Sunday, October 21, 2007

Two tragedies highlight challenges

Two tragedies this week highlighted two endemic problems for El Salvador -- dangerous buses and desperate illegal migrants.

Eight died and 83 were wounded in a bus accident on Wednesday morning. The story in La Prensa starts with this sentence:

Otro autobús en mal estado y un nuevo accidente mortal que esta vez se cobró ocho vidas.

Another bus in a bad state and a new fatal accident that this time claimed 8 lives.
The bus, in poor condition, was overloaded with too many passengers, mostly women going to work in maquila factories. The bus was traveling at an excessive rate of speed when a tire blew, and the driver lost control. It was a tragedy which was avoidable, and a product of the government's continued failure to enforce minimum standards on older buses which still travel the roads.

La Prensa cited government figures showing that 904 persons have died in traffic accidents so far this year.

In another tragedy, the AP reports that fifteen Salvadoran migrants drowned when the boat they were in capsized in heavy seas off the coast of Mexico. Authorities believe that migrant smugglers are turning to the seas as overland routes become more difficult. 15 deaths from the economic desperation which leads migrants to risk everything in the path to "el norte."

1 comment:

Caesar said...

I remember when I went to visit and rode on one of these buses... it was pretty nerve racking especially when you realize that the mini-buses are in a race with each other to the next stop to fill with more people.