Written by Alice Driver in Time Magazine. Photos by Jerome Sessini-Magnum Photos for Time.
Even from a distance, you can see the scars—thick, deep marks scrawled across his face and scalp. Roberto Vaughan Ordáz, 42, plays with his dog as he recounts the injuries he suffered three years ago: eight bullets, including two to the lungs; tendons cut in his arms; a face that is no longer recognizable.
Back in 2015, Ordáz left his hometown of Viro in Bolivia, hoping to migrate to the United States. Instead, he was kidnapped in Chiapas, Mexico. He says his kidnappers shot him, cut up his face and arms with a machete, and left him to bleed out on the side of the road. Eventually, someone found him and delivered him to a local hospital.
Ordáz’s story is just one of many highlighting the threat that migrants traveling alone or in small families face along their journeys. Violence from gangs and cartels is a key reason why Central American migrants, who have long fled their home countries for the U.S., have begun organizing themselves into caravans, seeking safety by traveling openly together. Continue reading