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Dressed to kill

Colombia is a country obsessed with beauty. Four hundred beauty pageants are held each year, one of the most unusual being the contest held amongst inmates at the Buen Pastor women's prison in Bogota. Dermot Tatlow photographed the 2004 event, which saw seven contestants, ranging from assassins to thieves, left wing guerillas to right wing paramilitaries, vying to be crowned queen of the prison.

Each woman made her entrance on an elaborately decorated float with an entourage of carnival dancers, before performing on a catwalk erected in the prison yard. As a day of celebration wound to a close, Claudia Milena Galen, a 24 year old natural blonde serving time for aggravated theft, was presented with the winner's faux-silver tiara. Locked in her cell that night, she would no longer have to dream of being a beauty queen, tonight she was one.
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