IRAQ. SPANISH INVASION. DAY BY DAY BASIS OF SOLDIERS IN SPAIN.
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In the remains of what was a former headquarters of Saddam's forces, located in the region of Diwaniyah, 1300 Spanish soldiers and others 1200 Central Brigade "Plus Ultra" made ??reconstruction of the country and try to maintain security in its area of ??responsibility of 36,404 square kilometers in which about two million people. By Sergi Reboredo (text and photos).
The contingent of the Plus Ultra Brigade based in Diwaniyah is specifically formed by 345 soldiers of El Salvador , Honduras 370 , 300 from the Dominican Republic , 311 medical step Nicaragua , Spanish and 1300 , of which 7.5% corresponds to female staff. The town of Diwaniyah is located in central Iraq , south of Baghdad. Its population is Shiite majority in this city and is located where the Base Santo Domingo, Dominican troops are , and Spain Base , home to the Nicaraguan troops and most of the Spanish , including the staff of the brigade. His work focuses on maintaining the security of the area by the district patrols on foot or BMR , roadblocks , escort convoys , at the same time made ??reconstruction and humanitarian assistance in education, health issues and even Outpatient makeshift food distribution and delivery of humanitarian aid. Once a week the soldiers of the Nicaraguan army medical step , escorted by Spanish soldiers held a medical visit near Base near Spain . The makeshift clinic is mounted in an area where almost ruined a hundred people who were expelled by Saddam to Kurdistan and returned back to their land once the war ended living in precarious conditions . The population is rapidly coming and arranged in rows in front of an old mansion and nearly ruined Nicaraguan doctors start to visit the town . Next to each doctor , an interpreter explains the medical conditions of the person . Children playing and laughing hover while their parents wait their turn to be served. In the inner rooms a team of gynecologists is responsible for making revisions to women who request it , while , on the outside , which problems are addressed such intimacy is not necessary. While proceeds to a Nicaraguan dentist extracting a tooth to a young Iraqi , other patients take blood or do a review hearing . This is to ensure the health of a population with enormous problems. Returning from Kurdistan, found that homes where they had been previously living in exile were they destroyed by war and no longer existed , and today have been forced to live miserably in the ruins of a wasteland lacking of all kinds. Once finished the medical examination , the Spanish Army with Crescent comes to the distribution of humanitarian aid. People stand in line again , this time in the back of a military truck loaded to the brim with huge black bags . Inside each of these bags , which are divided into families , is the footwear , jackets and needed to survive and make more bearable the low temperatures of winter clothing. Patrols and checkpoints. Maintain security in the area of ??responsibility is one of the most difficult tasks to which you have to face the Spanish Army. In the 36,404 square kilometers that have been assigned to live close to two million people , and while it is not one of the most troubled areas of Iraq as it can be called " Sunni triangle " north of Baghdad , which includes cities like Fallujah , Ramadi and Baquba , the scene of almost daily operations against U.S. troops , attacks in this area may occur at any time. Proof of this , what happened just a few days ago when an attack injuring five Spanish soldiers and a translator. To ensure the stability of the area, the Spanish Army mounted patrols on foot, as well as reinforcements at roadblocks supporting Iraqi police are called "check points" . These random records is checked that none of the occupants of the vehicle has no gun or any other suspect device . The soldiers stop cars especially in better condition , as better economic situation, the greater the chances of carry weapons, and record every inch of the vehicle, caching all persons traveling within. Distribution of food and toys in schools. The reconstruction also involves fixing the state of the schools in the area and help as possible to children. In one of the courtyards of the school for the deaf children was the distribution of t-shirts and soccer balls shipped by Sevilla FC , ??to which the children respond with a smile from ear to ear priceless . Once distributed sports equipment , we proceed to the delivery of food between adults and the distribution of toys for the little ones . The fun and joy have taken over this school even for a day. The relationship and the ties that keeps the Spanish Army with the schools in the area are very narrow . It is especially intended to be able to teach as normal and do not miss school supplies. Children appreciate this gesture, and have even learned a few words in Spanish to give samples of their recognition , but would not take their eyes and say it all.
CHILDREN: REAL LOSERS OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.
For the third time in twenty years, Iraqi children are caught in a war. Almost half the population of Iraq are under 18 and, according to UNICEF, one in four children is chronically malnourished and one in eight children dies before their fifth birthday. By Sergi Reboredo (text and photos).
