Bagging the Antagonist

March 6, Friday
Today we interviewed the president of the Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna animal “shelter” that has been in the news recently for horrific abuse of dogs and cats. Luiz Navarro was on trial but was released due to Chilean law being somewhat behind in terms of animal rights. Animals are things here, so despite a four-month police investigation prompted by neighbors’ complaints of the death stench around the shelter (the result of dying and decaying dogs), Navarro walked. Protesters have been stoning the house in which we did the interview.

Not only did we get the interview with signed releases, we got a guided tour around the now abandoned shelter by Navarro’s daughter. It felt like Auschwitz, although it’s potential could still be seen – the genesis was good intention of people who founded the shelter out of compassion after seeing the abuse of carriage horses in Europe. Their dream has been destroyed and horribly exploited. Not surprisingly, it was Navarro’s daughter who was crying over vandalism to the building by animal rights activists who demonstrated for weeks during the trial. The shelter is destroyed, yes, but it’s the kind of dilapidation that occurs over years, not two months. You know it’s bad when even the rats are dead.

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