Memento Mori — March 11, 2014, 1:51 pm

Matthew Power (1974–2014)

Remembering a contributor and friend

Matt Power, on assignment in Manila for "The Magic Mountain: Trickle-down economics in a Philippine garbage dump," published in Harper's Magazine in December 2006 © Misty Keasler

Matt Power, on assignment in Manila for “The Magic Mountain: Trickle-down economics in a Philippine garbage dump,” published in Harper’s Magazine in December 2006 © Misty Keasler

We at Harper’s Magazine are saddened by the loss of our friend Matthew Power. Sixteen years ago, Matt was an intern at the magazine, and since then he’s reported eight smart, brave, funny, and important stories for us. He was both brilliant at his craft and a hell of a good guy, which makes his death all the harder to bear.

Matt’s work for Harper’s is collected here and below.

“Slipping through the Net” (April 2012)

“Ghosts of Wounded Knee” (December 2009)

“Mississippi Drift” (March 2008)

“The Magic Mountain” (December 2006)

“Immersion Journalism” (December 2005)

“The Lost Buddhas of Bamiyan” (March 2005)

“The Trash Folder” (January 2005)

“The Poison Stream” (August 2004)

Matt on assignment in London

Matt beneath Fleet Street while on assignment in London

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Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.

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Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'

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