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Smugglers and stash houses. Bribes and shakedowns

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Smugglers and stash houses. Bribes and shakedowns. The price of the journey to escape gang violence in El Salvador and make it into the U.S.
Saturday, June 30, 2018 11:16 AM EST

Christopher Cruz, a 22-year-old from El Salvador, spent more than $12,000 getting to the United States. It was an almost inconceivable amount of money for someone who earned just a few dollars a day picking coffee beans back home. But he wasn’t weighing the benefits of a higher-paying job. He was fleeing violence and what he said was near-certain death at the hands of local gangs.
“There’s no other option,” Mr. Cruz said. “The first thought I had was, ‘I just need to get out of here at whatever cost.’”
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