Crossing the Line
The U.S.-Mexico border fence west of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, Texas, near the state of New Mexico. (Photo: Louie Palu/ZUMA Press)
Canadian photojournalist Louie Palu discusses his work along the U.S.-Mexico border. He shares how he became interested in the area, the difficulties that came with reporting there, and what surprised him most. His project, “Drawing the Line: The U.S.-Mexico Border” examines security and immigration issues along the border.
Luis Avila Archulata, 40, who crossed the border into Arizona with his mother at age 2. He became a drug addict and was jailed multiple times before being deported. He is pictured in a shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
A woman who was found beating herself in Ciudad Juárez, seen here in another shelter in the city. Due to a lack of state resources, the privately run shelter provides a refuge for mentally ill homeless people. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
Deported men of Mexican and Central American origin pray before a meal at a shelter for migrants who have been deported from the United States or are preparing to attempt to illegally cross into the United States from Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012
Marisol Espinoza, a 20-year-old from Chiapas, Mexico, in a migrant shelter the night after she was deported from the United States. Espinoza walked through the Arizona desert for six days before she was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
During a March operation to find El Fantasma, the head assassin of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, the Mexican military shot and killed this heavily armed man in Quila, Mexico, in the state of Sinaloa. El Fantasma remains at large. Image by © Louie Palu. Mexico, 2012.
A heroin addict shoots up along the Tijuana River in Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
Girls praying at a crime scene in Ciudad Juárez in December 2011, just hours after a teenager was assassinated by a rival drug cartel. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012
A U.S. drug enforcement agent peering into a 55-foot-deep drug-smuggling tunnel found nearuma, Arizona, in July. The tunnel, possibly tied to the Sinaloa cartel, runs some 750 feet under the border and is estimated to have cost more than $1 million. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
An agent aims a flashlight down the tunnel, which is 240 yards long. The tunnel was cut through a floor of a small industrial unit and is estimated to have taken a year to build. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
At the western end of the line for the border fence, in the Pacific Ocean near Tijuana. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012.
A migrant who walked for days through the Arizona desert lies down in a migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico after being deported by U.S. authorities. One of the top injuries migrants sustain is severe blistering on their feet from walking in the desert in the heat. Image by © Louie Palu Mexico, 2012
All images © Louie Palu/ZUMA Press
Louie Palu is an award-winning documentary photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, festivals and exhibitions internationally. He has been awarded many accolades including a National Magazine Award, Hearst Photography Biennial, Photojournalist of the Year, Hasselblad Master Award, Alexia Foundation Documentary Photography Grant, Aftermath Grant and is a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow with the New America Foundation.
Louie's work has been featured in , BBC, and . His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, George Eastman House International Museum of Film and Photography and has been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Louie is best known for his long-term studies of the social and political issues of our times which includes a recent 5-year study of the conflict in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Louie's editorial work is represented by the photo agency ZUMA Press.