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Europol Writes Postcards To 'Most-Wanted' Fugitives

Wish you were here
Wish you were here
Lucie Jung

​Europol is adding a whiff of summer holiday fun to its hunt for hardened criminals. On its website, Europol (the Europe Union's police agency) has issued 21 original digital "postcards' addressed to the continent's Most Wanted list, which includes murderers, drug traffickers, and rapists.

Hoping to solicit help from the public, the online 2017 summer campaign that recently launched aims to play off obvious contrasts and personalizes the message.

In Spain, the postcard shows a beach with parasols, penning a message to Diego, a drug trafficker, telling him "the beaches of Spain are missing him" and asking him to "visit them soon."

In the Czech Republic, Europol promised a man accused of large scale fraud "a cold pilsner and a generous gift voucher" if he comes back. "We haven't seen you in a while! We have one more space left on our next ski trip, please come back to enjoy our beautiful Alps," the Austrian postcard beckons, showing snowy mountains behind skiers on a ski-lift. Attached to these "wish you were here" cards, a sheet describing the criminal is attached, including his name, age, crime and physical appearance.

It is not the first time Europol has used black humor to help track down criminals, French daily Le Figaro reports. Before Christmas last year, each day the agency posted photos of the fugitives most wanted by the 23 EU member-nations on the website's Advent Calendar.

The Hague-based agency says the initiative hopes to draw information from people in order to catch fugitives by finding out their exact location, when traditional investigation measures have not led to their arrest. In a press release, the agency points out that "while most of us are enjoying a well-deserved summer break, criminals are not taking time off from crime."

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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