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This Happened

This Happened — September 8: Moria Refugee Camp Fire

The Moria refugee camp, located on the Greek island of Lesbos, burned down on this day in 2020. The cause of the fire remains disputed, but it was reported to have started within the camp and quickly spread, resulting in significant destruction

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What was the Moria refugee camp?

The Moria refugee camp was an overcrowded facility on the island of Lesbos, Greece. It housed thousands of asylum seekers and migrants who had arrived in Greece in search of safety and better opportunities. The camp had gained notoriety for its dire living conditions, with reports of overcrowding, lack of sanitation, and limited access to basic necessities.

What were the consequences of the Moria camp fire?

The fire at the Moria camp resulted in the near-complete destruction of the facility, leaving thousands of refugees and migrants homeless and without shelter. It exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation on the island and highlighted the inadequate response to the refugee crisis by both Greek authorities and the international community.

How did the Greek government respond to the Moria camp fire?

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, Greek authorities struggled to provide adequate emergency assistance and shelter to the displaced individuals. The Greek government declared a state of emergency on Lesbos and dispatched additional security forces to maintain order. The international community, including various NGOs and neighboring European countries, offered support and assistance to address the crisis. The displaced individuals were temporarily housed in makeshift tents and shelters on the island.

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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