21 marzo 2008

Case Vargas. The Honourable Minister of Art and Culture

The Honourable Minister of Art and Culture

Mrs. Maria Elena Carballo


Dear Minister:

It has come to my attention that Mrs. Claudia Rocio (WSPA) has made a statement to the effect that the office in Costa Rica "made direct contact with the Minister of Art and culture" and that the Minister said "…Mr. Vargas' presentation at the Biennale will be different to the one shown in Nicaragua, which means that this time no animal will be used, and for this reason the Ministry will not prohibit his participation".

In this connection, I wish to state the following:

It is out of the question that Mr. Vargas would devote himself to pursuing ANOTHER sick and starving dog through the streets of Honduras, to capture it and show it as a piece of art in the Central American Biennale in the coming month of November. No thinking person could conceive of this, and I am sure that you have not even contemplated the possibility of it happening again.

For you not to prohibit the participation of this person in the Central American Biennale based on something that he WILL NOT do, as opposed to something that HE DID, is in my opinion an absurdity. It also seems illogical that the president of Costa Rica, Dr. Oscar Arias, on 5th March last was the millionth person to sign the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, and yet you allow someone who openly ill-treats animals to represent your country. If you are not willing to stop him participating, perhaps it is Dr. Oscar Arias himself who should take the responsibility of doing it, bearing in mind the commitment he made when he affixed his signature.

ONE MILLION THIRTEEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND ELEVEN (1,013,611) people are calling for this petition to be acted upon, and the rationale is very simple: Given that Mr. Vargas is not going to be sanctioned for the ill-treatment which he inflicted on a living being in the Códice Gallery in Managua last August, neither should he be honoured by being chosen to represent his country in the 2008 Central American Biennale.

How many more people will have to sign before you pay attention to the voices of outrage coming to you from all parts of the globe?

Yours sincerely,


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