Send your letter
with a click...
Proof of Life
I read the article "The Real Proof of Life"
with much interest. My family has worked within the same organization
that Tom Hargrove did for close to 20 years. However, I feel that I need
to defend the organization's position.
The first and most vital point is that
the location where Mr. Hargrove was taken had been deemed a forbidden
area to the scientists due to the lack of security. Mr. Hargrove was in
that area, with the full knowledge that there had been information that
the guerillas were there. The second point is that CIAT refused to pay
CIAT is merely one center in a conglomeration
of 58 public and private sector members that support 16 centers. The group
is called, The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research,
or CGIAR. In each of these centers, there are at least 200 employees,
all at the mercy of their environment and therefore targets for kidnapping.
Many are in dangerous areas in order to
improve the lives of the impoverished, such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan
and Colombia. All of these centers were to share $340 million in 1998.
First, given the mission and vision of these centers, they cannot afford
to dole out money each time a person is kidnapped. There is a greater
good to consider.
Second, if one person is kidnapped and
the pattern is set for the paying of ransoms, then the immediate danger
to thousands of scientists and their families is multiplied.
Third, if Hargrove's family had not interfered
in the negotiations, the situation may have been resolved in a more timely
fashion. However, as it was, the guerrillas had more power since they
could get one deal from CIAT and another from the Hargrove family.
The CGIAR association has had other people
kidnapped. In fact, two scientists were kidnapped in Colombia this past
October. However, the proper channels were followed and the scientists
were only held for two days.
Although I sympathize with the hardships
that the family and Mr. Hargrove went through, they understood the challenges
and dangers of living in a foreign country. There are security issues
and protocols that are given and should be followed. Violation of those
warnings, like Mr. Hargrove did when he took his shortcut, open a person
up to the distinct possiblity of harm.
CGIAR could not allow the entire organization
to become a feeding ground for economically disadvantaged terrorists who
find it easier to bargain for foreigners. There is a mission to help the
world, and that is through scientific breakthroughs and research, not
paying off thugs.
Lisa Dowdy-Fitzhugh Ô95
Summer of dinosaurs?
The "Summer of Frogs" article in the Spring
2001 issue caught my eye. It was fascinating and very enjoyable. My husband
is from West Texas, but a friend who moved here from Louisiana was planting
some spring bulbs when she encountered her first horned frog.
She grabbed her children and ran in the
house to call her husband at work. She said she was leaving because this
land had small dinosaurs!
Barbara Master Byars