It is good sometimes to read news about somewhere other than here. I saw in the Guardian that Colombia is now about to vote on a possible end to the fighting with FARC, after 52 years or so. A friend of mine lives there, has been for a number of years, and he said his friends just walked in with little flags from a rally about it. FARC does so much kidnapping — I suppose for the money — that the threat of being abducted had spread a little bit even into my friend’s city, which is considered safe, kind of the opposite of Bogota.
I remember hearing that NPR story about their (Colombia's) “Kidnap Radio” station that has been on the air for actually 20 years, where the families of kidnap victims can go on the air to speak a message to their lost family member, and there’s a good chance of him or her hearing it — because FARC keeps abductees for very long periods of time and apparently often allow them to listen to a radio. My friend said the difference with these kidnappings from others is that they hold them for months or years in the jungle, where there’s nowhere to run to, so people tend to stay put. When the victims leave, they often walk out of the jungle with pets.
I was also stunned by a story about refugees and the generous responses of Canadians to them. They were just about tripping over themselves trying to collect money to bring them to Canada and sponsor them to live there. Here, we have this horrible presidential candidate actually running on an anti-immigrant platform. I can't wait for the election to be over.