Project

Philippines: The Execution Beat

Thousands of people have been executed on the streets of the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his all-out war on drugs.

Both dealers and low-income users of cheap and powerful crystal methamphetamine, known locally as “shabu,” are being targeted by police under his shoot-to-kill policy. The rest of the dirty work is carried out by contract killers, some of whom are on the payroll of corrupt officials involved at the higher levels of the drug trade.

A pervasive fear of extra-judicial killing is driving waves of people to surrender to authorities. But all the violence and intimidation fails to address the poverty that lies at the root of the country's drug epidemic.

Jason Motlagh and his team track the photojournalists on the front lines of the murder beat, where killing is a nightly occurrence and the streets run with blood.

December 09, 2016|

The Execution Beat: Tracking the Philippines Drug War

Thousands of people have been dragged from their homes and executed on the streets since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a new war on drugs. AJ+ follows photographers on the murder beat.

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