Sunday, January 2, 2011

Organ Trafficking

Ah yes, in case you haven’t heard organized crime in the Balkans has reached a new low: trafficking organs.

For years rumors circulated about Serbs who were abducted and killed for their organs after the Kosovo war and now they’re being proven true. The Serb captives were allegedly taken to a “zuta kuca” (yellow house) in central Albania in 1999 and 2000, where their organs were removed and sold. It was one of those cases where the original sources were killed in “unrelated circumstances.” No new evidence had been revealed since 2004 so the story became one of legend. That is until mid-December when rumors started circulating again this time substantiated by a Council of Europe report that goes by “Marty’s”.

Some crazy things about the man/group responsible for this – Prime Minister Hashim Thaci/Kosovo Liberation Army:
1. KLA had just won the most votes in the December 12th elections, the 2nd ever since 2008 when Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia
2. Thaci was a big kahuna in instigating “talks of negotiations” that were agreed upon in August 2010 by Serbia and Kosovo but haven’t happened (yet) which would ideally be the first step in the countries thrashing out their problems in more civilized manners rather than killing each other for their intestines and whatnot
3. Both the man and party were supported fully by the United States among other Westernized nations in this election and the former

However the revenge killings behind this rivalry go both ways: last May a mass grave was found in Southern Serbia of around 250 Albanians killed by Serb forces in Kosovo in 1999.

I totally understand the brutality behind this matter, but I think the worst thing to come out of it isn’t the fact it’s no longer hearsay but the fact that it will greatly slow down the “talks of negotiations” and other developments in Kosovo-Serbian relations and in the bigger picture Serbia EU approval since Kosovo is the sore spot of Serbia’s application. In the past two weeks my host family has gotten together with many of their relatives and friends and at each there was discussion of the “zuta kuca” and other dark matters in Serbian politics. The organ-trafficking makes them all much more wary of the politicians of Serbia and Kosovo and though it’s a completely understandable response, it’s certainly not going to speed up Serbia’s development if the people cannot trust their own government although their distrust goes way past this one incident.

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