By Rebecca Drew
EYE-OPENING images reveal what life is like inside Bolivia’s San Pedro Prison where the families of inmates live with criminals who have broken the country’s strict drug laws yet are allowed to produce cocaine.
The stunning collection of images show rows of laundry hanging across the courtyard and on rails with children playing with toy trucks below. Other photographs show inmates playing football and washing up.
One picture of this prison, which inspired cult book by British drug smuggler Rusty Young called Marching Powder, shows an inmate handling what looks like a bag of cocaine.
The amazing photographs were taken by Communication Consultant, Danielle Almeida Pereira (35) from Sao Paulo, Brazil at the San Pedro prison in La Paz, Bolivia. Danielle used a Canon 20D to take the shots.
“The series of pictures intend to show how the illegal tour to a prison in La Paz takes place,” said Danielle.
“Inside San Pedro, prisoners’ wives and children live together while men do their time. Their families are allowed to leave the prison to go to school and visit relatives.
“In hostels, I saw backpackers planning to visit the prison and buy drugs, without any second thoughts on this matter.
“As an illegal tour, I needed to bribe guards and prisoners. I took pictures of vulnerable people with their consent.
“My intention was to show a different perspective, with criticism and brining awareness to human rights violation.”
The San Pedro Prison is one of the largest in Bolivia and inmates can pay for the standard of accommodation they receive. Inside, inmates run shops, restaurants and even, ironically, produce cocaine.
“As travellers and tourists, we need to understand the impact of our presence, especially in poor areas,” added Danielle.
“Above all, we need to respect human rights and avoid being part of a chain of exploitation.”
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