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Southern Exposure: Jes Aznar

May 2016

Poverty and war have hit Filipinos hard, as Jes Aznar shows through his photography.

Residents flock around a mill to gather corn morsels for food in Maguindanao, the poorest province in the Philippine island of Mindanao. For most families living here, poverty is made even worse by armed conflict, whether between government forces and rebels, or between feuding clans. Land-grabbing by transnational corporations gave birth to secessionist groups such as the New People’s Army, the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, further isolating the island from development.

Armed confrontations between the government and armed rebel groups in the province have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 120,000 people, mostly civilians, and the displacement of some two million more. Last year, a ceasefire was enacted to pave the way for the passage of a comprehensive law to address the issues presented by the secessionist rebel groups, in the hope of ending decades of armed conflict. The proposed law failed to pass congress.

Jes Aznar
Jes Aznar

Jes Aznar, jesaznar.com

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 492 This column was published in the May 2016 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 492

New Internationalist Magazine issue 492
Issue 492

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