死在集装箱里的39 名偷渡客,背后是越南贫困家庭为了生计的挣扎

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大家好,我是轻芒的编辑万户,本周为大家翻译的这篇《纽约时报》文章,是关于英国集装箱尸体案的报道。上周在伦敦一个集装箱冷藏车内发现的 39 具尸体,因为对死者国籍的猜测一度在国内成为热点。然而抛开国籍,这 39 人——31 名男性和 8 名女性到底是谁?他们为什么冒如此之大的危险选择偷渡?

《纽约时报》记者到越南去探寻这些人的生活和家庭,了解他们是谁,他们为什么走上了偷渡这条路。「39」不是一个简单的数字,他们有自己的家庭和生活,有自己的努力和挣扎,他们是你我所不知道的活在世界另外一个地方的仍在努力求生的平凡人——对每一个生命,不管是不是我们的同胞,都应抱有尊重,这是我们想传达给大家的理念。

这篇文章的作者是黄瑞黎(Sui-Lee Wee),图文版权来自《纽约时报》,轻芒杂志经《纽约时报》授权发布。
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YEN THANH, Vietnam — Across the village, the altar tables have already been set up.

越南安城县——村庄各处已摆好了祭桌。

In Buddhist and Catholic households alike, families have not waited for the final word on whether their daughters, sons, brothers and sisters are among the 39 people found dead last week in a refrigerated truck container in an industrial park in Britain, roughly 6,000 miles away.

无论是信奉佛教还是天主教的家庭,都已不再等待亲人的最终消息。上周,在约 6000 英里(9656 公里)之外的一座英国工业园中,一辆冷藏卡车的集装箱内发现了 39 具尸体,他们的女儿、儿子或兄弟姐妹可能就在其中。

Though the authorities in Britain have not yet identified the bodies, the families in Vietnam are treating the silence from their loved ones as confirmation enough.

尽管英国当局尚未确认死者的身份,但越南的家属们认为,亲人的失联足以证实他们出了事。

The tables bore framed photographs of the missing, flanked by incense and their favorite foods. For the 19-year-old who left to support her family after her father died of cancer, it was Choco-Pies. For the 26-year-old farmer whose family was mired in debt, it was cans of Red Bull.

桌上放着装裱过的失踪者相片,两边供着香,还摆着他们最喜爱的食物。一位 19 岁的少女在父亲因癌症去世后,为养家糊口而偷渡离开越南,她最爱吃的是巧克力派。一位 26 岁的农民家中负债累累,他的供桌上摆着一罐红牛。

Behind each photograph was a tale of desperation from a place of grinding poverty, where naked light bulbs hang from corrugated metal roofs and the roads are unpaved. They are the faces of what locals and experts say has become an exodus from parts of Vietnam, a country that on paper represents one of Asia’s economic success stories.

每张照片的背后都有一个令人绝望的故事,而且都发生在极度贫困的地区。在这些地方,光秃秃的灯泡直接悬挂在波纹状的金属屋顶上,道路也没有经过铺设。他们就是当地人和专家口中所说的,从越南部分地区偷渡离开的大量人口的代表。而仅从数据来看,越南却是亚洲经济发展成功的一个典型范例。

Some in Vietnam now talk about “box people,” in an echo of the “boat people” who fled the country after the Vietnam War. The name refers to the cargo containers in which many hitch dangerous rides along some of the globe’s busiest trade routes seeking jobs and a future.

现在,越南的一些人开始谈论「箱民」这个概念,与越南战争后逃离本国的「船民」如出一辙。「箱」指的是货物集装箱,许多人乘坐这种集装箱,沿着全球最繁忙的贸易线路进行危险的偷渡,以寻找工作和更好的未来。

“We have a saying,” said Anthony Dang Huu Nam, a local priest. “ ‘If an electrical pole had legs, it would go, too.’ ”

「我们有一种说法,」当地的牧师安东尼·邓有南(音)说道,「『如果电线杆长了腿的话,它也会偷渡。』」

Investigators are still piecing together who the 39 people are, how they died and why they ended up in Grays, Britain, about 25 miles east of London. But many of the leads point back to a region of north-central Vietnam stricken by poverty and environmental disaster, and the two governments are working together to try to identify the victims.

