Monday, December 27, 2004

Pixelpress Donna DeCesare Travelogue

Since my arrival yesterday, the first thing everyone asks is whether I've seen THE MOVIES. No Nacimos Pa Semilla, La Vendedora de Rosas, Rodrigo de No Futuro, and the most recent La Virgen de los Sicarios are not documentaries per se.

Although neither youth is involved with the myriad groups-- street gangs, bandas, milicias, combos, sicarios, and paramilitaries who vie for control block by block in their neighborhoods, they know plenty of people who are. Neither goes home without phoning to be sure the coast is clear. Failure to do so could be fatal.

In Picacho I spent a morning with the teens who form a community video collective. Although they've been tolerated by the local bandas because they make cultural programs and show positive aspects of life in their communa, there are many "de facto" censorship rules it would be suicidal for them to break.

The fear of being killed for speaking the truth or of endangering the lives of others who reveal their truth to the camera in photographs or on film, exerts many limitations both subtle and extreme on how stories can be told here in Medellin and in Colombia at large.

Target="_blank" - Parts of Los Angeles are turning into mini-Mogadishus, according to the L.A. Times.

L.A.'s hot zones are tiny, intensely dangerous areas where nothing works, where law has broken down and mainstream institutions simply fail. Where police officers go in only heavily reinforced or with helicopters; in the LAPD's South Bureau there was an 80% increase in sniper fire on police in 2004, according to a report by LAPD Chief William Bratton.


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