I sat down on the hot concrete with my camera and was instantly surrounded by about 15 kids. I was in the city of Caobal in the Dominican.
As I snapped photos of the children hovering around me, each one wanted to see what the photo looked like after I took it. I don't think any of them had ever seen a regular camera before. Sure, they have all seen cell phone cameras, but a real camera, no.
While we were behind the concrete walled and razor topped confinements of the elementary school, there was fear of a protest taking place outside the building. Evidently, one had occurred the night before that included the burning of debris in the streets that acted as a road block of sorts. The problem... a lack of electricity for about five days. Residents feared that the government had shut down the electrical grid to their communities over political arguments.
While there was not a protest going on when we left, there was one later in the day. It was said that when National Police arrived to disperse the crowd, they fired they guns into the air. No one was hurt.
The National Police force in the Dominican is the largest police force in the Dominican Republic under the control of the Ministry of Interior and Police. When the U.S Occupied the Dominican from 1916 to 1924, the United States Military helped to create the Dominican Constabulary Guard (DCG), which acted as national police. It later became the Dominican National Police.
A group known as "InSight Crime" reported in March of this year, "A top-level prosecutor in the Dominican Republic said the military and police are involved in 90 percent of organized crime cases, putting a hard number to official involvement in criminal activity after years of high-level corruption scandals."
InSight Crime is a foundation dedicated to the study of the principal threat to national and citizen security in Latin America and the Caribbean: organized crime.