"Through small holes in the wall, they could see people walking on the docks. The Guatemalans recognized a port called Acajutla. An hour passed, then four, then eight. When the narrow beams of light that had shone through the holes in the hangar wall faded, they felt the Boutwell move. The boat’s engines roared, and a guard threw open the doors: The sun was setting, and the men were back at sea. For 30 minutes, an hour maybe, they sat in silence, watching the water and the sky become dark, their minds turning to their families. That night, Arcentales and Castillo, the Guatemalan fisherman, both cried, their chests heaving as the other men looked out at the sea."• In February of this year, I traveled to Ecuador with @sethfw and @dondestalamona on assignment for @nytmag for a story about fisherman who are small players in a larger drug war but get caught on international waters and detained by the US Coast Guard in floating prisons. •
Seth's deep investigative work shines in this piece - he met with men in prisons in America and we visited their homes and the families left behind in Ecuador. He also looks at the legal framework and financial incentives involved in this devastating situation. •
For the opening shot of this story, Carolina and I got up long before dawn and traveled to the edge of open waters, where the Ecuadorian and Colombian waters meet and legal obligations begin to change, to catch the very first light. •
Thanks as always to @nytmag @kathyryan1 and Christine Walsh @handheldproductions for giving me the chance to illustrate this important story. Link in bio.