I have tried to wait to tell this story. i was really hope we could solve this problem somehow with CRS and cartias today in the archbishops office of san salvador. we did not, and this is a story that needs to be told desparetely.
friday morning at 10am i recieved a phone call from a contact i had made in the world food program meeting (which i snuck into). this man from cartias (who organizes CRS aid for local communities, aid of which CRS gets from the world food program. aid is a long, complicated, official, slow process). he told me to get all community leaders together (30 communities) with a list of all affected families (nearly 1,000) and document numbers. !)(*@# we stayed up ALL night getting together this information because we thought it meant CRS would get us food for 30 days. this unfortunately, was a big lie.
we showed up early. Cartias/CRS was 2 hours late. big lack of respect, after very tired and hungry and poor community leaders has walked 3-4 hours after staying up all night. strike one.
then, the priest of the parroquia santiago texacuangos threw EVERY SINGLE COMMUNITY LEADER OUT OF THE MEETING. and caritas stayed quiet. i protested and asked the preist why. he told me "mucho revuelta." the door were locked. strike two.
then, the priest HAND PICKED who would recieve aid. i know some of the families he cross off the list. families in need who lost everything. unfortunately, these families represented community leaders. "leftist communist" who worked personally with oscar romero, ita ford, and maura clarke. i actually cried. and no one stood up for me. the 4 members of cartias did absolutely nothing and let this blatant corruption occur. as the UN aid got delegated NOT to those in need, but to those who were friends and families of the right wing priest. i saw this with my own eyes. strike 3.
as if that was not enough, caritas invited me and mercedes (who was locked out of the meeting) to the archbishops office today at 2 pm. we left a 6pm. in the four hours that ensued, i fought and begged and pleaded and cried that we change the system. the the 500 families (quota chosen by world food program) would arrive to those most in need, because clearely we could not help anyone. i had contacted with mercedes community leaders from the junta directive and adescos who could HAVE HELPED US DO THIS THE RIGHT WAY SATURDAY. but no. they were ALL KICKED OUT.
thus, cartias let us pick 3 communities to add to the list. of course, those the priest had chosen would get to recieve aid first. and cartias played the numbers game. fill the next 300 spots in the easiest way possible. unfortunately, for me and mercedes this was not a numbers game. this was high level corruption. and each number represented a familiy. human beings for christ's sake.
there was nothing to do put cry. when i pleaded again that we take the corruption into account and thing of a more just way to bring food to those in need, i was told to be quiet. i was told that "we all have our own interests, this priest is a good man" by the same people who SAW THE CORRUPTION. they denied it to my face!! what interests do i have!!!! i have never been poor and i dont need world food program aid!!!!!
mercedes just cried. where is oscar romero? i miss romero.... she repeated over and over again.
caritas actually had the nerve to ask me to personally go home and digitze 300 names an dui numbers. i am at my limit. i cannot believe we have hit more complicity in corruption. in the catholic church no less. i feel very very sad and quite hopeless.
i actually do no what to do. i do not have the capacity to feed 1,000 families. even if the 500 helped by world food program actually get aid, these are not the most in need. or may not even be in need. im not sure if this makes sense to any of you. i dont know what to do. world food program papers are due tommorrow. we are out of time. we lost.
i am at my wits end. if anyone has any good idea or knows anyone important who can help mercedes and the people of santiago texacuangos please email me immediately. i need a real ngo that is not corrupt. i need you to pray for us. to somehow let justice prevail. i dont know what else to do.