(NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC) — For thousands of migrants each year, reaching Highway 285 means crossing 85 miles of inhospitable desert as the crow flies from Reynosa, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The land is dotted with ranches like Los Compadres, which are popular with cattle ranchers and wealthy quail hunters. Former Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a campaign contributor in the face during a hunting trip in 2006 not far from Los Compadres.
For years, ranchers in the area have been watching migrants move north. Many stop and ask for food, water, and rest. Some get lost in the desert or are abandoned by their coyotes and wind up dead. Hollek says that he won’t eat hog caught south of Highway 285 because the chances of it having fed on a dead human being are too high.
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