Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Other Victims

The kidnapping and murder of reporter Jacques Roche has been the sole headline of most news organizations here since the actual abduction and, of course, the day his body was found. Tomorrow would have been his birthday. The paper he worked for dedicated most of its last issue to him, his work, pictures, letters of sympathy etc.

The funeral is tomorrow and there is a march planed. The government declared it a national day of mourning. Today, radio stations had special shows about him. Fellow journalists and friends expressed their anger and bitterness over this crime. Fellow poets read Roche's work and their own, in memoriam.

But what about the other victims? I'm not talking about other people who have been kidnapped, tortured or murdered. What about the majority of victims, the survivors. Roche's relatives who came from the USA to bury him. The guys who played football with him. The people who live on the streets where his body was dumped. His coworkers who had to brave gunshots to identify the body. Us all, who heard the news, saw the pictures, read the poems.

Who cries for us? Who prays for us? When the dead are buried and gone, and we have to live on. And pretend we can make it without them. Who will save our souls from the black hole this irretrievable loss pulls us towards?