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    Centaures motorcycle gang sisters #juarez #mexico Photo by Katie Orlinsky

    TIJUANA, MEXICO – A scene is filmed on the set of Baja Films’ production of ‘Narco Jr.’ Baja Films is a leading production company specializing in low budget ‘Narco films,’ which celebrate the violent culture of Mexican drug cartels. Photo by Shaul Schwarz/Reportage by Getty Images, from Narco Cultura.

    Schwarz’s documentary film Narco Cultura is now available on DVD and on iTunes.

    Photo by John Moore/Getty Images Photo by John Moore/Getty Images Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

    Slate’s photo blog, Behold, profiles Getty Images photographer John Moore and his work on immigration and border-security issues, which he has focused on since 2010.

    Moore said he approached the project with the intent of looking at the issues “in as many ways as possible.” He said he explained the point of his project to immigrant communities and those in migrant shelters around the United States as wanting to put a human face on the issue; many decided to participate. He photographed a variety of people, including older men who were recently deported after living in the United Sates for many years, Cubans seeking asylum, and transgender people. He also tried to focus on families who had assimilated into American society.

    Read more from the profile and see John’s work on

    At the Xcaret theme park south of Cancún a mythic Maya lord of death mingles with tourists before a spectacular re-creation of ancient pilgrimages. The annual event—complete with canoe voyage—honors Ixchel, the goddess of fertility. Such ties to the past draw visitors to the Yucatán from the rest of Mexico and abroad. Photo by Shaul Schwarz for National Geographic. Schwarz is the director of  the film Narco Cultura, opening November 22.

    Happy Day of the Dead from Reportage by Getty Images.

    With an AK-47 and a bazooka on my shoulder / Cross my path and I’ll chop your head off / We’re bloodthirsty, crazy, and we like to kill.

    So goes the song by Buknas de Culiacan, a narcorrido band documented in Shaul Schwarz's new film Narco Cultura. The music, and its glorification of Mexico’s violent drug cartels, has become a seeping cultural influence on both sides of the border - you may remember an opening sequence in the AMC series Breaking Bad that featured a narcorrido ballad to meth kingpin Heisenberg (via Mother Jones).  

    Narco Cultura opens November 22.

    Inside Mexico’s drug cartel wars, a new phenomenon is rising

    Narco Cultura, a new documentary film by Reportage photographer Shaul Schwarz, goes inside the violent cartel underworld, and explores the entertainment culture that glorifies narco-traffickers.

    The film is in theaters this fall; watch the trailer here.

    On the New York Times Lens blog, Getty photographer John Moore writes of his recent trips to Mexico and Arizona. In the former, he photographed recent deportees at the San Juan Bosco Shelter in Nogales. On the other side of the border, he photographed immigrants whose journeys to the U.S. ended at the Maricopa County Tent City jail in Phoenix. He writes:

    The immigrants who allowed me to photograph them shared stories of a hard life. Most had come to the United States to provide for their families. But even with the challenges of crossing through the desert, being caught by immigration authorities and serving time in detention, most of the immigrants told me the same thing. They will try to come back.

    See more photos and read John’s full essay on the Lens blog.

    Photos by John Moore/Getty Images


    The Women of Mexico’s Drug War

    U.S. photographer Katie Orlinsky moved to Mexico in 2006, just after graduating from college. The drug war surrounded her, and she quickly realized that women — not just men — were serving as its weary warriors, ferrying contraband and kidnapping kingpins. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of women incarcerated for federal crimes rose 400 percent. Orlinsky began to wonder: Who are these women? Innocent victims of a broken system? Cold-hearted criminals? Both?

    In 2010, she entered the female prison in Ciudad Juárez and began photographing the convicted women inside. 

    See more. [Images: Katie Orlinsky]

    Katie Orlinksy, a featured photographer for Reportage by Getty Images, will be speaking at the Alexia Foundation's “Stories That Drive Change” event at 25 CPW Gallery in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 9 PM. Last year, Katie was awarded first place in the Alexia Foundation Student Awards, which supported her continued work on “Innocence Assassinated,” a photoessay on people whose lives have been affected by the Mexican drug war. Photographs from that series will also be on display on Wednesday night. Another of Alexia Foundation’s grant recipients, Justin Maxon, will also speak and present his work.

    WHAT:   Alexia Foundation “Stories that Drive Change” Gallery Event
    WHEN:   January 23rd, 2013 – 6:00PM to 9:00PM
    WHERE: 25CPW Gallery at 25 Central Park West (at 62nd Street), New York, NY 10023. 

    'We didn’t think that the musicians in the band would lead us to spending time with narco traffickers.  But the band grew and their connections in that world grew.  When you see the songs at first, it feels like fun and games, just in a really bizarre way.  But as you understand how much traffickers want these, how much vanity goes into this, and they hire these people to do these songs – you start to understand that there’s a very special position that that singer is in.'

    Narco Cultura, the new documentary film by Shaul Schwarz, chronicles the music and culture surrounding Mexican cartel violence.  The film premiers at Sundance this month. 

    'We wish Shaul good luck and many congratulations on this outstanding documentary. It is wonderful to see such a talented photojournalist transition so well into documentary, and to have this accepted at Sundance is quite simply stunning.'

    -Aidan Sullivan, VP, Getty Images

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