Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

Zooming In

May 21, 2007

Colombian Panty Raids

Gelf highlights overlooked coverage from local media around the world. In this edition: Colombian attackers coerce women to yield underwear; the hunt for Samoan dogs; new lodging options for Saudi women; and more.

Hadley Robinson

Some of the most insightful writing from outside the U.S. comes from local media. In this occasional feature, Gelf identifies noteworthy stories that haven't gotten much attention outside local borders.

Graphic created by Paul Antonson
"I stumbled upon their kill of the morning. Most of the dogs looked well fed and clean, indicating that they are non-strays."—New Zealand Herald's Cherelle Jackson on Samoa's dog eradication program

Graphic created by Paul Antonson


Several complaints of attackers demanding young women and girls' underwear have been filed in a neighborhood in Pereira, Colombia. The men approach women alone at bus stops and corner them until they give up their underwear. According to the BBC, the underwear robbers do not harm the women physically. A representative of the community told a local newspaper, La Tarde, that the problem first came up more than a year ago. But a government official in the neighborhood reports that until now no woman has reported this crime to the authorities. One government official suggested stepping up security near schools, universities, and other locations where women routinely walk alone.


Local authorities in Samoa are shooting stray dogs and throwing them in a landfill in an effort to beautify the town before the South Pacific Games in August. The ministry of police and the Samoa Tourism Authority joined together on the "Stray Dogs Eradication Taskforce," killing more than 100 dogs per month since January. According to one correspondent for the New Zealand Herald, it's questionable whether all the killed dogs are strays.


A new Egyptian law will ban the sale and transport of live birds in an effort to control bird flu. Since February 2006, 34 people have contracted the bird-flu virus in Egypt, the most of any country outside Asia, according to Al-Ahram. Any vehicle carrying a live bird will need a note from a veterinarian certifying it is not infected with the virus. City residents will not be able to raise chickens, but the same restrictions don't apply in rural areas. Saleh El-Shemi, head of the Shura Council's health committee, told Al-Ahram, "People must learn to eat frozen chicken for their own health."


A Norwegian farmer was going through his daily routine of feeding the pigs, when he saw a stranger in the pen drop his pants and perform sexual acts with the pigs. The farmer caught the former policeman in the act by taking nine photographs of the incident. The assaulter has been fined $1,060. The farmer told AftenPosten, "I saw a man standing among the pigs, inside the electrical fence. Suddenly he took off his underpants and stood there naked from the waist down. Then things started to happen that I didn't think were possible."

Saudi Arabia

Women-only hotels are becoming popular in Saudi Arabia. Most other hotels do not allow a woman traveling without a man to check in without written permission from her husband. One Saudi woman recently had to sleep in a taxi cab with her two children after being denied entry to hotels without a note. Social activist Madeeha Al-Ajrosh told Arab News, "Women travelers need to be accommodated whenever they travel and women-only hotels can easily solve these issues. However, we still need to look at the reasons that cause hotels to be less welcoming to single women" than to single men.

Hadley Robinson

Hadley Robinson is a Gelf contributor and a staff writer for the
Webster Times.

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Article by Hadley Robinson

Hadley Robinson is a Gelf contributor and a staff writer for the
Webster Times.

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