Thursday

Portuguese citizens fight back against Kate and Gerry's new insulting Maddie campaign

People of Luz tear off Maddie posters

Residents point at the little girl’s parents and say they are fed up with a situation they are alien to and that has been damaging tourism

by Ana Palma

Of the big campaign about Maddie’s disappearance that was launched by the McCanns in the area of Luz, Lagos, there was little left, yesterday afternoon, apart from half a dozen posters that had been affixed on bus stops and outdoors. The local population has torn off and shredded the rest of them, throwing them into the garbage.

“They put up a poster on my shop window but I took it off right away”, CM was told by Luís Mamede, the owner of an optics store in Luz, who sees this campaign as “another massacre” for the people in Luz. “It’s enough!”, he said, stressing that “Luz is being hurt by a situation that is alien to it: The child’s parents are to blame but it’s the people who live and work here that have been hurt. Tourists with children are afraid of coming here. That’s unfair, because Luz has always been safe”.

Tiredness and indignation were, in fact, the emotions shown to CM by the locals. For Ana Santos, this campaign by the McCanns “is a clown circus. It’s normal that people remove the posters, because they have nothing to do with what happened and they’ve been seriously hit”. Emílio Caracol says he’s “fed up”. And he adds: “I don’t know the McCanns. I’ve had two children and I’ve guarded them, and I guard my four grandchildren as well.”

The “uselessness” of this campaign was recognised by English citizens Steven Gray and Alan Fox, who were taking a walk around Luz yesterday: “If Maddie is alive, she’s not here.” Concerning the removal of the posters, they consider that “people want to forget and the case is bad for tourism”.

source: Correio da Manhã, 26.03.2009

Translated by astro