Thursday, January 20, 2011

Acre Conspiracy

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Translated by Vanessa Pohlmann.

Pablo Sica has his reasons to doubt the existence of Acre, the most isolated Brazilian state. The 1st Twitter Meeting in Maringá. In the state of Paraná, he mentioned a subject and seemed like have an impression of really believing in what he was saing. He was talking about in an supposed conspiration to make Brazilian people believe that there far, closer to Peru and Bolivia than the rest of Brazil, right in the middle of Amazon Forest, there is a capital and many other cities. After two doses of alcoholic coffee he went further: mentioning the Globo Television as an involved, which would have the state of Acre just like the Dharma Initiative on Lost Island.

Some followers of the Group of Nine (G9, became known as the nine participants of the first twitter meeting) looked at each other, as they would say "what the hell is there in his coffee?" The meeting  set up on Twitter, of course  more than 20 confirmed presences, but only eight of them made the word. However Sica was the only one who appeared unannounced. He made himself present because it was in Maringá, a known ground. Whether it was in Acre, he would not.

In the G9 of Maringa Twitter, most are journalists. One of them, stirred by curiosity which is inherent in the profession, set a coffee break with Pablo in the same mall than the previous meeting, also in the same bookstore. Only these two  the wife of one was traveling and the girl of other too  so there was a whole afternoon ahead. It did not take too much time to Pablo start talking about the conspiracy.

The journalist took the opportunity to ask many questions, but not all were answered. "There are things that an unwary might not know", the journalist added by thought. "There are certain things which are better that a journalist does not know, not at first", Pablo must have thought. The story of Acre does not exist, at least not the way which is taught in the school books, it was disturbing, but not as much as the participation of the Dharma, or rather the Globo TV in the conspiracy told. Hard to imagine that anyone would believe on it.

To be more convincing, Pablo reported passages experienced by two of his friends. One from the Armed Forces, had been called to a mission in Acre. Another one, a volunteer at a soccer club of Mato Grosso follow the team in a game in Rio Branco, the state capital of Acre. Both did not believe in conspiracy before, but now they are no longer so sure.

 I was listed to a mission in Acre next month  said Pablo’s friend, the Army, by telephone.
 Forget about it. Whether my theory is right, they will cancel the mission.
 Why they would cancel?
 Because there is no Acre  said Pablo, who on the following month received a new call:
 My friend, I'm scared  the military said.  They canceled the mission in Acre and not explained the reason  he added.
 Didn’t I say?! What is the Acre’s explanation, a state which borders two countries and it is the only Brazilian state without air base  said Pablo, fuller of reason than ever.

Another time, Pablo told the journalist, one of his friends had followed a team of Mato Grosso in a friendly game which would be in Rio Branco. On the plane, as soon as the pilot announced the landing in the state capital, the flight attendants rushed to close the 'curtains'. "It is a standard procedure," said, "close fast."

 What happened, why did we not landed at the airport?  Questioned Pablo’s, as well as other players.
 We had a problem with the control tower. Come on, there is a bus waiting for you  said the one in charge for receiving the delegation of Mato Grosso. What happened right after that, as reported Pablo’s friend, was surreal.

 We were taken to a soccer field in a bus which blackout windows. You could hardly see outside. When we got off the stage, a few hours before departure, we had not seen any fan  reported.  There I saw a street sweeper and asked him which way was the city. Without a word, the sweeper dressed with gray suit, gave me his back and went on sweeping.

Anxious and irritated by the lack of the sweeper’s respect, Pablo’s friend insisted. He approached and touched the sweeper’s shoulder saying:

 Can you answer me which way the city is?  Insisted. The street cleaner turned and stared right into his eyes, while Pablo’s friend noticed the Rede Globo’s logo in the pocket of the uniform of that gentleman and felt perplexed and until he left Acre, after the game, he did not open his mouth. Felt afraid. There would be, in fact, a conspiracy involving the Acre? Would he run any risk? Why were not they taken to visit the city? Anyway, his friend, Pablo did not seem so insane than ever.

Watered by a good coffee with lemon pie the conversation went on without haste in the cafeteria of the mall. The journalist were not convinced, because he did not know the two friends of Pablo. Se he knew a friend from college who on the days after their graduation, she moved to Rio Branco.

 I have a friend who has been living in this city five years ago. She graduated in journalism with me and now teaches at the Federal University of Acre. What do you say that?  Pablo asked in a tone of confrontation.

 After your friend moved to there, have you you found her again and talked to her?
 Yes, we talk frequently by MSN. She says to be happy there.
 Ok, MSN. But have you seen her in person after she went to Acre?
 No.
 Some of your fellow students saw her?
 Not that I know.
 She has returned from there to visit friends?
 No! And this time the journalist began to fear his colleague.
 Any friend of yours has visited her and returned to tell the story?
 I do not think anyone has visited her.
 Until anyone do it and taste it, I regret to tell you: you may not see your friend again.

The next sip of coffee tasted a suspense, a mixture of dread and fear. According to Pablo, a colleague of Journalism was not in danger of death, but for some reason he did not know he would never return to Acre. Conspiracy’s mysteries. Perhaps she was also wearing overalls or jacket with Rede Globo’s logo.

 She invited me to visit her - said the journalist.
 I would not  said Pablo.  They want you to recruit, this is how it works.
 And if in fact there is some mystery behind the Acre and I go see her?
 Then we would not see you again, unfortunately.
 And the heroes of Acre, as Plácido de Castro and Chico Mendes, what you tell about them?
 They are textbooks characters. And it’s been a long I do not believe in the official teaching version about Acre.
 You know, what I visit my colleague in Acre, but only whether she comes from there before.
 So I would not  completed Pablo finishing his coffee.
 Yes.
 Waiter, may I have the bill please.


Read the original in Portuguese.
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