In 1973 a wealthy businessman Jaime Jaramillo was walking along the streets of Bogota in Columbia when he saw a young girl climbing down through a manhole into the sewers below. Jaime went home, put on a wet suit and he then followed the girl into the sewers and to his amazement he discovered about 90 children who were living in the filthy, rat-infested sewers.
One girl was pregnant!
Tragically, hitmen were killing the children when they lived on the pavements above the sewers. One of them said – "Killing these kids is like killing lice. We call them 'the disposables'".
Another hit man left a calling card on the corpse of a young girl that stated: "I killed you because you are poor, worthless and have no future."
Jaime set about helping the children and he has now rescued 350 young people and he has used his money to build a special home for the kids in the mountains. Here they receive an education and live in a loving Christian community. One of the many girls that Jaime has rescued is now playing the violin for the Columbian National Orchestra.
This story is both inspiring and disturbing at the same time. We are confronted by both Jaramillo's deep desire to be good news to his neighbours and the tragic consequences of living in a secular story that ‘absolutises’ the economic aspect.
I'd be fascinated as to how Thomas Hobbes and Roy Keane would respond to the story. Would they laugh and sneer at Jaramillo? Wasting his life on 'losers'! Or would they shudder and give up this ridiculous belief that everybody has their price?
At the end of the day if the materialist is right and people are simply worth £4.99 – the cost of the minerals that make up our flabby bodies – then why not shoot poor kids?