Ecuador: The photographer’s dilemma.

This is a photograph that has haunted me. During the street fighting with police and demonstrations for a change of government in Ecuador in 2000, I had been hanging with a group of young boys who where doing most of the front line fighting. We were heavily tear gassed by the police and I had run into a small store to get out of the fray. The owner of the store, an old woman , came to my aid and burned news papers in front of my face. The smoke seemed to help clear the effects of the gas. This group of boys followed me inside feeling safer with me. The old woman closed the metal doors to her store and we all waited. Soon the police started banging on the doors and threatened to break them down if she did not open them. The boys were immediately arrested and taken away to a fate that I will never know. Although my goal was to record their struggle for justice, I have felt guilty ever since, feeling that my presence had offered them false hope.