Raval: del Amor A los Ninos = Raval

Arcadi Espada, Author
Arcadi Espada, Author Editorial Anagrama $43.2 (257p) ISBN 978-84-339-2543-5
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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On June 18, 1997, a headline in Barcelona's La Vanguardia read: ""Couple Rented Their 10-Year-Old Son to a Pederast for 30,000 Pesetas a Weekend."" The sensational and sometimes fictitious story reported the existence of a ring of pederasts active in a barrio of Barcelona called Raval. In an effort to identify and punish the culprits, the local police and prosecutors eventually interviewed nearly 100 boys, as well as their parents and neighbors. The alleged ringleaders were detained, and parents lost custody of children and, in some instances, suffered public humiliation. At the height of the scandal, the case took on ethnic and political dimensions when Catalan nationalists protested against the negative publicity. Espada, a prize-winning journalist for Barcelona's El Pa s, spent three years reviewing the case. He argues that the real scandal was the collusion of police, judges, court-appointed psychologists, and the press in fabricating evidence and ignoring facts. Espada reserves his strongest criticism for the press, which he accuses of having a self-serving relationship with sources. This somber but riveting expos , written in the ""new journalism"" style, will be sought after by Americans and Latin Americans with interest in media studies. Recommended for college-level and specialized collections. [The Catalan edition was published under the title Raval: Del l'amor als nens. Ed.] Ceres Birkhead, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City
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