Francisco Cantú – The Line Becomes a River

Carlos Fuentes imagined a Border Patrol Agent so racist that he feared a suntan. “Agent Dan Polonsky” prefers to work nocturnally; he likes to watch himself ­urinate through the otherworldly lens of his night-vision goggles. Polonsky “detested the illegals. But he adored and needed them. Without them, damn it, there would be no budget for helicopters, radar, powerful infrared night lights, rocket launchers, pistols”. Embedded among them in the late 1990s, William T. Vollmann found that “those Border Patrol agents in dark green with their Sam Browne belts loved to wargame everything, inflating their routines of searches and captures into a movie”. Stalking through long grasses and bamboo groves by the river, “they got to fight the Vietnam War all over again”.

Most of the time, of course, their quarry was merely the most helpless people on earth….

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