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[Perspectives] Borderlands

Cristina comes into the tiny clinic in the migrant shelter in Tapachula, Mexico, where I am doing psychological consultations. She is a young woman. She sits down and starts crying, speaking in rushed sentences between sobs. “I am very scared of being found…that’s why we are here. They want to kill us, me and my mother. They found us at home. They told my mum they will cut off her head and they will kill me by dropping me in a river…I have nightmares every night, I cannot sleep. I am terrified all the time…And the lady says we must leave in 5 days because we have been here 5 days already and they only allow you 10 days.” By now she is gulping air and chest-breathing rapidly in a way that foretells a panic attack.