Photos by @dominicbracco, @brianlfrank, and @kirstenluce
The small communities of San Gregorio and Santa Cruz Acalpixca were heavily damaged by the 7.1 earthquake that killed hundreds in Mexico. In the days after the quake the three of us set out to take a look at the response effort there.
The streets usually packed with partygoers and trucks carrying flowers, were instead choked with aid. Volunteers brought in goods to the more difficult areas to access on bicycles or motorbikes. Hundreds of volunteers sorted clothes, water, and food for the families whose homes were destroyed.
Scenes from the Cabalgata de Morelos, a three-day horse ride in Mexico interspersed with rodeos, music and activities. These annual rides are among the most important cultural events in the region, which has seen unspeakable violence under the control of the Zetas Cartel. Full story in the July issue of @natgeo.
To combat police corruption, the Piedras Negras police sometimes patrol with the army on the periphery, left. This provides added security and makes it harder for the narcos to control the police, a common problem. Police in nearby Allende were reported to be involved in the massacre of 2011. Photographed for @natgeo
Scenes from the dusty Cabalgata de Morelos in Coahuila, Mexico where thousands ride in procession for three days. This region has experienced unspeakable violence and an untold number of people have been killed. Full story and pics in @natgeo.
Sergio lost his grandfather during a massacre in Allende, Mexico in 2011. To this day, no one knows how many victims there were because most people were too frightened to come forward and report their loved ones missing. The investigative story is in the July issue of @natgeo.
Clergymen file into the main church in Allende, Mexico, for an ordination ceremony. A massacre here in 2011 left residents petrified and, to this day, without many answers. Please read the investigative story in this month's @natgeo.
Residents of Allende release lanterns for the Day of the Dead in the old cemetery in Allende, Mexico, near the Texas border. Allende was the site of a deadly massacre in 2011 orchestrated by the Zetas drug cartel. Story and pictures are in the July issue of National Geographic.
A rare glimpse into life in the federal prison in Piedras Negras, Mexico, which is notorious for the brazen escape of 129 prisoners in 2012 orchestrated by the Zetas Drug cartel. It is believed that this prison was also one place where bodies were incinerated after the massacre in nearby Allende in 2011. The full investigation and photos are in the July issue of National Geographic. @natgeo
A scene from the Cabalgata de Morelos, Mexico, a three-day horseback ride that includes rodeos, music and camping under the stars. This agricultural region along the Texas border was the setting for a largely unacknowledged massacre in 2011 by the Zetas drug cartel. Victims' families are still waiting for answers for what happened to their loved ones.
Story and pictures in the July issue of National Geographic @natgeo
Sections of existing walls and fencing start and stop somewhat arbitrarily along the Mexican border. A mileage quota was set by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and construction began, leaving many gaps large and small to appease landowners and allow for proper water flow and irrigation along the Rio Grande. For @bloombergbusinessweek.
Undocumented farmworkers pick and bundle spinach south of the border wall, north of the river. Most of the land flanking the Rio Grande is fertile farmland. The wall splits fields in two. On the days when crews need to harvest on a field south of the wall, they meet on the north side and caravan in vehicles over the wall. The irony is not lost on them. For @bloombergbusinessweek.