Early in 2013 photographer Ross McDonnell travelled along winding mountain roads in Guerrero state, Mexico, to witness the opening of a new chapter in the country’s enduring battle against organized crime.
McDonnell’s photographs documenting the rise of the so called “Auto Defensa” movement were published by Time magazine, his television commissions sending him back into the mountains of La Costa Chica on several filming trips as he sought to create reports that explored both the local pride at these tiny communities rising up against the ruthless Mexican cartels and also the capacity these movements had for obstructing the course of law and meting out rough justice.
The rise of the Mexican vigilante movement had arrived and the public struggled to decide if they were a force for good or another corrupt player in a country exhausted by it’s own lawlessness.
For the occassion of Paris Photo 2013, McDonnell produced a series unique Ambrotype, glass plate photographs from his portraits of the Auto Defensa movement for the Paris exhibition. This film, with music by composor Aaron Martin is an accompanying piece to the images.