a newspaper article from La Voz de Galicia (Spain)
Before telling of the calvary of Gary Spaulding and his family, we must make reference to another story, which took place on a Texan ranch called Mount Carmel, in the locality of Waco, the 28th of February of 1993. At that ranch lived the Davidians, a religious off-branch of the Seventh Day Adventist Church presided over by a failed rock musician who called himself David Koresh.
That day, some one hundred agents from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms burst into the house and were repelled with gunshots. Four dead policemen and five dead Davidians constituted the balance of that first confrontation. Afterwards continued 51 days of siege, until the 19th of April, which ended with the complex completely consumed by flames and the macabre finding of 86 corpses, 17 of them belonging to children. Then came the controversy: Was it collective suicide or an action caused by the security forces?
Let’s return to today, in the south of Argentina, to the Patagonian city of San Carlos de Bariloche. There we find Gary Spaulding, his wife and five children. Last Wednesday, the Argentine Committee of Elegibility for Refugees (CEPARE), denied the petition for political asylum by this United States family who in 2003 decided to leave their country and travel around the world in search of a place to stay. Before Argentina they were rejected in Andorra, France, Holland and Switzerland.
The misadventures of the Spaulding family started precisely at Waco, in the context of the 1993 tragedy, when they wanted to deliver humanitarian aid to the Davidians, under siege by police forces. Spaulding, an evangelical missionary, tells that together with his wife he travelled from Niles, Michigan, to Waco to deliver food and diapers to the members of the cult. When he crossed the cordon that the FBI had imposed, together with another evangelical pastor, he was arrested and a short while later released, with the promise of never returning to Waco.
He affirms that the death of those 86 people was not because of a collective suicide ordered by David Koresh, as the official version of the United States authorities indicates, but instead the product of an attack with military gases and flammable material. Spaulding tells that after the tragedy and the process in which he was immersed in because of having tried to help the Davidians, the United States Judicial system couldn’t openly attribute any charges whatsoever, but he maintains that he became an object for persecution by the police.
What is more, he affirms that a file exists from the North American authorities that labels him as a criminal for “Obstructing authorities and falsification of documents.” He outlines that in 1997, after a car bomb assault in the southern part of the state of Indiana, he was interrogated by the FBI and treated as a terrorist. But the drop that spilled the cup and that impelled him to abandon the US was an investigation opened by the Children’s ”Welfare” Department of the FBI against him, which he supposed as a threat to the custody of his children.
After many turns and the rejection of many countries of his petitions for political asylum, the 17th of December [November] of 2004 the Spaulding family entered Argentina, in the city of Clorinda, on the border of Paraguay. There they applied for protection as refugees and started the proceedings that now have ended with the rejection of the Argentine authorities.
Spaulding, who is sheltering at the Salvation Army of Bariloche, asserts that today he will present an appeal before Cepare, desperate to finally obtain a place in the world to live with his family.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (España) RM de A Coruña: tomo 2413, folio 84, hoja C-12502. CIF: B-15.482.177
Translated to English by: editors