The city's nearness to the States and the drugs flow, coupled with limited social opportunities, helped fuel the environment that made Ciudad Juarez in Mexico the most violent city in the world. In 2008, when the Sinaloa Cartel entered to take over the local drug trade, the cartels began employing kids. Working for a cartel is for many youngsters the alternative to working for a foreign company and manufacture plants for a meager wage, les than 100 US dollars a week in a city where the cost of living is nearly as high as in the States.
Dominic Bracco II (1986, Texas, USA) documents the effects of Mexican and North American policies on the border region where he was raised. He depicts the daily violence and gives the most vulnerable social group in Juarez a face. These young men and women carry the name Los Ninis, and neither work or study. Nearly half of all Juarez residents between the ages of 14 and 24 fall into this category and they make up a quarter of the city’s total homicide victims. Without work, or a real incentive to work, young people are increasingly turning to the cartels where the boundaries between crime and an honest path are often blurred by the bloodshed and fear enveloping the city.
Bracco has degrees in journalism and Spanish literature. His photographs appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Dominic is also a founding member of the collective Prime. He is based in Mexico City.