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Unfortunately, I made a mistake in allowing a NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) team shoot film at Finca Bayano. It was clear to me that these people come “from the other side” and weren’t friendly-minded toward me and the subject of “emigration,” but I thought within myself that perhaps a few “nice” people would bring attention to the Finca Bayano project.


(By Stefan Mudry, Finca Bayano)

Birgit Wärnke of NDR is responsible for this video — most of all the text. She wrote me in May this year to ask me whether I would be interested in an NDR report. A short film would be recorded that would be shown at not a bad time, around 10 p.m. or so. At first I refused because it was clear for me that, with the NDR, we’re dealing with a medium of lies. After she wrote me a second time and assured me that the report would be neutral, I let myself be talked into it.

Absolutely weak-minded texts come from Abdollahi up until minute 7:00 when he finally says: quite beautiful here! After that it continues in the negative tone. Nothing is portrayed in a positive light, and my answers are taken out of context. Abdollahi is shocked that I would possibly give my vote for the AfD (Alternative for Germany Party). I read on the Yellow Forum and PI-News. Dreadful! Especially when, according to the NDR, we’re working with a “page of conspiracy theorists” (at minute 20:00).

It goes on: Panama is considered to be an incomplete democracy and it is waiting for the “seven horsemen of the Apocalypse” to ride by after all… From minute 15:30 on, mention is made of how I at the usual rate of pay here am exploiting my employees. No talk of the fact that I am the only employer here bringing money to the village. The fact that the parcels of land at Finca Bayano look different than in Elmshorn should truly be clear, and that the thin coffee is a foretaste of exile shouldn’t be commented on. After all, the indigents are looked at carefully: toothless and poor. And my answers are constantly taken out of context.

That Abdollahi allows me at minute 24:37 to tell him he’s working for the Press of Lies — or for a medium of lies — is something anyway, and after all I am still PEGIDA in Panama. After that texts like no electricity, no water, nothing to eat follow… The fact that the power goes out here in the country is nothing exceptional; it happens then, but nothing else bad does. Let’s let the power go out overnight in Berlin-Kreuzberg or Duisburg just one time…

A water pipe breaking happens in the “best families,” but how Abdollahi can claim that among three full refrigerators and tons of maniok, bananas and pineapples there is nothing to eat is unclear to me to this day. The refrigerators have to be full, most of all the freezer because the nearest supermarket is 40 kilometers away. And if the public electrical network fails we turn on our generators.

Finally, Abdollahi comes back to Europe where everything is better. That is in many respects also true. To all who are interested I say that the education system and the health system are — today — better than in Panama. That wasn’t so at the end of the Second World War, and after a crash in Europe it won’t be that way either. Even if the conditions should get worse after a collapse of Europe, it will be certainly more pleasant living here and surviving; even without the croissant from the nearby bakery and all other things that Abdollahi misses.

At the end, Abdollahi takes a hard look at Martin from Switzerland. In Switzerland everything is beautiful; in Panama everything is bad. How could Martin ever come upon the idea to do something that many before him have done: emigrate in good time. Those who emigrated in the thirties in the last century died a natural death. The pessimists went to South America — the optimists to the concentration camps. Maybe the creatures from NDR will soon lick their fingers for a little place like Finca Bayano. Did Abdollahi really ask me whether I would sell him a plot… He’s welcome to ask me again!


Original on PI-German translated by Anders Denken

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