March 25, 2012 7:11 AM   Subscribe

I kept going out with the rescue workers and one day we came upon this scene that was so sad that the rescue workers gave me a vest to cross the police line. I shot the scene a bunch of different ways, but the way that worked best was just showing it from the front. These people were killed by one single bullet. The woman is far into her pregnancy. The hit man came in from the left-hand side of the car and fired a bullet into the man’s head when they were embracing and killed both of them.

The violence is really hard to show in a way that is humane. It is almost impossible to give any kind of dignity to the people that have died, because of how horribly they have been maimed. Taking pictures of those things, you feel like you are supporting what the narcos are doing because you are spreading out their message of horror. So I really became obsessed with making a picture that was intimate – while still showing violence – and encompassed humanity and dignity. I wanted to give these people a story.

posted by barnacles (7 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Whoa. So hauntingly awful. That is going to stay with me for a long time.
posted by photoslob at 7:15 AM on March 25, 2012

The interview is incredibly powerful; I'm struck by the photographer's take on the danger of participating in a message of intimidation, as so much war/conflict documentary work can have a rubbernecky feel.
posted by verb at 7:19 AM on March 25, 2012

It is like La Pieta
posted by Renoroc at 7:20 AM on March 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Incredible photo, it might have the potential to become as emblematic of this situation as ones like this are of the Vietnam War. (NSFW nudity)
posted by XMLicious at 8:10 AM on March 25, 2012

(Wouldn't that be NSFW war crimes?)
posted by brokkr at 8:26 AM on March 25, 2012 [5 favorites]

Only if the place you work says "OMG he's reading about war crimes!" when they see you looking at stuff about war crimes... (But if you're just making the point that the Vietnam photo depicts a war crime, yes it definitely does.)
posted by XMLicious at 9:22 AM on March 25, 2012

(And actually, I also mentioned the nudity to convey to anyone familiar with the picture which one it was... unfortunately just saying that it's a Vietnam War photo depicting war crimes would describe half of the photos out there. :^|)
posted by XMLicious at 9:26 AM on March 25, 2012

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