Rolling News Compassion?

ALM Aquarium TributeSeveral hundred people turned out at the Almuñécar Aquarium and Centro Jate in La Herradura in memory of 8-year-old Gabriel Cruz.

As a result, the Mayor, Trinidad Herrera, stated that with permission from the grieving parents of the murdered boy, she would propose in the next Plenary meeting of the Town Council that the Aquarium be named after Gabriel.

His nickname was Pescaito (little fish); hence the connection with an aquarium, and hence all the children’s drawings of fish left in memory.

The twelve days that separated the boy’s disappearance from his body being found, completely dominated the national news and the affair moved millions of people in Spain – millions.

Images of the tearful parents, beseeching the person who had taken their son to free him, took on a special meaning when it later became known that they, even as they spoke, suspected that the culprit was literally standing at their side, there, before the microphone, in front of the crowd – the police had asked them to not show their anger or confront her so as not to give the game away because the police were watching her every move.

The mother, hours after receiving the news of Gabriels death, went public and called on everybody to stop attacking the alleged murderess on social media; to stop the hate and just remember the boy with the love that he deserved.

The last time that the death of a child had affected the general public here, anywhere near as much, was when the British girl, Madeleine McCann, disappeared, but then the media in the UK had been going full blast as well as the Spanish media.

But the question is – and without detracting from the pain that assails the parents or the genuine compassion that is being expressed in Almería, in Andalucía and all over the country – are people, such as the Mayor, taking it too far?

Dozens of children have disappeared, been raped and murdered in Spain – are their deaths any less important than Gabriel’s?

Are we more and more manipulated by 24-hour rolling news? How many times after the attack on the Twin Towers… how many times in the hours, days, weeks and months, were we dealt countless images of those towers coming down?

Gabriel’s loss is an immeasurable and insurmountable one for his parents and their fortitude has been, and continues to be, an amazing display of courage and generosity.

But what about María Teresa Fernández, the then 18-year-old that disappeared in Motril in the year 2000, whose parents have suffered for so many years? Is that case not closer to home if you want to dedicate a public building to a missing person? Or the two children, Ruth y José, aged two and six, who were kidnapped by their own father and murdered to spite his estranged wife in 2011? That occurred in Córdoba, which is no further away than Nijar in Almería is.

(News: Almunecar/Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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