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Revolucianario by photosbytony

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Featured in the “50+ Group” 5/22/11

We were escorted through the maze of passageways and corridors of the shantytown, I assume near the center. Twice we passed sentry’s, armed with machine guns I thought were Uzi’s. We were on our way to meet the leader of this community of rural immigrants that now comprised this shantytown community of perhaps 5000 people on the outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico. He was labeled a revolutionary. My expectation was a Che or Fidel, perhaps Pancho Villa character, intimidating, strong, capable of violence for his cause, too many movies I guess. I unfortunately forget his name but not the impression he made on me. Quiet, unassuming, intellectual, educated, a school teacher before he took up the cause of representing these people and protecting their community. Strong in his convictions, he lived in the center of the community, rarely left, fearful of the government. Were his fears warranted, I don’t know but they were real for him. He told us he spent most days at his typewriter, pleading the case of his people, fighting the “revolution” with words. It had been five months since he had been outside of the confines of the town. Early 70’s Nikkormat, 35mm lens, tri-x film

Tags

revolutionary, shantytown, photojournalism, black and white, street, documentary

Comments

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Mooreabout 3 years ago

    Wow, amazing. The story is phenomenal! It’s difficult for Americans to appreciate what Latin Americans have been through, whether Cuba, Panama, Mexico, or elsewhere. Thanks for bringing this man’s story to light. Wonder how he is doing now, some 30-35 years or so later? Did he win his battles… are they still being waged… is it time again for another like him… is there another like him? So many questions.

  • Thanks Fran, to be honest I was pretty nervous as we were escorted to him with the guns and seriousness of the guards but as soon as we walked into his room I felt comfortable and any perceived threat disappeared. Wish I could remember his name, looked through old notes and searched the net to no avail. I returned to the US about a year later, was living in Dallas and read in the paper that there was a fire at this shantytown and it was destroyed. There was a lot of conjecture on whether the Government was involved but fires are pretty common in shanty towns because of the open fires they use for cooking in those cramped conditions and spending the time I did in this one if a fire starts I can imagine it spreading quickly because the conditions looked extremely flammable. The whole experience was amazing for me, I remember thinking that I was only about a three hour plane ride from Dallas and it’s many glass towers and office buildings.

    – photosbytony

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezabout 3 years ago

    this is true history goodness, phenomeal story. aman of conviction . we sure need these folks today here in america , to tell you the truth . I hope he stays safe and is in good health and continues to bring hope .

    I love people with such valor and ideals. beautiful soul

  • Thank You Isa, not the face you expect of a Revolutionary is it? :) tony

    – photosbytony

  • TeresaB
    TeresaBabout 3 years ago

    May 22, 2011

  • Wow, Teresa, thank you again, glad to be featured! tony

    – photosbytony

  • oulgundog
    oulgundogabout 3 years ago

  • Thank You, Steve! tony

    – photosbytony

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