by Pablo Allison
After several years of not hearing anything certain from “Angel”, I eventually managed to get in touch with him at the beginning of 2007. The last thing I had heard about him was that he had tried to cross the border into the United States, but American border patrol officers –under the presumption that he was affiliated to a well-known Salvadorian gang –detained him and deported him to El Salvador. Another myth that circulated among friends was that he had been incarcerated in L.A. over some gang issues. I also heard that he had been murdered some time ago.
Luckily none of this was true. In fact, he had managed to enter the United States and was living in the State of Florida for some years, where he worked very hard to support his family back home.
At the end of 2007, I was able to meet up with him at his home just on the outskirts of Mexico City. Although most of his life was followed by tragedies and misfortunes surrounded by violence, it was very surprising for me to see him still alive. For the next two and a half years I embarked on this project, which seeks to document Angel’s experiences –his life as an ex-gang member in Mexico City, the journey across the Mexican-American desert and his future in the United States.