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Lost and Not Found: A Haunting Series Depicts Clothing of Missing Persons in El Salvador

Fred RamosDate found: December 27, 2012. Time: not available. Location: riverbank in the village of Soyanpago, San Salvador. Gender: female. Age: between 14 and 17 years old. Time of disappearance: Not known. 

Fred Ramos

Date found: February 1, 2013. Time: 15:45. Location: a sugar plantation in Apopa, San Salvador. Gender: female. Age: between 17 and 18 years old. Time of disappearance: not known.

The Last Outfit of the Missing, a devastating series by San Salvador-based photographer Fred Ramos, tackles the subject of los desaparecidos (the disappeared) in El Salvador, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world, largely due to gang violence. The series depicts the clothing worn by people who have vanished and whose bodies are later found. Since Ramos photographed this clothing, over a year ago, not one of these victims has yet been identified.

Although thousands of people have been murdered in the past several years, the government has no official policy on how to deal with this situation. As a result, families of los desaparecidos have little recourse except to wait, while some get so desperate they wander in search of their missing relative’s bones. In the past two years, there has been an organized effort to establish a bank that contains DNA samples of the human remains, which can be compared to the DNA of those in search of missing relatives. Unfortunately, because of conflicts between the Supreme Court Justice and Legislature, the project is stalled indefinitely.

All photographs from “El Último Atuendo de los Desaparecidos” © Fred Ramos. The series was awarded first prize in “Daily Life” by World Press Photo earlier this year. World Press Photo 14 is published by Thames & Hudson

Fred Ramos

Date found: October 25, 2012. Time: not available. Location: outskirts of the city of Sonsonate, west of San Salvador. Gender: male. Age: between 16 and 18 years old. Time of disappearance: about one year and two months prior. 

Fred Ramos

Date found: November 11, 2012. Time: not available. Location: a corn field in Tonacatepeque, San Salvador. Gender: female. Age: not known.Time of disappearance: not available. 

Fred RamosDate found: October 29, 2012. Time: not available. Location: near a bridge in Soyapango province, El Salvador. Gender: male. Age: approximately 20 years old.

Fred Ramos

Date found: February 1, 2013. Time: 15:00. Location: outskirts of Apopa, San Salvador. Gender: male. Age: between 15 and 17 years old. Time of disappearance: approximately one year prior). 
Fred Ramos

Date found: April 25, 2013. Time: not available. Location: San Pedro Masahuat, La Paz, El Salvador. Gender: female. Age: not known. Time of disappearance: not available. 

Fred Ramos

Date found: May 8, 2013. Time: 16:00. Location: outskirts of the village of Lourdes, Colón, La Libertad, El Salvador. Gender:male. Age: between 19 and 24 years old. 

Fred Ramos

 

Date found: January 11, 2013. Time: not available. Location: main road, Panchimalco, San Salvador. Gender: male. Age: between 18 and 22 years old. Time of disappearance: not known.

Fred Ramos

Date found: December 9, 2012. Time: not available. Location: Juan Opico, La Libertad. Gender: female. Age: not known. Time of disappearance: not known. 

 

 

  • RobinH

    Heartbreaking.