At the western end of the line for the border fence, in the Pacific Ocean near Tijuana. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Luis Avila Archulata, 40, who crossed the border into Arizona with his mother at age 2. He became a drug addict and was jailed multiple times before being deported. He is pictured in a shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
A man shot multiple times in drug-related violence is pulled toward a stretcher by a medic in the Mexican city of Culiacán. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
A woman who was found beating herself in Ciudad Juárez, seen here in another shelter in the city. Due to a lack of state resources, the privately run shelter provides a refuge for mentally ill homeless people. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Looking through the U.S. border fence into San Ysidro, a small U.S. border community in San Diego County. These small openings in the fence are used by U.S. Border Patrol to monitor the Mexican side of the border. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
A man coming from Mexico and holding a U.S. passport lines up at a port of entry into the United States in Laredo, Texas under the watchful eye of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and a dog used to sniff out illegal narcotics. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer leafs through photographs of various species of insects that are considered threats to U.S. agriculture and forests at the Columbia port of entry west of Laredo, Texas. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
How Nogales, Arizona, looks from Nogales, Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Flying toward El Paso, Texas from Ciudad Juárez over the border between Mexico and the United States. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Deported men of Mexican and Central American origin pray before a meal at a shelter for migrants who have been deported from the United States or are preparing to attempt to illegally cross into the United States from Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
During a March operation to find El Fantasma, the head assassin of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, the Mexican military shot and killed this heavily armed man in Quila, Mexico, in the state of Sinaloa. El Fantasma remains at large. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Earlier that same March day, an unidentified man was killed in a drug-related shooting across the street from a school in the nearby city of Culiacán, where the Sinaloa cartel is based. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Graffiti railing against Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, on a wall in the Juárez Valley east of Ciudad Juárez. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Playing basketball in Ciudad Juárez, with Texas looming in the distance. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
On the Texas side, the dry bed of the Rio Grande marks the eastern end of the U.S. border fence. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. United States, 2012.
A heroin addict shoots up along the Tijuana River in Mexico. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
For months, the town of Ascensión, Mexico, south of the border with New Mexico, put up with corruption and extortion by locally dispatched Mexican federal police. In August, residents set up a roadblock across the highway through Ascensión and confronted an officer. Later that day, a commander pulled the police team from the town. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Girls praying at a crime scene in Ciudad Juárez in December 2011, just hours after a teenager was assassinated by a rival drug cartel. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
A U.S. drug enforcement agent peering into a 55-foot-deep drug-smuggling tunnel found near Yuma, Arizona, in July. The tunnel, possibly tied to the Sinaloa cartel, runs some 750 feet under the border and is estimated to have cost more than $1 million. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
An agent aims a flashlight down the tunnel, which is 240 yards long. The tunnel was cut through a floor of a small industrial unit and is estimated to have taken a year to build. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
A migrant who walked for days through the Arizona desert lies down in a migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico after being deported by U.S. authorities. One of the top injuries migrants sustain is severe blistering on their feet from walking in the desert in the heat. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.
Marisol Espinoza, a 20-year-old from Chiapas, Mexico, in a migrant shelter the night after she was deported from the United States. Espinoza walked through the Arizona desert for six days before she was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.

Weaving above, below, and across the U.S.-Mexico border over the course of a year, a photographer captures the violence and trauma of a deadly drug war and those caught in its crossfire.

Project

Louie Palu explores the U.S.-Mexico border where violence runs rampant: What does it look like? How has the immigration policy evolved? And what are the economic and security issues?

Recently

January 23, 2014 /
Louie Palu
Photojournalist tells how he began documenting a war closer to home-the U.S.-Mexico drug war-and what he thinks is missing in coverage of such issues.
January 21, 2014 /
Louie Palu
"What's going on in Mexico is much bigger than what people really understand," according to Pulitzer Center grantee Louie Palu.