Kuto’s life no. 0275

Kuto arrived in Lebanon four years ago, fleeing his native Guatemala after a civil war that left his family dead and him with only the clothes on his back. He found work as a laborer on construction sites, but it was hard going. Kuto could barely make enough money to eat, let alone save up for a ticket back home.

One day, Kuto’s boss told him about an opportunity to make some quick cash. A wealthy Lebanese businessman was looking for someone to transport a package from Beirut to Dubai. The pay was good and there was no risk involved, so Kuto agreed to do it.

The package turned out to be drugs, and whenKutowas caught at the airport with it he was arrested and thrown in jail. He has been there ever since, waiting for his trial which is unlikely to ever happen given the chaotic state of the Lebanese justice system.

Kuto spends his days pacing up and down his cell or lying on his bunk bed staring at the ceiling. He thinks about home often and wonders if he’ll ever see Guatemala again. He knows he’s lucky – many of the other inmates are facing far longer sentences than him – but he can’t help feel hopeless nonetheless.