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Photojournalist Linda Panetta shoots for global justice, peace, human rights

To Linda Panetta, photography is not just taking pictures. This was made obvious when she spoke at Windows on the World on January 27.

“When I take pictures, I try to shoot it so that it will have a thousand words to persuade people to act upon,” she said. “Each picture has its own unique story behind it.”

Being a human rights activist and a photojournalist, Linda Panetta has led an action-packed life. During her Windows presentation, she revealed that she has visited over eight different countries with a mission to help find solutions to some of the problems from which the people of these countries suffer.

She said that she focuses on snapping photos in order to capture on film those unforgettable moments she experiences. Some of the countries Panetta has visited include Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Panetta attended Cabrini College, where she got the opportunity to go on her first trip. She had a desire to go to Nicaragua, but was informed that it was too dangerous for her to be visiting. She got the chance to go to Guatemala instead and gladly took the opportunity. This was the beginning of a very fulfilling future of many trips for her.

Panetta was eager to tell of her many quests around the world, and described the disadvantages and burdens of some of the people she met.

As she described the bombing in countries such as Iraq and Colombia, she said, “Every bomb is like a 9/11 for those people. The innocent people in those countries don’t understand why they have to suffer.”

Panetta also hosted a luncheon following her Windows presentation. At the luncheon, she was asked many questions such as, “What was the saddest moment you’ve experienced while visiting these countries and their people?”

“There was a starving child sitting on a road, and nearby was a vulture, waiting for the child to die so that it could take its prey,” Panetta responded.

Her next project is to make a DVD of her photos and maybe take another trip to Iraq in the future. She will continue to use her talents to touch more lives.

“We who have a voice must speak for the voiceless,” she said.

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