The story gap

He tells me the long story of trying to cross the border, of looking to buy a life jacket to cross the river at 4am but then changing plans at the last minute because there were gangs there extorting or kidnapping. He’s been trying to cross the border for three years, and he will try again, this time paying a coyote. He’ll be US$6000 in debt and will wear a tracking bracelet until he pays it all off.

“You should write this story,” I say. He avoids my eyes. He wasn’t able to finish school and isn’t confident in writing a text message, let alone a story. He works 13-hour days and will for years to come.

People who are very poor, exploited, or victims of violence, coups, sanctions, and invasions, rarely get to tell their stories.

And they are rarely heard in the media. Because the media’s experts are the rich, the exploiters, the coup plotters, the sanction advocates, the invaders.

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