In 1996, I wrote a novel called “Waslala” after a small and forgotten town in northern Nicaragua. Waslala takes place in 2050 an it’s about the quest for Utopia. In it, among other things, there is the story of Engracia, a large woman who runs the trash dump in a town called Cineria. She receives and resells the trash of the First World: old couches, electric appliances and the like are re-used by the inhabitants of these forgotten provinces where hunger and war lords abound and where drugs have been manipulated and genetically modified to be cultivated by the natives and exported to the First World. Engracia and her trash-digger kids find a bottle filled with a shiny powder and they spread it on their bodies. It turns out the shiny stuff is Cesium 137, a highly radioactive substance. They are all contaminated and condemned to die after exposure. This idea was taken from a real case that happened in 1982 in Goinha in Brasil. A radioactive accident that was scarcely reported in the mainstream media. Reading this piece in the New York Times in September 2009, made me think of the prophetical quality of fiction.