BY LUKE COPPEN
A LEADING Catholic photographer has returned from a trip to Iraq with a harrowing record of suffering in the wake of the American-led war against Saddarn Hussein. Carlos Reyes Manzo, founder of the London-based Andes Press Agency, spent three weeks in the Middle Eastern country documenting the child victims of war, the discovery of mass graves and the struggle to rebuild the country after
decades of oppression. The 58-yearold photographer, a veteran of conflicts around the world, said the situation in Iraq was the most disturbing he had ever seen.
He said: "The most painful thing was when I was in the hospital for children. Because of the lack of med
icines and care hundreds of children died every day.
"It was very, very poignant to see the mother and fathers arrive with their children, and the children were just dying in front of my eyes."
Mr Reyes-Manzo, who was born in Chile, was wrested by General Pinochet's forces in 1974 and spent two years in jail. He said that witnessing the exhumation of hundreds of bodies from Iraqi mass graves reminded him of the crackdown in his homeland.
"My mind flew back to Chile," he said. "We had I,000 people buried in mass graves. You can imagine how painful it was."
Mr Reyes-Manzo, who is currently processing the 200 rolls of film he
shot in Iraq, hopes to produce a book on the humanitarian crisis in the country. He said he hoped the volume, which will be published by a mainstream publisher, to convey the scale of suffering in Iraq following American and British military action.
"I hope to raise awareness, to show people that no war is good," he said. "Every war is going to kill the innocent."
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