Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alex makes it to the game - but not to age 18.

Alex at the game.  (Photo: El Tiempo)
The incident was certainly novel and entertaining: Alex, age 17 and victim of a fatal shooting in the border city of Cucuta, had been a great fan of the local football team.

The mourners spent barely a half hour in the funeral home before leaving for the city's stadium, where Cucuta was playing against Envigado. Attending this game had been Alex's final wish. After circling the stadium unsuccesfully the mourners crashed thru a gate and carried the coffin inside, fulfilling Alex's final wish. In Alex's presence, evidently bouyed by the dead youth's moral support, if not his enthusiasm, Cucuta scored the tying goal. It's all quite heartwarming, really.

The incident has generated news stories about other strange things which have entered stadiums and discussions of whether this security breach was caused by the failings of the police or stadium management. Alex's mother said she was happy to see her son's wish fulfilled.

Few appear to have reflected over what must have been Alex's much greater wishes: to survive to adulthood and be able to attend many more football games with his eyes open and heart beating.

Colombia has a horrific homicide rate, particularly in poor neighborhoods. Such killings are so common that nobody seems to have found the details of Alex's death important enough to report. Murder is too routine, unlike post-mortem stadium visits.

By Mike Ceaser of Bogotá Bike Tours

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