"Witness: Juarez" is the first of a four-part documentary series that airs tonight on HBO at 9:00 PM. Tonight's episode focuses on the work of Eros Hoagland in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Since 1993, he has traveled the world to cover violence and unrest in countries like Colombia and Haiti. Hoagland followed in the footsteps of his father, John, a veteran photojournalist who was killed while covering the aftermath of El Salvador's civil war.
In a recent article in The Daily Beast, Hoagland describes that the war on drugs in Mexico is complex and includes varied individuals such as "dirty cops, masked outlaws, and corrupt politicians." He also delves into what he feels is the goal behind the images he captures:
Pictures lie all the time. I don’t believe my lens conveys the ultimate truth. I know full well that my photos are only part of the truth, and it’s up to you to decide the rest. Cases certainly exist with a clear victim and a villain, but in my line of work, it’s as if everything is in a bag—you can shake it up and take your pick. I’m on the hunt for thematic images that give perspective on a particular place. Good pictures should make you curious. If I’ve made you curious, I’ve done my job.Below is the trailer for the "Witness" series that will also include Hoagland reporting on the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.
A recent study found that Ciudad Juarez is not the world's most dangerous city though its murder rate is still a very high 148 people per 100,000. Juarez has reportedly undergone a decline in violence over the past few months though it's yet to be seen if this represents a road to recovery or a temporary improvement.
Online Sources - mexidata.info, The Daily Beat, Time, Eros Hoagland Photography, HBO Documentaries
Video Source - YouTube via user HBO Docs