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

  • Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

    A Weekend of Pride

    Two weeks after the Orlando shooting, the LGBTQ communities in San Francisco and New York held their annual parades.

  • Ognen Teofilovski / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 6/18-6/24

    A glass slide 1,000 feet above the ground in Los Angeles, an emu is helped away from a California wildfire, a selfie in the 125 degrees Fahrenheit heat of Palm Springs, a Hello Kitty face grown on a melon in Japan, and much more.

  • Roger Steffens / Benrubi Gallery

    A Family Album on Acid

    Roger Steffens’ photographs of his wife, son, and daughter during the Electric Kool-Aid era

  • Sergio Perez / Reuters

    A Tripped Syrian Refugee Finds a Home in Spain

    Last September, photos of a Syrian refugee being tripped by a Hungarian camerawoman as he tried to flee border police went viral. His story caught the attention of a soccer training school near Madrid that helped him find work and a new home.

Join the Discussion