WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
By Jorge Luis Plata
I’ve been a photojournalist for the last 11 years. As a photographer from the Mexican provinces and working for a local newspaper, we do it all. We cover everything from political events to fashion, natural disasters, gun battles between police and narcos, executions to commercial ads.
Since 2006 I have increasingly been covering the dead; the players and the victims of the drug war. Sometimes one is not aware how badly this can affect you emotionally.
There was a moment when I realized I couldn’t sleep very well. Although I was tired I just couldn’t sleep. I remembered that as a small boy my grandmother would take me to visit these women who perform “limpias” (spiritual cleansings) to banish the bad spirits or the “malas vibras” (bad vibes) that had taken over a person’s body and mind.
It was time to pay Soco a visit, I trust her more than any doctor. When she saw my face she said determinately that I needed at least three cleansing sessions. She said that I looked stressed and very scared. I told her that I wasn’t scared but she insisted that I was.
“You are scared because of all the death you have seen. You are filled with the brutal endings of all these people you have photographed. These people can’t find eternal peace because someone else took their lives violently and their spirits have nowhere else to go but with someone else and they have gone with you.”