[ CHAPTER 9 ]
A Pit Too Deep
THE RIOTS had subsided, and the presidential sash had stopped changing hands, but the political atmosphere was still volatile when I traveled to Buenos Aires in February 2002 on assignment for the Washington Post. Fears of a new social explosion were running high, and the scars of a wounded capital were plainly visible. Heavy metal shutters protected the facades of banks, which were pockmarked and spray-painted—ladrones (thieves) being the most popular epithet. Enormous crowds were massing frequently in the Plaza de Mayo, banging pots and pans, roaring chants, and waving banners.
As I wandered amid the mostly middle-class protesters, their faces etched in loss and embitterment, I was consumed by the question of how ...