Since we talked about the Chile earthquake last night, how to control looting has moved to the top of the agenda.
President Bachelet has sent 7000 soldiers to Concepcion and imposed a curfew. Bachelet condemned the “pillage and criminality” and said “I want to call to the people’s conscience. We must all work together,” she said.
Looting has become an almost inevitable part of disasters. And again, the words ‘looting’ and ‘looters’ has provoked fierce debate. In Haiti and New Orleans, some thought that the portrayals and comment about looters and looting were racist and considered stealing for survival an understandable response in dire circumstances.
What do you think? Ok to steal food and water for survival? What about a flat screen TV? What if that TV could help the family’s survival further down the line by selling it? Or, should the usual rules of conscience always apply and the maintaining law and order always be the priority?