Tangie Sule was tortured by police and left for dead in his native Cameroon. "I did not decide to leave, but I had to," he said June 27, 2019 in Tijuana. "My life was at risk." His brother was shot before him, and he fled without his wife and one-year-old daughter.
Like thousands of other asylum-seekers in the border city, he plans to request asylum from the United States. Sule trekked on foot from Ecuador with a group of around 50 Cameroonians, crossing the Darien gap.
Cameroon is on the brink of civil war, with English-speaking secessionists known as "Amba Boys" attempting to break away to form a new state, Ambazonia. The government forces of Cameroon, trained by U.S. and Israel, are accused of perpetrating widespread human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of English speakers have fled.
"Others died on the way," Sule recounted. "They got swept away from the rivers in the jungle. Snake bites. There’s nothing you can do. The only thing you can do is help yourself."