One Photojournalist's View of Mexico's Violent Drug War

Photographer Louie Palu is no stranger to conflict photography. After covering Afghanistan for more than five years, he returned to North America to cover the bloody drug-related crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. Traveling the length of the border, working on both sides, he covered key cartel territory as well as government-controlled areas. Palu: "I feel that organized crime groups pose a greater risk to each one of us on a daily basis than terrorists or the Taliban. Their daily goal is to corrupt all government and law enforcement in order to carry out their business on both sides of the border." Since 2006 over 60,000 Mexicans have been killed and numerous journalists have been murdered or reported missing -- from 2006-2012 Mexico ranked as one of the deadliest places in the world for journalists. Funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center On Crisis Reporting and a fellowship from the New America Foundation, Palu was able to capture these powerful images of crisis in northern Mexico. Warning, some of the images below are graphic.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Muhammed Muheisen / AP

    Refugee Housing: A New Life for Empty Prisons in the Netherlands

    The Associated Press photographer Muhammed Muheisen has documented many refugees heading to Europe. He often found himself wondering “What happens to migrants once they reach Europe?”, and heard about a program in the Netherlands where the government had started housing refugees in vacant prisons.

  • Mary Ellen Mark / Howard Greenberg Gallery

    The Startling Portraiture of Mary Ellen Mark

    A new exhibition explores the late photographer's images of confident and curious personalities.

  • Loic Venance / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 5/14-5/20

    The ruins of ancient Roman barracks discovered in Italy, a toddler tied to a rock in India, the South Sudan Wheelchair Basketball Association, a nude Shakespeare performance in New York’s Central Park, and much more.

  • Yves Herman / Reuters

    A Full-Service Funeral Home for Pets

    In Belgium, the Reuters photographer Yves Herman recently visited Animatrans, a funeral home that claims to be the first in Belgium designed exclusively for pets.

Join the Discussion