It was 9 a.m. in Paraguay when I heard on the radio RIOT IN TACUMBU PRISON. It had started at 8.

Police with dogs arrive at the Tacumbu prison as prisoners held hostages inside during an uprising for better conditions in Asuncion

The visual impact that a picture can cause is fully validated when it comes from a witness, and even more so when it comes from a danger zone. This is what happened on June 20th when the prisoners of the Esperanza ward of the Tacumbu prison took as hostages warden Mario Pairet and a group of guards.

I headed straight for the prison, thinking about how to describe the horrible spectacle that the protagonists, relatives and friends, and all those involved in some way, were enduring. I thought that when I arrived at the prison entrance the situation might be under control, but to my surprise it wasn’t.

I heard screams from the prisoners saying – they abuse us, they torture us, we need clothing, we need food. I saw police, dogs, weapons and frightened faces all around.

Police officers watch over Tacumbu prision as prisoners rioted inside

When I passed through the gates I knew it was a danger zone. I also knew that my responsibility, professionalism and rationality were being tested by the uncontrolled riot in front of me.