“Illegal” is the sequel to the book “Disappeared”, the story of siblings Sara and Emiliano Zapata.
Sara and her brother are in possession of a cell phone with information on it about the Mexican cartel that is kidnapping teenage girls in Juarez and selling them as sex slaves. After being warned that their lives are in danger, the siblings barely escape being gunned down. They are forced from their home, and look for a safe place to hide.
The city of Juárez has always been home to siblings Sara and Emiliano Zapata. Although their parents are divorced and their father has moved to the United States, they have been holding their own – barely. Mama works at a shoe store, Sara works as a reporter for the local newspaper “El Sol”, and Emiliano earns money selling homemade crafts when he isn’t at school.
For years, girls have been disappearing from Juárez. Often, their bodies are found months later. Other times, they are not found at all, and are presumed to have been sold as sex slaves. The police seem unable – or unwilling – to find the girls and prosecute the criminals. Sara uses her position at the newspaper to write article after article about the missing girls.
One day, Sara’s lifelong friend Linda goes missing. Sara joins Linda’s family in filing a missing person report. They check every hospital and every place that Linda might possibly have gone to, to no avail. Any sort of “normal” life is now over for the Zapata family.