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Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Colombian in the Iron Mask

I chose to relate this particular story because it touched me on several levels. Maybe it's because of my own personal outrage at the legal system where I live and the way I have been railroaded, maybe it's because I just finished reading Disco Bloodbath, where the author spent no small amount of time pointing out the apathy of the legal system in New York City, and maybe it's because the whole thing just outraged me on a personal level, but I really liked this story:

Luis Miguel Aldana of Bogota, Columbia, has sewn his mouth shut and locked himself in an iron mask to protest the deplorable financial conditions he is facing and the lack of governmental support for him, his family, and others like him. He is living in a neighbor's house where he has shackled his arms and legs to the bed, as the door to his house was locked against him. He says he chose to buy his children shoes rather than pay two months' rent.

While reports indicate Colombia has recently experienced a surge in economic growth, the unemployment rate has remained a high 10.6%. Aldana is hoping his protest will incite the government to provide him with a loan, as well as bring attention to his and his family's plight.

We wish him the best.

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