Inside Siglo XXI: Locked Up in Mexico's Largest Immigration Center (Paperback)
Much has been written In English about the experiences and treatment of immigrants from south of the Rio Grande once they have entered the United States. But this account, by the itinerant, effervescent and highly original journalist Bel eacute;n Fern aacute;ndez, offers a different and wholly original take.
Bel n Fern ndez shows us what life is like for would-be migrants, not just from the Mexican side of the border but inside Siglo XXI, the notorious migrant detention center in the south of the country.
Journalists are prohibited from entering Siglo XXI; Fern ndez only gained access because she herself was detained as a result of faulty paperwork when she attempted to return to the US to renew her passport. Once inside the facility, Fern ndez was able to speak with detained women from Honduras, Cuba, Haiti, Bangladesh, and beyond. Their stories, detailing the hardships that prompted them to leave their homes, and the dangers they have experienced on an often-tortuous journey north, form the core of this unique book. The companionship and support they offer to Fern ndez, whose antipathy to returning to the United States, the country they are desperate to enter, is a source of bemusement and perplexity, demonstrates a spirited generosity that is deeply moving.
In the end, the Siglo XXI center emerges as a strikingly precise metaphor for a 21st century in which poor people, effectively imprisoned by American political and economic policies, nevertheless display astonishing resilience.