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Migrants, Guadalajara, Mexico

Joseph Smooke | Jalisco, Mexico

The train passes through Guadalajara at night

Migration from Central America and Southern Mexico is controlled by an intersection of human and drug trafficking. Thousands of people risk their lives every day riding on top of the freight rail cars trying to get to the US. Through the US based "Truth With a Camera" project, I was in Guadalajara paired with Ivonne Ojeda de la Torre photographing for the benefit of a network of volunteers working to provide food, medicine, and clothes to migrants, and working to establish a non profit organization called "FM4 Paso Libre". These volunteers do amazing work to support migrants as they pass through Guadalajara on their way north. They also support those migrants who are badly injured and stuck. These photos are of some of the migrants and one of the brave volunteers who works with the FM4 Paso Libre organization.

My passions for community development, social justice, and human rights are consistent in my professional work (I am the Executive Director of a community based non profit in San Francisco, CA, "Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center") and my photodocumentary work. I believe in the power of photography to ease people's suffering, but images cannot do much without activism, organizing, and communication. By presenting this group of images, my hope is that more people will know about the dangerous journey people take to get to the US every day so they are more aware of the impacts of US immigration policies, and will be motivated to support organizations like FM4 Paso Libre.

 Truth With a Camera




 Truth With a Camera



FM4 Paso Libre


Joseph Smooke



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