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Drug trafficking, poverty, gang violence, corruption and ethnic warfare have created some of the most dangerous hot spots on Earth. Witness follows our current generation of photojournalists into these conflict zones in Mexico, Libya, Brazil and South Sudan. In the four-part series, war photographers carry us into the heart of the human drama of the people in the action on the ground. We see what compels the photojournalist and experience why, when everyone else seeks cover, the photojournalist stands and moves closer.
|S01E01||Juarez||05/11/2012||Pro journalist Eros Hoagland has worked in conflict zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti, but his focus, here, is Juarez, Mexico, the murder capital of the world. Drug violence in Juarez has left over 10,000 dead, and the drugs are still flowing north. Eros began work as a photojournalist in 1993, covering the aftermath of El Salvador's civil war. He has since worked in Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan and Columbia. His father, Newsweek photographer John Hoagland, was killed in El Salvador when Eros was a boy. Eros looks for an emotional narrative within the subjects. In a grim locale a man is shot in his car and dies. It is Hoagland's capture of the incongruity of the quietness of death and the waiting of the police that conveys the absurdity of accident and the deepest of feelings. Eros' search is always for the emotional narrative.|
|S01E02||Libya||12/11/2012||Michael Christopher Brown has been to Libya five times during the conflicts that brought down Gaddafi's rule. Now, the revolution is over, but the chaos has only begun; the current situation in Libya is even more complicated. Internecine fighting continues, not unexpectedly. After 42 years of Gaddafi and no democratic tradition, Libya was not going to magically turn into Connecticut. On an earlier trip, in April 2011, Brown was in Misrata with veteran photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. He remembers having an uneasy feeling, saying, "The city was like a shooting gallery that day." Then a mortar round struck nearby, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed, and Brown was wounded. In WITNESS: LIBYA, Brown is in the extreme moments of present-day chaos and reliving the loss of his friends and mentors.|
|S01E03||South Sudan||19/11/2012||In South Sudan, thousands have been killed, abducted or displaced by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. French photojournalist Veronique de Viguerie travels with the Arrow Boys, an unpaid militia of farmers who took up arms to protect their families from the LRA. For the last two decades, Joseph Kony has led a campaign of unfathomable brutality in an attempt to impose his command as the law of the land. His forces have kidnapped and forced into sexual or military slavery an estimated 60,000 children and driven two million of Uganda's people from their homes. The pregnant de Viguerie treks through wilderness with the Arrow Boys, as well as with the Ugandan Army. On a night patrol she is asked if she ever gets scared. She replies, "Sometimes...but here there is no time."|
|S01E04||Rio||26/11/2012||Though Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics in 2016, the city currently remains crippled by a war raging between police and powerful drug gangs. Over 2,000 Brazilian military have taken to the streets in a largest offensive in decades. They are taking on the Red Command and Amigos de Amigos, two powerful gangs, in an attempt to regain control of the city's hilltop favelas before the world's eyes focus on Brazil as it hosts the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. The powerful drug gangs have fought back with a series of urban terror attacks on cars, buses and police stations. Several journalists have been murdered. Photographer Eros Hoagland is one of only a few willing to venture into the dangerous favelas like Mangueira, which overlooks the Olympic stadium. Mysteries are revealed: In some areas of "pacification," Red Command have been warned in advance and have already left for more remote parts. Rio's murder rate is said to be falling, yet missing persons cases are dramatically on the rise. "Is this 'social cleansing'?," Hoagland asks. "Where are the bodies?" As he journeys deeper into the dangerous streets he finds some of the answers - disturbing images of bodies in alleys, buried in wells or burned beyond recognition.|