La belle vie …

I’ve never thought of France as a violent country, or Paris as a violent city.

I’ve never thought of France as a violent country, or Paris as a violent city. But each day for some time now I’ve been purposely reading the faits divers (news briefs) pages of the national daily le Parisien to see if France is really as safe as I imagine it is.

What have I found?

Well, no, there is much violence here in France; each day a not negligible number of robberies, rape and murder is being reported. In fact, there are at least three pages of it each day, and this is only in this one newspaper – le Parisien.

Today, (Monday November 22) the paper reports the following:

1)   Two men who had stabbed a gay man to death have been arrest. This was in a commune outside Paris.

2)   A municipal councilor was found dead with a bullet in his throat. This was in the Dordogne region.

3)   A stolen car was set alight outside a retirement home in the Essonne region. It was the second such incident in a week.

4)   A 63-year-old man shot to death a 22-year-old relative in Corsica. Okay Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean, but it is French.

5)   Two men escaped from prison close to Paris.

6)   A 53-year–old man was arrested for having sold €12,000 ($16,400 /£10,300) of fake fiscal stamps he had printed himself in his apartment in Strasbourg.

7)   A woman in her twenties was found locked in a van in a cemetery in the Drôme region.  She had been raped and roughed up.

8)   Twenty computers were stolen from a news organization, This was in Paris.

9)   The paper also gave details about the mental state of a man who had raped and murdered a young female jogger in a wood outside Paris in September.

And the paper reported the arrest of a serial rapist. The rapist, identified only as Eric H, a family man of 35, had raped eleven young girls between April 2005 and January this year (2010). He had grabbed the girls from in front of their schools. Described as ‘a man without any history of violence’, he was apprehended when one of his victims recognized him on a street in a commune south of Paris.  He readily admitted the rapes. His DNA had by then already confirmed him as the rapist.

The paper also reported over a full page what a violent city Marseille on the Mediterranean has become.

Marseille has always enjoyed the reputation of being to France what Chicago had been to the States in the 1920s and 30s.

The latest there now is that youths go around with Russian-manufactured Kalashnikovs.  If you know anything about guns, you will know what a powerful fire-arm that is. They can be bought here in France for a couple of hundred Euros, one must just know on what door to knock.

And tomorrow, le Parisien will have yet another three pages of faits divers.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

2 Responses

11-23-2010 at 00:12:26

Unfortunately Marilyn, that’s how things are all over these days. I think you would have to look far and wide to find a country with little or no violent crime these days.

11-23-2010 at 11:00:10

I understand your dismay Marilyn.

As a writer, I spend my time at the keyboard; dancing through life in fantasy.

When I leave my home office to join my husband at the TV … the reality of life is scandalous.

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