ucr / california museum of photographyline
l.a. project

SQUARE: r52
DATE: 12.7.97

TIME ELAPSED: 7:15
MILEAGE: 170.1



doug mcculloh
571.27

Victor X makes a living exporting American castoffs to Central America. I stood with wives and families as he and two associates pulled out into a thin and vaguely ominous drizzle. They were driving or towing five Toyota trucks and a small boat, all filled with used stereos, tools, and TVs under taut tarps. With luck, he said, the trip down would take eight or nine days east to Texas, south the length of Mexico, and across Guatemala into Honduras, where the partners sell everything right down to the bumper hitches. The biggest business expense is the mordida, the bite, required at the Federale checkpoints down through Mexico. When dusk arrives, the caravan stops. "People who drive after dark end up dead," said Victor. "They put babies out in the road," said a wife, "Then when the trucks stop..." She paused and made vicious slashing motions with her arm.

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