EDITED BY DAVID WALKER
Los Angeles Times photographer Don Bartletti documents Mexican children and adults
THE HIGH COST OF CHEAP PRODUCE
laboring in abject conditions to provide inexpensive produce to U.S. consumers.
LOS ANGELES TIMES photographer Don Bartletti has covered difficult stories in
Mexico for decades, including the drug wars and illegal immigration. But his most
recent project, about the explosion of inexpensive Mexican produce exported to
the U.S., turned out to be one of the most difficult, he says.
Called “Product of Mexico,” the story ran as a four-part series in print and
online in December. It all started in 2013, when Barletti and Los Angeles Times
reporter Richard Marosi pitched the story together. “[We] initially chatted about
an upbeat, show-and-tell expose about all the states in Mexico that produced half
of America’s table veggies,” says Bartletti.
ABOVE: A crop of roma tomatoes is ready for transport in Mexico, which produces half of the tomatoes consumed in the U.S. The image was the lead photo of “Product of
Mexico,” which was photo-edited by Mary Cooney, director of photography and video at the Los Angeles Times. The project’s creative producer, Liz O. Baylen, led a team
that edited Batletti’s video.
10 PICTURE STORY
14 FROM PHOTO ASSISTANT
16 PERSONAL WORK TO
19 NEWS DIGEST