Before the start of the war the situation was quite worrying as many children were exposed to disease and malnutrition , although the former Iraqi government refused to recognize it. The damage caused by the war and the current chaotic situation has further aggravated the precarious sanitary conditions under which the country was deep , and the child population remains the most affected. After the war, the standard of living of iraqués plummeting , and this depletion has had far-reaching consequences for children. The precariousness of the current government and the lack of laws on compulsory basic education , combined with the difficult situation in which there are many families , has meant that large numbers of children have changed school for a job to help their families. During the conflict, the social fabric of the country was badly damaged , the security forces were dismantled , and now, with great difficulty , trying to restore a secure enough to ensure the protection of children system , the most affected since the war began . The economy remains totally stagnant , and wages of teachers, health workers and officials are totally insufficient to survive. This insecurity has forced some workers to seek a second job to supplement their income, negatively affecting the quality - already - fragile services for women and children. Unexploded ordnance. In this war, the existence of hundreds of abandoned and unexploded munitions scattered across Iraq has become one of the biggest problems for the civilian population , particularly for children. The daily risk faced by children because of these unexploded ordnance, landmines and other groups scattered around the area, is very high . Everyday killed or injured children when they play these unexploded ordnance or play with them. Only in Baghdad there are about 800 dangerous places, mostly related to cluster bombs and ammunition depots . The toys are scarce and the little ones are invented to play between them out of their houses. Being a child and playing in the street has become a dangerous activity and , in many cases, devastating to their own lives. Schools in poor condition . According to UNICEF , the school attendance rate in July last year was 60 %, well below pre -war levels . Today , thanks to the reconstruction of many schools, there has been a trend to higher levels of care , which is vital for the future of the children of Iraq. Insecurity remains the biggest problem in Iraq , which is also reflected in truancy . With or without foundation , many parents feel that their children, especially younger ones , can become victims of violence if they go to school, so they prefer not into school . Thus , rates of attendance may vary greatly depending on the degree of conflict in the area. In 2003 , UNICEF worked with some allies as the Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Commission , the NPL Netherlands , the governments of Japan and Korea and others to rebuild 162 schools in various parts of the country in which around 130,000 students studying . His condition was lamentable , flooded yards, classrooms leaky and often without windows , broken toilets and problems of access to drinking water. Many schools have been repaired and renovated structures in terms of their concerns have been changed and latrines have been removed debris from patios, but the lack of electricity remains a problem that condemns many children to get cold in classrooms. Although the point is that most are open, his condition is still very poor , no lights , heaters do not work and the training material is sometimes insufficient. Many times teachers are also victims of the current situation, and that his salary was dependent on the previous government. While many have left their jobs to get money from other sources, many others continue to work without pay for personal and ethical commitment. Children living in subhuman conditions. In Baghdad, dozens of families with little or no income have been forced to move north of the city landfill where they have installed in subhuman conditions. Rummage through garbage something put in their mouths while barefoot children frolic in the rubble. The situation is stagnant boundary when using rainwater for drinking. They live among garbage bags, junk , food scraps , gulls also seek their living space and an indescribable smell that permeates the entire atmosphere. The children living in this area do not go to any school and also considerably increase the chance of getting a disease . Scamper up and down playing while their parents earn a living collecting anything that can be recycled . Children are the main victims of a cruel post-war in which more and more people cross the poverty line and are forced to live in miserable conditions.
INSECURITY IN IRAQ: FASHION SHOOT IN THE MOUTH.
By nightfall, the population took refuge in their homes under curfew not set, but is recommended because of the insecurity in the streets. Only in the capital, Baghdad, die every day more than 25 victims of robbery with violence and vendettas.
By Sergi Reboredo (text and photos).
The Commander of the Guardia Civil Gonzalo Pérez García , head of security for the Plus Ultra Brigade , extremely serious injured after being shot in the forehead a few days ago in Hamsa , 40 kilometers south of Diwaniya , while conducting a mission Spanish joint units and Iraqi police , was the latest victim of the bloody Spanish postwar Iraq .
Insecurity remains the biggest problem in Iraq.
Since U.S. troops entered Baghdad in April, more than 500 American soldiers have lost their lives in military actions and attacks , and every day the number of casualties on both sides.
Most people in Iraq agree that the most important thing right now is to restore order and security , being totally irrelevant to discuss right now on issues like the political future of the country or the place of the trial of Saddam Hussein.
