Offering an insider’s insight into the world of human smuggling, Javier Barboza’s El Coyote is a revelation. Using testimony from G-Iok (voiced by Jose Callela), an actual smuggler or “Coyote”, Barboza weaves a fascinating tale about the lengths coyotes go through to get people across the Mexico-U.S. border. Some of their tricks include confining individuals, regardless of whether they are men, children, or even pregnant women, in cramped and dangerous spaces within modified cars. The film not only tells the harrowing story of those risking it all in hopes of obtaining a better life in the States, which for many will involve working illegally in minimum wage jobs, but also provides a detailed account of how intricate the underworld of smuggling really is. Incorporating a wide range of animation techniques, El Coyote is both vibrant and thought-provoking work. Barboza’s documentary short will leave viewers pondering both the value of human life and the ruthlessness of those who aim to make a profit off of it.
Director: Javier Barboza / Mexico, USA / 2014 / 8 Minutes
Starring: Jose Callela