By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The case is set for trial June 12, 2006. More than anything, Larson wants it known that his client got the rap while other supervisors got to retire, at full rank, oftentimes with pension and always without investigation.
A similar fate, however, apparently could have awaited Saucedo-Falls. Kunkle says, "If Dora had wanted to, she could have retired." --Paul Kix
Thanks, But No Thanks
Born in Kenya, June Arunga looks like a supermodel and sounds like a voice on the BBC: erudite, well-educated and thoughtful. Brought to Dallas last week by the World Affairs Council to premiere a documentary called The Devil's Footpath, Arunga is also a bit of a radical.
The film retraces Arunga's 5,000-mile journey from Cairo to Capetown through six African countries--Egypt, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. And while rock stars like Bono and Bob Geldorf promote doubling aid to Africa, Arunga, now studying law in England, says, "No thanks, you've done enough."
The event was the first collaboration between the Dallas Museum of Art and the World Affairs Council, scheduled to coincide with World Refugee Day on June 20. Making the film was an odyssey for Arunga, who wanted to know why, despite the continent's riches, the best and brightest people in Africa were leaving--and to decide whether she would stay.
With a camera crew, the sunny Arunga interviews students longing for freedom from a repressive Egyptian government and villagers in war-torn Sudan, where simply surviving each day without being killed by government troops or rebels is the main concern. After visiting a squalid refugee camp in the DRC, Arunga dons a bulletproof vest for a visit with UN troops to a gold mine and finds a small child whose head is deeply scarred by attackers who hacked his parents to death. She's obviously deeply moved.
"It really is the devil's footpath," Arunga told her Dallas audience. Arunga described how she clashed with the Dutch director, an Irish cameraman and a British producer who had pitched the project to the BBC. Their approach was to ascribe most of Africa's ills to plunder by multinational corporations.
"It's a very popular view," Arunga says, "blaming Africa's problems on others."
At an audience question about sweatshops, Arunga smiled and said, "I only hear this term sweatshop in America and Europe." She described her grandmother sweating with a hoe every day for 60 years. "What I see [in Kenya] is people making long queues to get a job at the factories that open," Arunga says. "The only way those wages will rise is for more factories to open."
She described "the rock stars" pushing the doubling aid to Africa and debt-relief as misguided. Arunga disagrees with both proposals. "It undermines the efforts of people to hold their leaders accountable," Arunga says. "I think it's dehumanizing for us to sit in a corner and wait for other people who work to give us a slice of their cake."
The journey helped Arunga answer her own question. After she graduates from law school she plans to live in the West, at least for a while. "I hope to make lots of money before I go home." --Glenna Whitley