It begins in people’s countries of origin, forcing them to flee, and is repeated as they make their way through Mexico, where they are preyed upon by criminal networks, often with the complicity of state authorities, and face abduction, extortion, sexual violence, torture, and execution.
Many people who have no money for a bus try to hitch a ride on a train known as "La Bestia" (the Beast) in hopes of making their way through Mexico more quickly—although this is becoming increasingly hard to do. The Beast can take them to Mexico City, to Monterrey, or to wherever they might have a family member, friend, or job opportunity. For those who want to reach the US, it can get them closer to Mexico’s northern border.
The southern Mexican city of Coatzacoalcos is known for being a transit point where travelers can take a break before continuing their journey aboard the train. Here, at the Casa del Migrante in Coatzacoalcos, an MSF team provides medical and mental health care to hundreds of migrants and refugees who arrive daily in the southern Mexican city.