by Mendes Bota*
Beyond the unfortunate little Maddie McCann, the most famous case of a missing child on a planetary scale doesn’t cease to make victims. Starting with the credibility of Portuguese justice itself, which is so inept about deciding Casas Pias, Freeports and Golden Whistles, and so quick to close the investigation and to archive the process of Praia da Luz. Dragged by this broth of promiscuity between politics and Justice, the brilliant career of Gonçalo Amaral, the uncomfortable inspector who didn’t conform to the lie of the truth that was being imposed on him, was interrupted.
In this movie of lying fiction, nobody is going to explain how a supposed abductor managed to enter an apartment without breaking in, and how he could be so stupid as to escape through a window that was difficult to reach, while carrying a child. 15 actors came, but there are indispensable characters that will be missing from the movie’s cast. We’ll miss the friend Jane Turner, explaining which one of her different versions should be followed. We’ll miss the Smith family, that recognised Gerald McCann carrying a child on the fateful night, but was never summoned to Portugal to give their statements? We’ll be curious to find out which one of the surveillance schemes that all of those parents declared – two different, contradicting lists – will be chosen? With the second anniversary of the tragic disappearance of his daughter very close, it is almost an affront to see a smiling Gerry McCann, pretending to be a television consultant, trying to sell the world a reconstitution of the events, when he had refused to do so before, under the orders of the police investigation.
This is not the Algarve Film Commission that the Tourism Office of the Algarve had imagined. It’s a charade, which should deserve profound repugnancy. It’s an affront against the region and a mockery of a population that was moved by a child. The people of Praia da Luz are easy to understand: “Go home!”
source: O Algarve, 09.04.2009, paper edition
* José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), Rapporteur for PACE Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and President of PSD Algarve