2019 Breaking News
Migrants' Perilous Journey
Reuters photo staff
Oct. 24, 2018, Huixtla, Mexico
Adrees Latif, Reuters
As the sun rose over Huixtla, Mexico, photographer Adrees Latif snapped a photo of a girl wearing a purple backpack, clutching a doll and hoping to hitch a ride.
"It looks almost like she's going to school," said Latif. But she was one of thousands of Central American migrants fleeing hometowns racked by violence to seek asylum in the United States.
The journey took them across rushing rivers and through thick forests. Migrants woke at 3am to walk 30 to 100 miles to the next town along the road. In Huixtla, thousands of migrants had gathered. "It was a chaotic scene," said Latif. "Trucks pulled up and people rushed to them."
Latif, who emigrated from Pakistan at age 7, spent five months covering the story with 10 other Reuters photographers. The experience left him deeply moved.
"Why would parents want to cross a river that's deep and flowing fast with children in their arms? They're taking extremely high risks to get to the U.S. Why would somebody do that?" said Latif. "America is still the land of opportunity."