Her name is Julie Pacheco. She doesn’t speak much English and regardless of the language barrier, I’m told she doesn’t speak much at all. She’s skittish and hides her eyes beneath her black beanie, but she seems very aware of her surroundings. Her body is covered in little scabs and scratches where she picks at herself and she moves with a nervous energy. Julie lives with a man who looks out for her and he is very fond of Julie. He tells me she was a sex slave in Mexico for 10 years, where she was kept in a cage, abused and mistreated. The man has also lived through his own personal trauma and it was evident to me that they have a connection founded in what they’ve been through. He tells me, he’d like to marry her someday, but she doesn’t have any papers. Regardless he is protective over her and takes care of her just the same. I’ll be following up with Julie in the near future after I bring an interpreter with me to help me translate our conversation. I’d like to learn more about her backstory and share it with you all.
Suitcase Joe is a Los Angeles photographer who lives anonymously in our amongst. His Instagram page is an important document of our times. @suitcase_joe