Three months in

There have been an interminable cycle of changes these last handful of months, and all the while I was in Colombia I was feeling far from home. It’s been three months since I shifted gears and opened a chapter up in Los Angeles, California. 

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The cogs are turning in the US. People are demonstrating, voicing out their wants. Trump promised to fix things for the jobless. He gained a lot of steam with this rhetoric and now we’re seeing so much unfold. 

I’m drawn to stories about immigration. Stories about people who uprooted their lives for something different. And now in this new land they have different challenges, fearing deportation, racism and exclusion. 

In February, I photographed this story for Stat News about Caribbean trained doctors working in California. An early frontrunner in Mexico’s 2018 presidential race, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador visited Placita Obrador in Los Angeles and the Washington Post used my work for Bloomberg in their story. I worked on this story for Buzzfeed News about how gang injunctions may help gentrify neighborhoods. 

In the 80s California, among other states, passed a law that imposed rules, such as mandatory curfews, off-limits locations, rules on alleged gang members, on anyone police labeled a gang member without due process. The injunction is like being on parole without ever having been convicted of a crime. 

The story focuses on 21-year-old Peter Arellano--in the two above photos--who has a gang injunction and lives his life under these rules. The story questions whether injunctions have been used to help minority neighborhoods gentrify neighborhoods. 

My two cents: On almost every assignment I've been on since moving back to the states I have been confronted with someone joking--or not joking--about whether I come hand-in-hand with fake news. Misinformation is real but I know the organizations I work for are committed to reporting on actual--not fabricated--events. I do believe that instead of censorship, instead of eliminating wrongful speech out there, we should be encouraging critical thinking.