New Internationalist

Sandra Sebastian

December 2006

I couldn’t believe that passers-by weren’t killed when a shooting occurred between drug traffickers on a busy day in one of the principal avenues in Guatemala City. Two presumed drug traffickers were murdered in their car, which had lots of AK-47 bullet-holes. There were hundreds of bullet-holes all around the avenue. The walls of a school and a bus stop where many people usually sat, were also riddled. Unfortunately two men died, but it could have been a massacre. How many people have to be killed before something is done?

I wasn’t the only astonished person. I took the picture because I want to document and leave a testimony of the time I live in and show the danger that ordinary people face. In the last year alone (2005) more than 5,000 people were killed in street violence in a country of 13 million people. The reasons? Delinquency, organized crime, drug trafficking, poverty, broken homes. I want to talk of the inefficient justice system and the impunity with which some operate. I want to point to the consequences, and hope people can understand and search for solutions.

Sandra Sebastian, Guatemala By arrangement with Drik Picture Library Ltd. www.drik.net

This column was published in the December 2006 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 396

New Internationalist Magazine issue 396
Issue 396

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New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

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