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Assignment. The Death and Life of Frankie Madrid - California Sunday Magazine
koral carballo
Aug 1, 2019
Frankie couldn’t come back across the border, but his ashes could. They traveled in a small red wood box. His brother Beto put them inside a carry-on bag, and they cleared the metal detector at the port of entry in San Luis, Arizona. The box sat next to him on the ride back to Flagstaff until he placed it in his mother’s arms.
Beto had made the 500-mile journey to Hermosillo, Mexico, hoping that he would find Frankie alive, but he knew his mind was playing tricks on him. It wasn’t until he opened the casket at the funeral home that it hit him: Frankie was gone. There were scratches on the side of his neck, ears, and face, and the undertakers had dressed him in a buttoned-down white shirt with a black bandana pattern that Beto knew Frankie would have hated. Beto gave him a hug and a kiss with a soft, “I love you.” Outside the funeral home, relatives whom Beto barely remembered rushed to hug him and give him condolences in a Spanish he couldn’t grasp.

The Death and Life of Frankie Madrid
He couldn’t come back across the border, but his ashes did.


The Death and Life of Frankie Madrid
He couldn’t come back across the border, but his ashes did.

Koral Carballo

Koral Carballo ( b. Poza Rica, Veracruz, Mexico in 1987) She tells stories related to identity, violence and territory; dissolving frontiers between photojournalism and visual arts. She began her career as a photojournalist in 2009 and in 2016 she decided to leave the local media to investigate her own long-term projects. She is currently working as a photojournalist, documentary photographer, visual storyteller and freelance artist.
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