During the war, the social fabric of the country was badly damaged , the security forces were dismantled , and now, with great difficulty , trying to restore a secure enough to ensure the protection of the civilian system , the most affected since the war began.
The newly formed Iraqi police are just doing what they can merely . With a salary of $ 60 a month for something totally miserable living standards of the war, are responsible for safeguarding the frontline in all tactical locations , and to establish routine control at the main paths the city and try to direct the chaotic traffic . Typically, before reaching a checkpoint American you must have gone through two or three checkpoints of the Iraqi police, sometimes giving the impression that his mission is more about protecting the U.S. Army as its own civilian counterparts .
During the day, road traffic is unbearable , the markets are full of people who buy or sell anything, and the population seems to coexist in perfect harmony with other hostile and immersed world, but when the sun starts to shelter a curfew , no tax but recommended, takes over the city. Population found in their homes, sound shots, the few cars that do circulate at high speed, and security and public order are no longer guaranteed.
Al- Kharj Hospital , arriving every day civilians wounded.
Radiograph showing the nurse is seen as the bullet has fragmented into several parts, to be embedded in the jaw and ear. It is a victim of the dozens of people with gunshot wounds arriving weekly Al- Kharj Hospital in Baghdad.
Kamil worked as a driver for one of the new ministries and at the time the robbery was driving an official car , says a relative. Night had fallen and only returned to the vehicle , then another car blocked his way , down several armed persons , handcuffed him , placed a blindfold , he was shot and robbed the car leaving him lying on the floor. Kamil is slowly recovering and knows that despite being unable to speak , preserves life.
Life has no value in Iraq, and shot in the mouth seems to be the latest fad among the assailants, almost with impunity , commit their crimes at night, when the number of police is lower.
Kamil is not the only person admitted to this hospital from a gunshot wound . In an adjoining room is a captain in the Iraqi police , who prefers to remain anonymous . Your situation is just as critical as that of the driver. While returning home was shot at close range by robbers who have totally destroyed the jaw. The injury also prevented him speak , and communicates by writing on a notepad . After the bandage that covers the right side of the face , is seen as the trajectory of the bullet swept away almost all his teeth and much of cutaneous substance. Two relatives accompany him in his recovery and explain how difficult it is to be a policeman after the war.
The operating rooms of Al- Kharj have been rehabilitated by the Spanish NGO " Doctors of the World."
Several theaters Al- Kharj Hospital have been refurbished and equipped by the Spanish NGO " Médecins du Monde " also is in charge of training local health workers , emergency interventions to prevent amputations and reoperation for war wounds more and better mobility impaired limbs .
In one of the same operating room , Iraqi surgeon and associated medical team proceed to the removal of a small caliber bullet which has been embedded in the jawbone of Karim . The radiograph shows exact location of the bullet in the right. This time , the projectile has fragmented and operation as explained has been a success . Now I have to wait and suturing the wound heals .
Karim is lucky , saved my life . Not all victims of violence not directly related to the attacks and military actions can say the same . An average of more than 25 civilians outside the conflict and people die every day anonymously, and almost always from a gunshot wound . They are victims of war directly, but a situation that every day seems to be farther from peace and gradually sinks into a totally uncontrolled violence.
BAGHDAD MUSEUM, A WALK THEIR ROOMS icy SURREALISM.
Nine months after the looting and destruction of numerous treasures of the cradle of civilization, the aspect that gives the museum is still bleak and, according to those responsible for it say, spend at least one year until you can finally open its doors .
By Sergi Reboredo (text and photos).
When U.S. troops entered Baghdad in April, an atmosphere of chaos gripped the city promoting the National Archaeological Museum outside pasture pillage.
First there were government offices , shops and then finally the museum. No one stopped the looters that all parts that could be transported weighed less and were carried by hand , and not settling for abductions , ax smashed many others.
There were dozens of Iraqis , under the passive gaze of the U.S. Army destroyed everything they could find at hand , destroying sarcophagi and Assyrian vases and even broke the wings of the mythological bulls for 4500 years guarding the gates of Assyrian city of Nimrud .
The next day , the building was the pure image of desolation : broken windows, crystals scattered all over the floor and cracked pottery shards everywhere.
United States was not able to protect Iraqi art works in the same way that protected the oil, and that same month the main cultural adviser to U.S. President George Bush , Martin Sullivan, had to resign because of " wanton destruction " Archaeological Museum and looting that " it could be prevented." Similarly , Gary Vikan Advisory Committee on Cultural Heritage of the White House resigned .
