Thursday, October 23, 2008

Murder, Prison, Masked Guys with Baseball Bats

Pic1: Murder in Soyapango

I promise, the next post, I will have some happy images and stories. I promise. There really is a lot of beauty and wonder in El Salvador. I love the people, and pretty much everything about the country. But when I want information, I don’t want to see what's obvious. I want to see what's under the surface.

Today our tour of El Salvador takes us through a couple of exotic locals. The first was a murder in Soyapango. There was another fairly spectacular murder(s) a couple of days ago, but I don't have the pictures for that handy. Trust me, you're lucky. It's easy enough to describe, however, but instead, I prefer a riddle similar to that the goddess Hera asked of Oedipus (who solved it):
"Which creature in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three? "
Well, the answer to this classic riddle is "man". There is an El Salvadoran version, however:
"What in the morning walks on two feet, at noon doesn't walk at all, and then in the evening, uh, is missing an appendage?"
The answer to that, of course, is "a woman decapitated by a gang". The other morning, they found a bag containing a body in the city, without the head. Then, a few blocks away, they found a head in another bag. But here's the kicker: they don't match! They're from different bodies. Oops. Still no word on either one.
Anyway, I continue to document my personal problem with parents bringing their kids to murder scenes, like this one in Soyapango. This woman was shot in front of a school in the middle of the day.

Pic2: Josie, Mariona Prison
This was in Mariona prison, locally known as "Miami", at some total bullshit event for the press to show they care about the inmates. Anyway, this inmate, "Josie", wanted to show me his tattoos. He also has three teardrops on his face (he's killed three people, at least). When I asked him about his face tattoos and what they meant, he smiled at me and said "I've been bad". They provided water and refreshments for the press, and many of the inmates asked me for a bag of water (in El Salvador, water is often sold in 500ml sealed bags). They said the water in the prison is very contaminated, and they couldn’t remember what fresh water tasted like. After really seeing the inside of the prison, I am very confident I will never, ever, break the law again.

Pic3: Inmate, Mariona Prison
Here's another inmate at Mariona behind an isolation door.

Pic4: Street Vendor at Protest, San Salvador
Yes, the vendedores are up to their old tricks, and they aren't happy. This time, the city municipal police (CAM), tore down their stalls in the middle of the night in front of the Maternity Hospital. Now, I'm going to be honest here: the press was really, really looking forward to the vendors mixing it up with the police. Things have been boring here (relatively speaking, of course) since the last time they tore things up in El Centro, and nothing makes the news like an old fashioned riot. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and things were calm.

Pic5: Street Vendors destroying police barricades
Well, things weren't totally calm. The police had set up barriers to prevent the vendors from protesting; these barriers were against the law, and city workers helped the vendors destroy them. They burned a few tires afterward, but no one was hurt, and nothing much happened. The city has been pushing hard, however, to clear the vendors out of certain parts of the city, and the vendors are steadily losing patience.

1 comment:

Kadmiel said...

i mean what can u really say im just commentless and speachless