Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not-so-good Recent Happenings in El Salvador

Yesterday saw the declaration of another Alerta Naranja -- an Orange Alert for possible landslides as a result of the recent rain. It is worrisome, because we are only two months into the rainy season, which is supposed to last through October. The heavy rains do not affect Geoff and me, fortunately, because we live in well-insulated concrete areas of the capital city. But, everywhere else, things are awful when it rains. Most Salvadoreans live in huts built with mud walls, at the foot of deforested hills. :( In this most recent bout of rain, the restaurant that Ali's boyfriend helps to run down by the beach had collapsed. Its original base of rocks, sand, and silt had been entirely washed away by the river, and before his family can rebuild the restaurant, they will need to first fill the base with rocks and concrete...

In other news, while I was still in China, I read a news article about a bus that was set aflame by gangsters in El Salvador. 16 people were trapped inside that bus and burned to death. It's deeply horrifying and sad. --Will justice be served? I hope so, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Some suspects have been arrested*, but the prison/judicial system here is so lousy that there is really no guarantee what fate they will receive.

*By the way, Geoff heard that the reason why cops wear masks when they make arrests in El Salvador is so that they cannot become the target of a counterattack of vengeance. I don't know if this explanation is true, but you can see in the pictures from XinHua that they are indeed wearing the famed masks.

...Maybe some day, the conditions in El Salvador will improve. Sadly, if that day does ever arrive, it will take a really, really long time. In the meanwhile, the disparity between the have's and the have-not's is heart-rending, and the plight of the poor continues unabated.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the masks are for identity protection, but you probably figured this out by now.