You say Doctor, I say activist

In a country where nobody takes responsibility for their actions, where everyone is a political actor, and where the only thing that matters is obtaining and holding power, the problems faced by ordinary citizens fall by the wayside. They are roadkill, afterthoughts in the never-ending debate between sides.

The sad spectacle of today’s press conference at the Bello Monte morgue is a perfect example of this.

Carmen Centeno, a forensic doctor, had the opening. She could have taken responsibility for the collapse in the morgue’s services. She could have explained the context of the El Nacional picture that has caused such a furor. She could have apologized to the families of the victims for the shoddy service they provide.

Instead, she put on her best rhetorical, rojo, rojito shirt.

She wailed against journalists, using the talking point du jour: "journalistic pornography." She clearly got the memo, and dutifully obliged.

The government, according to Ms. Centeno, is doing everything it can to promote forensic medicine. It’s making great strides. Hell, it’s even putting together a great team to handle natural catastrophes, she said, before going off on a tangent. 

Move along folks, nothing to see here. And shoot the messenger on your way out.

If there was real freedom of the press in our country, this woman would have been pressed about the real issue: the collapse in the morgue’s services. She would’ve been grilled on how it’s possible that a single lost key can bring her entire morgue screeching to a halt. In a real democracy, there would have been mounting pressure for her to resign, and the outraged citizenry would engender a shake-up in the institution.

Instead, Ms. Centeno took no questions. Thanks to a performance for the ages, she will probably end up with her own Ministry one of these days. Well played, Carmencita.

But don’t take my word for it. You be the judge:

Centeno desde la Morgue
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