Tell me about Claudia and Eunice, the women in slide 8.
Claudia is the sister of Eunice, a model. Eunice was 19, and she is the reason I did this story.
I was working in Juárez, with the local photographers for El Diario. This was 2010, and people were dying every day. It sounds callous, but we
would basically sit there and wait for the police scanner to say, 'There's another dead body.'
One night the other photographers were all looking at these photos. And it was me and this other woman, the only other female photographer. And we're like,
'What are you guys looking at?' And they said, 'We're looking at photos of this sexy chick.' And it's Eunice. They told me how she was arrested for
kidnapping. Because of her notoriety as a model, the Juárez media latched onto the case. And I was like, 'Wow. I want to meet her.'
They said, 'No, there's no media access to her. No one can see her.'
And I was like 'Alright, we'll see about that.' So I went to the prison.
Why are women like Claudia and Eunice getting involved with crime?
Almost every single woman told me a story about a boyfriend or a husband. The women were arrested alongside them. Also, many of women can't support their
families, so they commit crimes.
In prison, I met a woman there who is a schoolteacher. She was sophisticated. She was gorgeous. She was smart. She taught English and math and Spanish. But
the teachers don't get paid anything, so she couldn't support her family. She also sold cosmetics on the side.
So this single mom got offered to take a package -- not knowing the contents, but she's smart enough to know that they're probably drugs -- from one place
to another. She did the trip, and she got caught.
She's guilty and she made a bad decision, but at the same time, why can't you support your family if you're working two jobs?
So are your subjects victims or perpetrators?
I have no idea. I felt like it wasn't my place to judge.
I had a hard time with it, when people would ask me, 'Why do you want to go photograph these bad people? Why do you want to talk to them? We understand why
you're interested in the widows and the orphans, but these womens are criminals.'
It's a very fine line. So many of them have lost people to violence, right? So they're victims in that sense.
But then they've committed a crime. Perhaps. Perhaps they didn't.
This week you leave New York for Mexico to start filming the documentary "
Angels at War
." Tell me about the project.
This stemmed from a story I
shot for the New York Times about these kids who dress up like angels, and they go to crime scenes in Juárez and protest. They're high school-age and part
of a church group, and they stand there holding signs chastising the criminals and the corrupt police.
The story touched a lot of people, because you don't see a lot of positive coming out of drug war areas like Juárez. And a young filmmaker, Jessica LaRusso, contacted me about it. So now we're going to go do a documentary about these kids.