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elian Gzlez FBI
I tried to reassure scared boy, photographer says

The photographer who took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Elián González said he's still haunted by the events of April 22, 2000.

Seconds before snapping the Pulitzer Prize winning photo of an armed federal agent confronting Elián González, Associated Press photographer Alan Diaz recalls trying to reassure the frightened boy that everything was going to be okay.

Diaz said the moment 10 years ago today ``forever'' haunts him.

``Elián said to me, `Qué está pasando, qué esté pasando?'' Diaz recalled in an interview this week with Miami Herald-WLRN News radio. ``I told the boy, in Spanish, that nothing's happening. It's going to be all right.''

Seconds later, the federal agent, wearing a helmet and riot gear, barged through the door and pointed a gun toward the boy, who was cowering with fear.

Diaz, who had spent months at the Miami home where Elián was being cared for by relatives, snapped nearly a dozen photos of the scene.

``I knew I was lying to him. That's a terrible thing to do with a child. I knew what was going to happen. I just didn't have any way to comfort this child,'' said Diaz. ``It's the only thing that occurred to me to tell him.''

Before their brief exchange on April 22, 2000, Diaz said he had not spoken a word to Elián in the four months he had been assigned to the story.

``I have four kids of my own. I've heard my children cry because of tantrums. I've heard them cry because they are sad. I've heard them cry because they are hungry. I've heard them cry because they're sick.

``The cry I heard that day I had never heard in my life. I can't describe it. It was an awful cry. It was different. It caught me completely off guard.

``A cry like that will haunt anyone forever,'' Diaz said.


Source: Miami Herald

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