Speaking of the Dead

Bonil, #alangarcia, April 19, 2019.

A former president was about to be arrested for accusations of receiving bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. When a prosecutor arrived with the police at his house, he fatally shot himself in the head.

So... what type of story is this? Is Alan Garcia the victim, as he declared himself in a purported suicide note refusing the humiliation and misery from political "enemies"? The very notion of his death would by some place him as an untouchable such as by fellow former corrupt presidents of this world, along with a number of darkened souls or bored ones immediately coming out of the wood work when Bonil drew the cartoon above, crying "Upset! Uproar!"

We know the drill and in terms of noise level it is efficient. So is it relevant, or rather the right thing to do to draw him posthumously?

Alan Garcia declared himself the victim, but do we have to take his word for it? His death was in direct line of how he governed his life. His death happened due to his lack of ability to discern right from wrong. As such his death is a situation of taking stock.

Bonil has made no allusions to the private persona of Alan Garcia. He is drawn as an icon just as he presented himself. Massive and centrally placed, his head is turned away from us mere mortals, insisting on his ethereal status looking far and beyond in the attempt of letting the scandal of Odebrecht evaporate.

We have three parts before us. His portrait. The shot fired by his own hand fleeing justice and the firm frame making certain that while his person shall never be placed before a judge, nor shall his name flee his responsibility. Odebrecht is what he shall be defined by.

Bonil has drawn an obituary and obituaries are an art form.

Obituaries are at their best a piece of brilliant writing, a cenotaph summing up the past while written for the future. This is when a person becomes history and it constitutes the first layer to writing him or her into history. As such they necessarily have bite.

Obituaries have nothing to do with death, but all about life as the New York Times' Margalit Fox has told the Paris Review. As she concluded: Obituaries are the jolliest department of the paper. 

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Bonil and must not be reproduced without his permission.

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