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