Friday, September 11, 2009

The devil is alive and well in a quiet Mennonite community in Bolivia...

The road to Manitoba is dusty and the four-hour drive terribly hot. But at its end, there is a scene from a fairy tale. Shiny milk tanks line the entrance to farmhouses set amid impeccably manicured lawns. Laughing children pass on a horse-drawn carriage along a well-kept road without cars or lorries. Behind a gaggle of geese run a clutch of little blond girls wearing big straw hats with dark bows and flowery dresses.

But something has poisoned this apparent idyll. A little further on, three blue-eyed men sit by the roadside, all in the classical Mennonite outfit of dark overalls and baseball caps. One is Carlos Knodel. In the quiet sunshine, he tells me his family's scarcely believable story: Knodel's 57-year-old mother, his 29-year-old sister √Āngelita, who has learning difficulties, his wife, his two teenage female cousins, his aunt and his pregnant sister-in-law have all been raped. Not – it's said – by outsiders, but by young men from within this devoutly religious 2,000-strong community. With breathtaking understatement, he tells me: "This has changed us. This has changed us for ever." The other two nod in agreement. More...

Don't miss:

  1. The Irish State colluded with the Church to hide shocking child abuse..
  2. The Pope and the sign of Satan...
  3. 40 years ago, the Charles Manson murders...
  4. 30 years ago, in Guyana, in a place called Jonestown, something terrible happened...


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