“A gun for every militiaman” is the latest desperate cry of the dictator.
This photographic collage essay deals with firearms possession in Venezuela’s shanty towns. In Caracas, as in a video game, guns are sold, loaned, lost, stolen and smuggled. Pistols, machine guns, grenade bombs and ammunition are advertised through Whatsapp, Snapchat and even Instagram, the black market takes the form of an evil chat, so you can choose your weapons before starting to play. Venezuela is the Latin American country that devotes more resources to the purchase of armaments. In 2016 we reached the unbeaten score of 28479 violent deaths. In our “barrios” it is easier to find a gun than bread. There is no milk, but there are lots of bullets. Under the revolutionary regime, Caracas has been turned into a real battle ground, a clash of mafias. The city is overrun by different malefic forces: brutal police squadrons, merciless paramilitary groups and armed common criminals. Civil society is literally trapped among all kind of shortages, repression and chaos. In the same day, you can be a victim of a rubbery and assist to a rain of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, beware, minutes later you could be stepped by a crowd running away from the National Police Robocops.
Kalashnikov from Russia, Norinco from China, Beretta from Italy, Glock from Austria, Walther from Germany, Browning, Colt and Jenings from U.S.A: these are the weapons from the catalog of the brutal, gory and constant violent misery in my home city.
Pepe López, Paris 2017