So many times I’m being asked why I don’t work in black and white, but to me Latin America means colour. Only thinking in all the amazing food, beaches and lively fiestas I can’t think in these otherwise. However, sometimes a sort of violence feels quite close, somewhere, anywhere. Stories about murders, kidnappings and extortion are the daily feed. The violence that we do not see, but we all heard about, generates fear. A sort of collective fear stays in the air, making it thick and perhaps black and white.
What happened in Michoacán is a little demonstration of what is going on. Locals tired of the violence perpetuated by an apparently powerful drug cartel Los Caballeros Templarios, decided to take the law into their own hands. This is a clear consequence of a police force debilitated; an institution that should be there to protect civilians, is often being accused of belonging to the criminals’ flank. My only question is, if the police force can’t protect you, can the locals? Even more preoccupying is the fact that there are going to be more guns in the streets. A collaboration between the army and the locals took place some weeks ago. Anyone holding a gun should pass an exam by the army, to confirm their abilities ( psychological and physical ) to be part of the guard and the guns serial number is being taken. Now the army, the police force and the local guards hold guns to fight the violence. A violence that each day feels rather black than white.