Mexican's take on the heat of Arizona's summers, attempting to cross the numerous desert basins and rugged mountain ranges, often without sufficient supplies of food or water? Annerino has been drawn to the outback of Arizona since a young man and joined up with a group of four migrants to document their trip as they saunter out in the rippling desert's mirages in an effort to find jobs in America in order to provide a better life for the young families they leave behind. They come in search of the jobs that most American's abhor - picking lettuce or watermelon in fields, working twelve-hour days to earn a few dollars.

Traveling with these migrant workers, sharing their journey, water and food Annerino writes a fascinating tale of their failed attempt, and documenting the shared journey that is tracked by La Migra, the maligned border patrol who often find themselves in the role of the rescuer, putting their lives at risk to help dying illegals, or picking up the remains of those whose dreams fell fatally short.

Annerino ends Dead in His Tracks with a list 'in memorium' of all documented deaths of immigrants, refugees, border agents, and humanitarian who has died in Arizona's desolate desert. The tome as written, and including his own photographs, is one that will touch you no matter where you stand in the battle waged against illegal immigration.

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