VICE responds to accusations bullet photo at El Chapo’s son’s home was staged after Twitter firestorm

VICE has denied accusations Tuesday that they staged a photo of an unfired bullet stuck in a wall outside the home of one of El Chapo’s sons.

On Thursday, VICE World News released a story titled “Inside El Chapo’s Son’s House After a Deadly Gunfight.” The piece detailed how the Mexican military conducted an early morning raid that involved a flurry of gunfire and led to the cartel leader.

The article included several pictures of the violent aftermath, including one of a “high-caliber bullet poked at one of the gates outside Ovidio Guzmán’s house in Jesús María, Sinaloa,” according to the caption.

However, the picture shows an unfired or dud cartridge jammed into the hole in the metal wall. The bullet, which includes the casing, primer, projectile and gunpowder, could not have possibly been shot from a rifle, despite the picture’s suggestion.


The picture and its original caption drew the attention of prominent Twitter users, who ridiculed and mocked the news outlet over the possibility that they staged the photo or did not understand how ammunition works.

“The bigger story hidden in Vice’s report here is that they’re coming after El Chapo’s son with futuristic weapons that somehow fire an entire bullet, casing and all,” attorney Damin Toell tweeted.

YouTube and Twitch partner Donut Operator said he could not believe the picture was included inside a VICE article and had to look it up to confirm the truth.

“Hey VICE y’all still staging s— I see,” he added.

“Who wants to tell VICE?” TPUSA contributor and streamer Isabel Brown tweeted.


The official account of Archway Defense, a Minnesota-based combat training company, called the picture “laughable” and initially thought it was part of a meme aimed at VICE News.

Conservative comedian duo The Hodge Twins wrote, “Did the reporter put the unfired bullet in that hole for the pic? C’mon.”

Even the National Rifle Association (NRA) found the time to point out the news outlet’s mistake.

The photo caption was updated at some point between about 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday to specify the bullet was “left inside a bullet hole” on the gate.

In correspondence with Fox News Digital, Britta Galanis of VICE said the bullet was left at the scene as the team found it and the photographer did not alter the location.

“VICE World News went to the scene of a 10-hour gun battle between the Mexican military and cartel gunmen at great personal risk,” she said. “Our story reports in-depth on the deaths that occurred there, and on the munitions left behind. This photo depicts one thing that was left at the scene as we found it. Our photographer in no way altered the scene, and we stand by our continued and storied reporting on drug trafficking and cartel violence in the region.”

Journalists have previously had issues discerning bullets and their characteristics.

In 2014, Huffington Post journalist Ryan Reilly was covering the Ferguson riots when he asked his Twitter followers if a picture he had taken was of rubber bullets.

Twitter users quickly mocked Reilly and told him that the orange objects he had found were ear plugs, not rubber bullets. He later apologized for misconstruing the two.

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