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There are limitations too. When a soldier at the Dominican National Palace shot a student, I managed to get only one simple photograph of the incident, whereas Associated Press photographer Jim Boudier, with a new motor-driven camera, squeezed off an entire series of pictures showing the soldier shooting the student to death. Boudier won the Pulitzer Prize for that series of photographs. Another enemy can be the ambient light, which is not always kind to the reporter-photographer who doesn't have all the professional equipment for the right exposure.

A camera can get you killed and can save your life. If a soldier firing on students at Tlatelolco in Mexico City before the 1968 Olympic Games hadn't seen my camera hanging around my neck, I might have ended up with those the army massacred.

Where ever I worked in covering revolutions, coups or natural tragedies, I always felt a strong affinity for the local people. I cannot count how many times ordinary-usually poor-people opened their homes or showed me an alley in order to help me escape the reigning strongman's dogs of war. The people understood that sheltering or otherwise helping a newsman under such circumstances could bring down the weight of repression against them. But they took the risk anyway.

This book is dedicated to those Dominicans, ordinary and heroic, who during the dictatorship and the 1965 Civil War at great risks to themselves, and whose names I often didn't know, helped me-like one constitutionalist who rushed out onto a street when bullets were flying to stop my car and warn me. more

Una Camara, Testigo a la Historia
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© 2004 - 2008 Bernard Diederich