For the First Time…

Picture Credit: Saul Martinez / EPA

I’d like to start off my first post with the photo which stuck out to me most this week.

Carlos Daniel Gonzalez, 6 and his sister Izabel, 4, cling to each other after unknown gunmen killed their parents and five other relatives in Villa Canales, Guatemala, on Oct. 9. Two minors were among the dead in the attack.

The seven victims (including an 8 month old baby and an 8 year old boy) were killed over what is believed to be a land rights dispute. Guatemala is statistically one of the most dangerous countries in South America and has a population of approximately 14 million. With corruption at an all-time high, according to research conducted in the US last year, 96% of all crimes in Guatemala go unpunished.

The first time I looked at the photo, I almost skipped past it. I saw 2 children hugging and presumed the photo had a completely different meaning than it actually does. The thing that caused my eye to stick was the soldier in green in the background. A solemn, dark look on everyone’s faces, I knew before I looked into the rest of the story that it wasn’t one with a happy ending. The contrast of 2 small children, with dirt on their once bright clothes hugging amongst mud and rubble gives the spectator a sense of doom, and yet a sense of hope perhaps that even though these children will never be the same again after the events they have witnessed, they will always have each other.

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