调查人员仍在搜集信息,以确认这 39 位死者的身份、死因以及他们为什么会出现在英国伦敦以东约 25 英里(40 公里)的格雷斯市。许多线索都指向越南中北部一个饱受贫困和生态灾难困扰的地区。越南和英国政府正共同努力,试图确认遇难者的身份。

The authorities in Vietnam have received requests for help from 14 families who say their relatives went missing in Britain, according to a Vietnamese state-run news outlet. The country’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has also instructed officials to look into cases of Vietnamese citizens sent abroad illegally.

根据越南一家官方媒体的报道,越南当局已收到来自 14 个家庭的求助,家属们都称他们有亲人在英国失踪。越南总理阮春福也指示政府官员针对越南公民被非法送往海外的案件展开调查。

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阮定良为了帮助养活他的七个兄弟姐妹离开了越南。他卧室的这张照片,是部分家人的合影。摄影:Minzayar Oo,版权来自《纽约时报》。

Nguyen Dinh Luong, a 20-year-old farmer, left the Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh two years ago to help support his seven siblings. His father said he borrowed $18,000 from his relatives to send Nguyen to France.

20 岁的农民阮定良(音)为帮助家里七个兄弟姐妹的生计,于两年前离开了越南河静省。他的父亲说,为了送儿子去法国,自己从亲戚那里借了 1.8 万美元(约合人民币 12.67 万元)。

First he had to go to Russia, where he was confined in a house for about six months because he had overstayed his tourist visa. From Russia, Nguyen moved on to Ukraine before he reached France in July of last year and found a job as a waiter. Then he decided to go to England to work in a nail salon.

阮定良首先得去俄罗斯。在那里,他因为旅游签证过期,在一座房子里被关了大约六个月。随后他从俄罗斯去了乌克兰,并于去年 7 月抵达法国,还找到了一份服务员的工作。再后来,他决定去英国的一家美甲店打工。

“Maybe he was too ambitious,” said the man’s father, Nguyen Dinh Gia, who gave his DNA samples to the police over the weekend to help with the identification process. “I don’t know much. The debt wasn’t fully paid, and in England, you could probably make more money.”

「可能他太心急了」,阮定良的父亲阮定家(音)说道。阮定家已在周末将自己的 DNA 样本交给了警方,以帮助确认死者身份。「我知道的也不多。债还没还完,可能在英国能挣到更多的钱。

Vietnam’s narrative was supposed to be different. Boosted by growing trade, it enjoys one of the world’s fastest growth rates, reaching 7.1% last year. Poverty, defined as a person making less than $3.34 per day, has dropped sharply.

越南本不应发生这样的故事。在贸易增长的推动下,越南是世界上经济增速最快的国家之一,去年的增长率达到了 7.1%。越南的贫困线定义为日均收入低于 3.34 美元(约合人民币 24 元)的人口,而生活在贫困线之下的人口数量已大幅下降。

Still, people there make only a fraction of what the average person takes home in the United States or even China. Many in the poorest areas lack access to a decent education. While Vietnam is increasing spending on health and social benefits, many still do not share in the prosperity.

尽管如此,越南人的收入依然比美国、甚至中国的人均收入少了很多。许多生活在最贫困地区的人们缺乏良好的受教育机会。虽然越南在医疗和社会福利方面的支出有所增加,但许多人仍未能享受到经济繁荣带来的益处。

Vietnam is a major source of human trafficking victims into Britain, the second-highest after Albania, according to Britain’s ambassador to Vietnam and anti-human trafficking organizations.

根据英国驻越南大使以及反人口贩运组织的说法,越南是进入英国的人口贩卖受害者的第二大来源国,仅次于阿尔巴尼亚。

Nghe An and Ha Tinh, two of Vietnam’s poorest provinces, supply much of the trade. Officials in Ha Tinh estimate more than 41,000 people left the province in the first eight months of this year alone.

