Chapter 1: Corruption in Latin America

Chapter 1 Blog

Bekim Sejdiu

 

Characters:

Mr. Hosokawa (Business Tycoon)

Gen (Translator)

Roxane Coss (Opera Singer)

General Hector and Benjamin (Terrorists)

President Masuda

Vice President Ruben Iglesias

 

Setting: Possibly somewhere in South America

 

The story is focused on an older Japanese man, possibly a business tycoon. His name is Mr. Hosokawa and he has a distinct passion for opera music. So much so that he attended a party on his birthday filled with people he didn’t know, to listen to renowned opera star Roxane Coss. The location his not stated. He had first heard her music when Mr. Hosokawa’s daughter bought it for him. She seemed to have difficulty finding something that would please him, suggesting a complicated relationship between the two. Probably a result of Mr. Hosokawa being a business man. He has a couple flashbacks while at the party, one to when he was a child, listening to opera music for the first time and how it influenced him. How he takes such joy of being able to sit down and listen to a three hour track from beginning to end. Another flashback involved a translator he met during a Greek business situation, who reminded him of himself. Mr. Hosokawa seems to go through some sort of self-reflection through these flashbacks during the party.

The main plot continues and involves a terrorist group of Generals and their renegade children soldiers who want to capture the President of this nation which is speculated to be a Hispanic country. One of the Generals hurts the Vice President, Ruben Iglesias. Which backs up the location of the nation probably being Hispanic. President Masuda, ironically misses this elaborate kidnapping thanks to a television show he wanted to watch. Which reveals something else about this individual, that a Presidential figure would miss an important social gathering, for a tv show? This is somewhat foreseeable for an employee to make an excuse to call out of work for a sports game, but a President? The head and face of a nation? We are given some further clues about location, that it is a place that Roxane may have visited before when it was stated that the children smelled the same flowers in the local garden on her perfume. Which led to the thought that maybe she’s in her home country, possibly European by her surname. However, that fact was challenged by her thought of the child being born in a different nation and having fun on Halloween instead.

Checking on Roxane’s name of origin led to referencing President Masuda’s name, which didn’t sound Hispanic. In fact it is Japanese in origin, which would explain why one of the children thought that Mr. Hosokawa was the President. Although still no extra evidence as to why him versus the dozen other middle aged Asian men in the room. This led to the idea that perhaps these terrorists don’t like the idea of a foreign individual controlling the nation? Not an uncommon idea amongst conservatives of certain nations. Although upon further research of South American nations and political corruption led to a different idea. That perhaps this President was corrupt? Helping illegal gangs with drug trafficking maybe. One President was found guilty of taking in profits of $6 million in illegal drug money.  And that maybe these individuals were trying to free their nation. Although the use of children, and lack of care if the hostages died or not seems to show some sort of power play between two entities. Maybe the President broke a deal with these drug dealers, labelling them as terrorist outlaws. A minor reference to Presidential vs Vice Presidential height brings in the idea of how this president may be trying to mimic the appearance of power. To remain in control of a nation and continue corruption? Or maybe not.

I began researching incidents with a corrupt Presidents of Japanese descent in South America. One such individual came up, President Fujimori. He was the President of Peru from 1990 to 2000. He was charged with human rights violations involving the kidnapping of leftist guerrillas in the 90s. Fujimori is actually the first elected head of state has been extradited back to his home country, tried, and convicted of human rights violations. Also charged with giving out $15 million of the Peruvian treasury to a former intelligence officer. The reason why was not stated. During his term he had tried to combat the nation’s extreme inflation, but it came at a heavy social cost. It is noted that he shut down congress and suspended the constitution.  Many citizens viewed him as an authoritarian figure. The nation became less and less democratic and leaning more towards a strict dictatorship. This story could possibly be a reference to this real scenario. Maybe President Masuda (dictator) is dealing with insurgent guerillas in a South American nation who want to overthrow his regime and bring personal liberties back? The chapter ends with many open questions, leading to more interest about what this President has done to receive such attention, and what Mr. Hosokawa’s connection to all of this is.

 

Research Sites:

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Alberto-Fujimori

http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=masuda

http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=coss

http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21646272-despite-epidemic-scandal-region-making-progress-against-plague-democracy

http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/presidentsanddictators/

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