2017 Photo Contest, General News, 1st prize

Daniel Berehulak

The New York Times

19 October, 2016

The blood of Florjohn Cruz stains the floor in his family home, where he was shot by police while fixing a radio for his mother. Police left a cardboard sign at the scene calling Cruz ‘a pusher and an addict’. Cruz had given himself in to police months earlier, admitting to drug addiction and promising to put an end to his habit, under a government amnesty program.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines began a concerted anti-drug offensive soon after taking office on 30 June. During his presidential campaign, Duterte and senior officials had linked high national crime rates with drugs: an approach popular with voters dissatisfied with the political establishment and its failure to tackle poverty, crime and corruption. The president repeatedly ordered an increase of efforts in the offensive. Amnesty International reports that this led to human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings by both civilians and police. According to the Philippine National Police, officers and unknown armed persons carried out 7,025 drug-related killings between 1 July and 21 January 2017.

About the photographer

Daniel Berehulak

A native of Sydney, Australia, and a regular contributor to The New York Times, he has visited more than 60 countries covering history-shaping events, including the Iraq and Afgh...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
29.0 mm

This image is collected in