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Photo Essays

Leslie Searles | The Third Frontier

Iñapari, January 2012, A haitian refugee walks along the bridge that separates Iñapari (Peru) with Assis, in Brazil. This bride was close to them for almost 4 months.
[T]he aim of the project was to explore the conditions of Haitian immigrants who were stranded for four months in the Peruvian border with Brazil, while in search of the Brazilian dream. They set out on a long and expensive journey to Brazil, which had drawn some 4,500 haitians until that time.

The project began in Iñapari, a remote town in the Peruvian part of the Amazon rainforest bordering with Assin, in Brazil, where more than 250 Haitians were stranded after the Brazilian government restricted the entry of immigrants into the country. This regulation was introduced in the beginning of the year, trying to stop the wave of Haitian immigrants that was triggered by the 2010 earthquake.

A large number of Haitian immigrants seeking humanitarian refuge in Brazil, were victim of mafias and people traffickers who charged them larges amounts of money to take them clandestinely through the rainforest to the other side of the border.
Despite the absence of necessary services and adequate infrastructure, Iñapari became a temporary refuge, while the the Haitians waited anxiously to cross the border.

Iñapari, January 2012, Four of the 250 immigrants who couldn´t cross the border to Brazil.
© Leslie Searles
Iñapari, January 2012, One of the hundreds of immigrants who had to sleep on the floor of the local Church, which was provided as a temporary shelter to them.
Iñapari, January 2012, Some boys hanging their cloths in the greenhouse of Iñapari.
Iñapari, January 2012, Jules Obelca, who left his little girl Naika back in Haiti, hopes to find a work which can afford him with enough money to bring her child.
Iñapari, January 2012, Outside, in the garden of the greenhouse of Iñapari, where many haitians where staying, a boy throws the water onto the plants, after cooking.
Iñapari, January 2012, a refugge stands behind one of the many transparent cloths which surrounds the greenhouse, were many immigrants were staying.
Iñapari, January 2012, Football tournaments were played every afternoon, between haitian, brazilian, and peruvian teams. Brazilian were able to cross the border to play. In the image, a group of haitians immigrants celebrate a goal.
Iñapari, January 2012, Gerard Wesley is one of the few haitian migrants that can eat at a Restaurant in Iñapari.Haitian refugees were most of them in their 2 0´s.
Iñapari, April 2012, Ulises Dilvet, 37 years old. He left his 2 children and his wife in Haiti. He wants to work in Brazil to bring his family. If he goes back to Haiti, he want have the chance to earn money in order to live.
Iñapari, April 2012,Haitian Migrant seen through a spider web, outside the shelter where he was staying. The haitian refugees were trapped in the border with Brazil for almost four months.
Iñapari, April 2012, Haitians immigrantes struggle to find drinking and fresh water.

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