义安省和河静省是越南最贫困的两个省区,也是偷渡人口的主要来源地。据河静省的政府官员估计,仅在今年的前八个月中,就有超过 4.1 万人离开了该省。

Many there are farmers. Rice is the region’s predominant crop, and farmers like Nguyen earn virtually nothing.

其中许多都是农民。大米是该地区的主要农作物,而像阮定良这样的农民几乎赚不到钱。

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义安省是越南最贫困的省份之一。摄影:Minzayar Oo,版权来自《纽约时报》。

North of Ha Tinh, the province of Yen Thanh has also become a major source of migrants. In 2016, a steel mill owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics contaminated coastal waters, devastating the fishing and tourism industries.

河静省北部,安城县所在的义安省也已成为偷渡人口的主要来源地。2016 年,台塑企业下属的一家钢厂污染了沿岸水域,给当地渔业和旅游业造成了严重的损失。

Many put themselves in debt to pay “the line” — their term for the shadowy network of human smugglers who take people from country to country before they reach Britain or another destination. Some mortgage their homes or borrow from their families. Even to people there, the human smuggling operation remains shadowy beyond the knowledge that a person would come and collect the money for every successful leg of the journey.

许多人为了支付「线」钱而负债累累。当地人口中的「线」,指的是一个隐蔽的人口贩运网络,它把人从一个国家转运到另一个国家,并最终送往英国或其他目的地。为了支付这笔费用,一些人抵押了房产或者找亲戚借钱。即使对当地人来说,偷渡的操作方式也很隐秘。他们只知道,每完成一段偷渡行程,就会有人来收钱。

Bui Thi Nhung, 19, wanted to help support her family after her father died of throat cancer in 2017, so she set off on her journey with the help of a loan from her relatives. Of those widely believed to have died in the truck in Britain, she was the youngest.

19 岁的裴氏蓉(音)在父亲于 2017 年因喉癌去世后想要帮忙养家,于是在亲戚的资助下踏上了偷渡的旅程。大部分人都相信,她是英国那个集装箱里的多位死者之中最年轻的一位。

Nguyen Dinh Tu, a 26-year-old farmer, had borrowed $17,000 to build a house for his wife and two children, ages 5 and 18 months. To repay that debt, he sought help from a labor recruiter to leave for Romania legally in March, according to his elder brother, Nguyen Van Tinh.

26 岁的农民阮定秀(音)借来了 1.7 万美元(约合人民币 11.9 万元),用来给妻子还有两个分别为 5 岁和 18 个月大的孩子盖房。据他的哥哥阮文静(音)说,为了偿还这笔债务,阮定秀向一位招聘劳工的人寻求帮助,并于今年 3 月合法前往罗马尼亚工作。

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阮定良的父亲(左)及其他家庭成员。摄影:Minzayar Oo,版权来自《纽约时报》。

Turned off by the low wages at a food company in Romania, he went to Berlin for a job in a restaurant. But he still felt he was not earning enough, so he decided to go to England.

由于罗马尼亚的食品公司工资过低,阮定秀去了柏林的一家餐馆里工作。但他还是觉得自己挣得不够多,所以决定去英国。

“If you want your life in the village to change,” Nguyen’s brother said, “the only way is to go overseas.” He said that the family last heard from his brother a day or two before the truck was found.

「如果你想要改变自己在村子里的生活,」阮定秀的哥哥说,「唯一的途径就是出国。」他说,家人最后收到来自弟弟的消息是在集装箱被发现的一两天前。

While many places across Europe seem to promise higher wages and brighter prospects than home, Britain stands out. A sizable population of Vietnamese immigrants there send word home of jobs in nail salons and cannabis farms.

虽然好像在欧洲许多地方都能找到比越南工资更高的工作和更好的发展前景,但英国在其中尤为突出。不少越南移民都告诉越南国内的人们说,在美甲店或大麻种植场有工作可做。

Pham Thi Tra My was convinced she could find a job as a manicurist. The 26-year-old woman from a village in Ha Tinh wanted to help her family, who had accumulated $19,000 in debt. Four years ago, she had borrowed money to pay a labor recruiter to find her a job in Japan as a cook, where she earned enough to pay off that loan. She then borrowed more to buy a car in Vietnam so her younger brother could drive a taxi.

