The new documentary "La Bestia" examines the plight of Central American migrants during their dangerous journey across Mexico to the United States, filmmaker Pedro Ultreras said.

The film's goal is to "sensitize" society to the migrants' suffering, Ultreras told Efe.

The documentary, which opened on Feb. 22 in 14 theaters in Mexico, has been shown on television in France and will soon air in Spain.

The film looks at the suffering of migrants who are seeking the "American Dream" and tells the story of those who try to cross Mexico on the train known as "La Bestia," or "The Beast," Ultreras said in a telephone interview with Efe.

"I made a documentary to try to awaken feelings to start a debate that ends with actions and solutions that favor the undocumented from our neighboring countries," Ultreras said.

The train, also known as the "Tren de la Muerte" (The Train of Death) among migrants, provides the most viable way of crossing a country dotted with immigration service stations.

The 77-minute documentary tells the stories of migrants victimized by criminal organizations and subjected to "abuse and mistreatment" by Mexican officials, Ultreras said.

The film also describes the experiences of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico as they try to reach the United States by foot, train and bus.

The dangers faced by migrants have increased in recent years as drug cartels and other organized crime groups began preying on them along the preferred route north.

The National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, has documented abuses committed against migrants by National Migration Institute, or INM, officers and state and municipal officials, who sometimes work with criminals. 

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