Read to Write Stories

Óscar Martínez is a staff writer and editor at El Faro and the author of The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail Óscar Martínez is a staff writer and editor at El Faro and the author of The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail.

Óscar Martínez spent two years traveling with Central American migrants to the United States through Mexico. He visited places and people (sites of cartel massacres, coyotes who work for the cartels, mountain trails where migrants take their chances) that almost no journalist had ever seen. His reports were published in the Salvadoran online newspaper El Faro, collected in the book Los migrantes que no importan, and translated into English as The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail.

Martínez lives in El Salvador and edits El Faro‘s “Sala Negra,” a continuing investigation of gang violence and organized crime in Central America.

In this interview, Martínez discusses telling violent stories, the verisimilitude of a hit man, and planning trips…

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