Sunday, October 15, 2006

La Mega shock-jocks rebuffed by mourning family

It's been a while since I listened to "El Vacilon de la Mañana" on New York City's La Mega radio station (97.9FM) but a Gerson Borrero column in Friday's El Diario La Prensa caught my eye.

Back on August 14th, 2006, in his "Bajo Fuego" opinion column, Mr. Borrero profiled Mr. Marino Heredia, a Dominican Republic immigrant who came to New York in 1978 already infected by a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes called filalia. As a younger man, Mr. Heredia had trusted those who said his swollen leg was the result of an evil spell cast on him and had only sought help from brujos (witches). It wasn't until his arrival in the United States years later when symptoms worsened that he finally sought medical help - and was diagnosed.

At 50 years of age and weighing at 750lbs, Mr. Heredia contacted Mr. Borrero seeking help in finding a specialist that might be able to help him. Earlier this summer he gained a bit of notoriety in the Spanish-language press when 15 firemen had to assist in helping him out of his second floor apartment before he could be taken to a Queens hospital. Mr. Heredia did not survive much longer, he passed away last week.

In the article, Mr. Borrero asked Mr. Heredia to describe some of the symptoms. Mr. Heredia said that one of the worst things was that his "balls had grown too much." Asked if he was referring to his testicles, he clarifies that he is referring to two massive growths on both sides of his inner thighs, which made it impossible for him to walk (elephantitis of lower body extremities and sexual organs is common in advanced filalia sufferers according to this link)

Well, enter "El Vacilon de La Mañana." Upon learning of Mr. Heredia's passing last week, they apparently latched on the comments he had made to Mr. Borrero in August and called the El Diario La Prensa columnist to discuss Mr. Heredia's "balls." Mr. Borrero says he spent a few minutes trying to convey the seriousness of the disease during the broadcast (he should have known better than to actually have gone on air with the notoriously offensive "Vacilon" crew, which it must be said advertise prominently in the print and web portal editions of El Diario).

In Friday's "Bajo Fuego" column, Mr. Borrero says that he was interrupted by a cell phone call from Mr. Heredia's sister, Luz Heredia, even as he was still on air with "El Vacilon." She wanted to express her family's indignation at the comments made about their brother on air at a time when they are also dealing with how to bury a man who weighed so much when he died.

Apparently, "El Vacilon" made an offer to help the Heredia family with burial expenses but Ms. Heredia tells Borrero "Even if we were in need, how can we accept anything from those who are disrespectful?"

Mr. Borrero is right to say that "[DJ's] Moon, Francis Mendez, Carolina, Chino and the rest of the abnormal [crew] were unmeasured in their insensibility" and ends by saying "You crossed the line, friends."

Question is: When haven't they done anything but stuff like this.


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