范氏茶美(音)坚信自己能找到美甲师的工作。她 26 岁,来自河静省的一个村子,想要帮助家人偿还 1.9 万美元(约合人民币 13.4 万元)的债务。四年前,她借钱支付了一名劳务招聘人员,请对方在日本为自己找了一份厨师的工作。她在日本赚够了钱,还清了债务。随后她又借了更多的钱,在越南买了一辆车,这样她的弟弟就可以开出租车了。

Just a month ago, the car crashed and caught fire. They had no insurance. Rather than return to Japan, Pham decided she could earn more in Britain.

就在一个月前,那辆车因车祸而起火。他们没有上保险。范氏茶美这次没有选择回日本,因为她相信去英国能赚到更多的钱。

“I’m thinking about the family and I love you both, so I have to go,” she said, according to her father, Pham Van Thin, who works as a security guard. “Please, Dad and Mom, borrow the money for me so I can travel. Give me the opportunity to pay the debt for my family.”

范氏茶美的父亲范文辰(音)是一位保安,他说女儿在临走之前曾告诉他们:「我是为了这个家考虑,我爱你们,所以我必须要走。爸爸妈妈,请你们借来这笔钱,这样我就能出国。让我能有机会赚到钱,帮家里还债。

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范文辰安慰躺在女儿床上哭泣的妻子阮氏芳。摄影:Minzayar Oo,版权来自《纽约时报》。

The family took a mortgage on their home to send her to England. First Pham flew to Beijing, where she waited for a fake passport. She called home frequently until she went to France, where she stopped reaching out for fear that the authorities could detect her location.

为了送她去英国,这家人抵押了自己的房子。范氏茶美先是飞到了北京。在那里,她为了拿到假护照而等了一段时间。期间她经常给家里打电话,直到她抵达了法国。在法国,因为担心当局会查到她的位置,她不再与家人联系。

Early on Oct. 23, hours before the bodies in Britain were discovered, she texted her mother. “I’m sorry, Mom, my path abroad didn’t succeed,” she wrote.

10 月 23 日凌晨,就在那些尸体在英国被发现之前的几个小时,范氏茶美给她的母亲发了短信。「对不起,妈妈,我出国的路不成了。」她写道。

“Mom, I love you and Dad so much! I’m dying because I can’t breathe.”

「妈妈,我太爱你和爸爸了!我要死了,因为我没法呼吸了。

The text arrived in the morning but her mother, Nguyen Thi Phong, did not check her phone until noon, eight hours later. When she called back, there was no answer.

短信是凌晨发来的,但她的母亲阮氏芳(音)直到八小时之后的中午才查看了手机。当她把电话打回去的时候,已无人接听。

Nguyen sent her a text: “Child, where are you now? I’m very worried and tired. I love you and feel sorry for you.”

阮氏芳给女儿发了一条短信:「孩子,你现在在哪?我很担心,也很疲惫。我爱你,为你感到难过。

A day later, Pham’s elder brother, Pham Ngoc Guan, texted her. “Come back and don’t go anymore,” he wrote. “The whole family is worried for you.”

一天后,范氏茶美的哥哥范玉关(音)给妹妹发了一条短信。他写道:「回来吧,别再走了。全家人都很担心你。

On Sunday, Pham’s mother wept as she lay on her only daughter’s bed in the family’s home.

周日,范氏茶美的母亲躺在女儿的床上哭泣。范氏茶美是她唯一的女儿。

Her brother, Pham Ngoc Guan, said: “I’m still hoping she’s in another vehicle, or she’s just lost.”

她的哥哥范玉关说:「我还怀有一丝希望,她可能在另外一辆车里,或者她只是迷路了。

He looked up his sister’s number on his mother’s phone and again pressed call. Nobody answered.

他再次拿起母亲的手机,找到妹妹的电话号码并给她打了过去。无人接听。

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原文标题:A Deep Sense of Loss Spanning 6,000 Miles.

原文作者:黄瑞黎(Sui-Lee Wee)

翻译:熊猫译社 张翯
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