Life is Short (in México)

In 2010 I used to live in Monterrey, Mexico. We received the last day of that year with a woman hanging from a bridge of “Gonzalitos”, one of the busiest avenues in the city. What was practically “a good city to live in” suddenly became a war zone. Violence unleashed during the previous months. Yellow and red press were the “everyday bread”. Gunshots and grenades were the least of the concerns, specially when heads and pieces of bodies were left on the street as threats between gangs.

Yes, those were the news: bare heads lying on the street. Pieces of partially incinerated bodies found on pits, and so much more. I started wondering what tools someone actually need to remove a head from a body or to cut a body into pieces. I couldn’t help becoming aware of “the situation”.  Not the violence situation, but the fact of suddenly realizing that you live among blood thirsty psychopaths. I imagined the murderers at work and it made me sick. Were regular people like me, as aware as I was, of what had become the “preferred tools” by criminals?

I went to a well known park with these “tools” and asked passers by to pick one of the tools and to pose for me. I wanted to see if they could relate the tools with the everyday news. I longed to see in their faces my concerns. But what I found terrified me more than my imagination. Although they studied the tools in order to choose one, they still gracefully posed, smiled, chatted, said cheese!. I don’t think they were able to see any relation between these tools and the current events in the city.

We left Mexico before the next christmas. I could not bear “the situation”. Violence has continued, and now that I live miles away, I’m able to understand one simple fact: In Mexico no one can leave with clean hands, those who allow things to happen are as guilty as the ones who commit the crimes.

I edited these pictures to show the color that would be more prominent while using the tool, gasoline and lighter would create an “orange fire”, a saw and a “machete” would show a “blood red”. The white line recalls the one that is usually drawn around a dead body in a crime scene. The enclosed subject becomes guilty and innocent, murderer and murdered, butcher and prey.

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Image available for licensing. For inquires please use the Contact page.
Image available for editorial purposes. For inquires please use the Contact page.
Image available for licensing. For inquires please use the Contact page.