I'm from Mexico City and lived in the U.S. for a total of more than 24 years. Now I'm back in Mexico. I realized I was seeing my country through the eyes of a native stranger. This is an attempt to process the differences, to explain Mexico to the U.S. and the U.S. to Mexico. With digressions along the way.

martes, enero 04, 2005

Loret de Mola in Indonesia

The Mexican journalist Loret de Mola (see news shows post) is now in Banda Aceh as a special envoy for Televisa. I have to say he is now by far my favorite newscaster (I never thought I'd say that about a Televisa newscaster). He strongly criticized, on both El Cristal and Primero Noticias, the decision by the American government not to give more than 350 million to the worst natural disaster in recent history. He also had strong critique for Colin Powell, who he says is really only pretending to visit the affected area: he's getting off his jet and onto a helicopter directly to see the devastation from above, but is not actually visiting any of the affected populations. I'd love to know how this is being reported in the U.S. media.
I think at this point, the problem is not how much money and resources are being sent over, but how to effectively distribute aid. What little infrastructure existed for this was obviously devastated by the tsunami. Some areas are getting too much water and medicine, when what they need are construction supplies, and the worst affected areas that need the basics are largely stranded. Loret de Mola said that he observed that because of lack of medical supplies, rescuers are having to amputate limbs that in better conditions could be saved. He reported that the devastation is far worse than it seems on televison. And THAT is saying a lot. I can remember after the earthquake here in Mexico, the incredibly pervasive smell of the dead bodies that lingered. I can't even imagine what it must be like when those cadavers are so much greater in number. The spread of disease, the lack of water and food, the hundreds of thousands or even millions of people left homeless....
I saw on the news an interview with some tourists who stayed to enjoy the beaches. I don't even know what to say about that. They weren't staying to help, and when interviewd, they didn't even have a reason that I could swallow like, "I want to support the area economically with my tourism." They had broad smiles and commented that it was a beautiful day at the beach and the sun and waves were pleasant. I agree with getting on with your life...but I really don't know how I feel about that kind of attitude. Maybe there's no difference with me going on with my life here: I still laugh, I still enjoy. But wouldn't it be kind of like going for a picnic at a cemetary where they're having a funeral? Perhaps because I'm Mexican, I have a pretty dark sense of humor when it comes to tragedy...but I don't know that faced with the reality of the devastation there I could just soak in the rays.