Current status of the museum.
Upon reaching the door two men and two women of the Iraqi armed police guarding the building and record all persons entering the museum.
Inside the rooms , for offices, follow one after another. Crawl spaces with no windows , no more claustrophobic than five square meters , empty walls or advertising an exhibition of ancient times. A light bulb hangs from the ceiling and the tables , always full of papers , demonstrate the lack of computing resources.
In other rooms , many boxes as computers, printers , faxes , photocopiers and air conditioners machines sent from the United States are waiting for a technician to come install them. The confusion inside the museum is a living image of the mess that is felt in the streets of the city.
The halls headless statues are interspersed with disembodied heads and practically shattered vessels , showing a terrifying image with which one can get an idea of ??the barbarity committed .
Meanwhile, museum employees and inventorying continue to rank as during looting microfilm and archives were destroyed in the administrative offices. In addition , due to the limited means available to them before the war , were outdated categorizations and had years late.
An iron gate closed and bolted separates showrooms Museum Area Office . Opening the heavy door early work one can see are several heads of decapitated statues piled on the floor one after another in separate sides of the aisle .
At the end of the hall , a large room shows a sequence of dozens of empty display cases placed serrated , as if it were a surreal picture . The gold pieces from the Assyrian era, copper objects, and seals Babylonians and Ottomans have flown , leaving empty and dusty exhibitors. So, nine months later, the windows shattered still show the state in which the looters left the museum. The chill of the scene far exceeds the temperature of the Iraqi winter.
Facilities like this will happen one after another, empty , dusty , light and virtually no visible marks on the ground to have hosted one day treasures that can never be recovered.
The Assyrian room is practically the only one that has survived the last war thanks to the gigantic size of his works. The huge clay tablets describing past wars with bows and arrows have been able to survive this war of the century, far from the gates of the palaces of Nimrud and Nineveh where they originated .
Except a few hours when the museum opened its doors last July to the delight of the U.S. governor of Iraq Paul Bremer and other guests of relevance, its rooms have been sealed to visitors since the beginning of the war.
No one knows for sure how many works disappeared with barbarism , but it is believed that more than 10000 objects continue still missing despite more than 3,500 objects have been recovered. Some of these objects have been recovered while trying to sell , others have been returned by their usurpers, and even buyers, others have appeared in remote locations such as the USA , Italy , Britain and Jordan, but most they never recover and important pieces for understanding the development of civilization will disappear forever.
Most of the works that have not been stolen are manned in a warehouse waiting to secure the security situation in the country improves lives and can be displayed without any problem.
No official reopening date but at least the museum and museum sources said , " no earlier than one year and in the case that security is fully guaranteed."
The life and adventures of a photojournalist in a war.
By Sergi Reboredo (text and photos).
Nine months after the looting and destruction of numerous treasures of the cradle of civilization , the aspect that gives the museum is still bleak and, according to those responsible for it say , spend at least one year until you can finally open its doors .
By Sergi Reboredo (text and photos).
Despite the stereotype war photographer , boosted mainly by Hollywood films romantic court in which the reporter was a tough guy in the style of Clint Eastwood courting damsels with all who crossed , the reality is quite different. People who are dedicated to explain to the world the injustices that show the best and worst of humanity , often lonely people who have decided to sacrifice having a stable family travel the world explaining everything the more powerful try to hide . And the maxim that everything that is not explained and does not come to light is that it has never existed already known.
To engage fully to this profession need at least spend eight months a put at the center of core year , otherwise you may run the risk of falling into oblivion of those who commission the " assignments " that are becoming less and less resources. The feeling of not finishing feel comfortable when you come back from conflict, is also an important time to quickly return to the land factor . Often, the photojournalist who returns to see the darker side of humanity , where life is worth less than nothing and that blood oozes with full immunity , feels sad when something that our society sometimes observed more concerned satisfy their petty material shortages to enjoy what it offers them a relatively comfortable and stable life.
First step , documenting the tragedies that live close to home.
