by Rita Jordão, London correspondent
One year after Maddie’s disappearance, the story that took place in the Algarve still interested half of the world.
Two years after, the same half of the world is tired. The couple that moved opposing factions for so long, which religiously defended or attacked the McCanns, took the case too far, and with the increasingly evident certainty that a satisfactory outcome will never be known, many have lost interest.
The media also lost most of its interest in a case that cost some British newspapers almost a million euros. Kate and Gerry, on their hand, continue to try to seduce journalists, one campaign after another. New images, new interviews (including an appearance in the United States, on Oprah Winfrey’s show, one of the most watched programmes worldwide) and new documentaries mark the date. The parents don’t hide their will to have Madeleine back, in the headlines of the same papers that they condemned, a year ago.
“Madeleine is still missing! She has the right to return to her family. We have the responsibility to continue searching and we ask you – please don’t give up on Madeleine”, a press release from Kate and Gerry stated. The parents assert: “Pain and anxiety don’t dissipate but the will to find our daughter remains untouched”.
Madeleine disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007, only days before she would become aged four. On Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, Kate and Gerry revealed for the first time a new image that was created by a North American expert and which reconstructs Maddie’s face at the age of six, like she would look today. But just like Gerry was jeered at during his return to Praia da Luz, there were many who opposed their appearance on the American programme. A petition on the English prime minister Gordon Brown’s site appealed to the prohibition of such an appearance, while another petition manifests against the documentary, which will be broadcast on the 7th of May.
According to the parents, the reconstructive documentary presents “potentially significant and even suspicious events”. “A large part of the information has not been revealed to the public until now, but there are several questions that remain unanswered. One of these questions may provide information that could lead to Maddie”. This was the explanation that Kate and Gerry gave for their insistence in bringing a two-year-old case before the public.
The “Find Madeleine” fund, meanwhile, continues to pay for the expenses of several detectives who launched a new investigation in the search for Madeleine. The results continue to be the same as those that were obtained by Spanish firm “Método 3”: leaflets, local and international campaigns, interviews.
All of this places some media attention around the couple, but instead of headlines, the McCanns now get mere references in papers that are again more concerned about the future of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gordon Brown, than about the missing girl.
In Rothley, Madeleine’s home town where her parents reside, the support is still evident, but this year, contrary to what happened on the first anniversary, there won’t be a special mass to mark the date. For the rest of the nation, on the other hand, after a love-hate relationship between the McCanns and the British people, today’s leading word is truly indifference.
source: Jornal de Notícias, 03.05.2009