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The Wrong Side: Drug-Related Violence in Mexico

Jérôme Sessini explores the drug-related violence at the U.S. border in Mexico where drug cartels wage war on the streets

Jérôme Sessini

Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Views of Tijuana. Tijuana, Mexico. November 22, 2008. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side A 17 year old member of the gang Barrio bajo in Juarez. He says that he has already killed 2 men as a hired killer for a cartel. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 2, 2009. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side A man injecting heroin in a brothel downtown. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. November 14, 2010. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Night Club downtown. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 10, 2011. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 10, 2011. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Couple of heroin addicts. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 7, 2011. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side At San Rafael Juarez cemetery, bodies are now being exhumed for identification with new scientific methods to help identify so many of the nameless dead. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 5, 2008. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Municipal police officers during a patrol in a dangerous west neighborhood of Juarez after they received an anonymous tip that a corpse was thrown into the sector. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 5 (...)
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side A couple of police agents detained for public disturbs and threats with weapon. Widespread corruption among Mexico's badly paid police is undermining President Felipe Calderon's army-backed war on (...)
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Diego Chavez Luis, his brother Argenis Chavez Luis and 2 other teenagers were shot in their car on the way to the mall. Roughly 39 AK47 bullet impacts were recorded on the car. Ciudad Juarez, Mexic (...)
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Prostitutes addicted to heroin in a brothel downtown. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. November 17, 2011. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side An addict homeless man seated in an abandoned house named 'la Maldita'. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 15, 2009. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Children play outside their house. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. November 26, 2011. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. December 5, 2009. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini | The Wrong Side Child with mask. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. November 24, 2011. © Jérôme Sessini | Magnum Photos

In Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city along the US border of 1,5 million souls, you have more chances of being killed then in Baghdad. For the sole year 2009, there were 2,657 ‘executions’ counted .

There are around 8,000 soldiers stationed in the city to reinforce police forces but fear has spread amongst the population where the crime rate is of 163 murders for 1,000 inhabitants. Rivalry between gangs controlling the drug market, violence within jobless families relying on relatives to send them money from the other side of the frontier, as well as the overwhelming presence of the cartels infiltrating state authorities and ransoming anyone from street vendors to corrupted officials has sent Ciudad Juarez in a seemingly endless spiral of violence.