Normally a person does not land in a war without giving a previous step , either in the world of humanitarian photography, NGOs , or sometimes even in the military. In addition it is recommended so as experience is our main ally in saving a life. The compelling need to explain things more and more closely than a day ago , almost without realizing we are doing so from the center of the hurricane. But let's step . In my case , before covering the Iraq War , and had documented countless times in my city life of homelessness, of Romanian immigrants, gypsies and drug addicts. Then I jumped to document other humanitarian abroad such as AIDS in Kenya, or leprosy in Brazil among others. I believe this to be the way. Firstly because knowledge and self-confidence are strengthened when work and secondly because during that time you could make enough contacts to sell their work. As would be unreasonable to send a soldier to war without several months prior , instruction would be equally unreasonable to think that someone from night to day could dawn in a conflict zone without any knowledge. For those with more hurry to form no other shortcuts , such as courses for journalists in hostile areas that organize the AKE Group in London. They are the ones who organize such teachings, but the fact that instructors are former members of the British SAS inspires enough confidence . In addition to resolving questions like : What if sufriésemos a wound ? Would we have the right insurance ? Who we will contact ? What we would ask llevasen hospital ? What if we stop at a checkpoint ? Where figuring the money? How would we react ? Who would call for help, they also teach how to react to each type of weapon , the steps after receiving a taque and something fundamental : a course in first aid are always imagining the worst possible scenario : in remote areas where can it takes us hours to find a doctor or be evacuated.
The choice of the area and to take risk .
We can document a war in three different ways , and each picture type and risk will be very different . The way in which we run less risk theoretically be recessed so doing any of the allied armies, is also the most economical as they usually sleep in and eat freely with the soldiers. Although the risk is always there , the casualties on this side of the war are usually always less . This type of coverage has its downside . On the one hand this type of photographs you have less output , unless you are lucky enough to cover a major fact by being at the right moment it happens . Moreover it is not easy to get the approval of the army , as previously need some media stating that work for them and still have a limited capacity. Being able to cover a war from the side of the army also depends heavily on military time and country. Today it is much easier to do with the American wardrobe in the Spanish army , which has vetoed the figure of this type of correspondent . I guess sometimes sell is not credible " peace missions " in hostile areas, if you have a journalist close to explaining everyday .
The rear, higher risk , harder photographs.
Another way to document a war , is to do it from the rear. In this case , the figure of a good fixer is indispensable. These people tend to be our eyes and ears and they bear virtually all of our security , not surprisingly comes from the English word "to fix" meaning " secure" . His figure is that of a kind of guide who knows the millimeter the country, which has contacts and can or know how to get practically anything. They also tend to be very helpful in translating and some combine this aspect with the driver. Covering an area from the rear means doing documenting the daily war peripheral neighborhoods , sometimes in refugee camps or settlements, go to hospitals where they bring the wounded, devastated schools or mass burial , among others many issues. Another way of documenting the rear goes through so within an NGO. It is much cheaper , but there are not many organizations that dare to act when the conflict is widespread.
The war front , the most dangerous place .
Very few journalists who dare to document the battle front , the hottest place in a war, because the risk that you endanger your life multiplies exponentially . And even less so when the borders are closed and you have to enter illegally . Here the choice of a good Fitxer do you continue living or not . The videos and photographs made ??in these hot areas are the most requested by communication agencies and are usually sold at a good price , although one must be aware that the price you can expect to pay for this kind of unique life can be .
In Spain we are lucky to have Garcia Vilanova Ricard , one of only four or five people has managed to document the conflict in Syria when nobody was there. In our country its name nobody will notice though is a classic in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and CNN among many other foreign media. Just won by Alberto Arce the prestigious British award The Rory Peck Trust, but that , who cares ? This information has no place in a country in which their media spend its funds to cover celebrity interviews and sausages come unless sixpenny , albeit even with the excuse that that's what he calls your audience.
Practical Guide to War Photographer
• Choice of risk. Many war photographers traveling to conflict zones, but never leave the safety zones or coverage that can provide them the " ally" and army bases, others however, enter a country illegally crossing the border and tell the stories first front line.
The risk in a case or other case can determine the prestige of the correspondent , but we must also be aware of the risks you want to put your life .
• Choosing a good fixer can save your life. These people are the eyes and ears in a war. Many of them have not received specific training related to journalism . They begin their relationship with the media because they know the language , and because they offered at the time to the door of the hotels in the press , the war also the mother of invention , and the possibility of receiving a significantly higher salary other his countrymen, and end up leading to an informative work wherever risking their lives overseas journalist can not enter. It is best to consult a photojournalist who has covered the conflict and seek advice above .
• Document a war is not cheap . The lack of basic necessities often characterize daily life in a conflict zone , so these items are extremely expensive or you have to get them on the black market. Hotels can cost $ 100 a night, to which must be added the cost of a fixer , transportation and meals . A greater danger greater price increase.