The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
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The site of the billboard which once displayed a Maddie poster now lays empty - Google, August 2009
The McCanns launch a high-intensity new appeal for information tightly focused on the area where Madeleine
went missing. 10,000 leaflets in Portuguese are handed out and posted in letterboxes in Praia da Luz, Lagos and Burgau in
southern Portugal. The campaign is also advertised on billboards, three buses and a van.
However, the campaign
is met with strong resistance and posters are ripped down and defaced. Resident Maria Afonso said: "It's stupid to
think this campaign will bring Madeleine back two years after she disappeared. It's just sullying the reputation of the
At the libel trial of Gonçalo Amaral, which began in September 2013, Michael Wright blames
the hostile reaction on Gonçalo Amaral's book 'The Truth of the Lie' but this is not supported
by the views of local residents at the time.
Libel trial McCann v Amaral - Day 4, 20 September 2013
Lawyer: Isabel Duarte (ID) for the McCanns Witness: Michael Wright (MW) for the McCanns
- Extract -
ID - When you speak of the stress and the anger, how was this expressed in the
behaviour of the McCanns? MW - When the book came out, the reactions
were of much anger. Kate was upset and cried. She felt Madeleine was betrayed.
ID - Why? MW - Because of the thesis of the book
according to which Madeleine was dead and her body had been concealed. At the time they were very keen to re-establish
a normal family life, Gerry was working again full time and they were starting
a campaign. The stress increased between the book and the documentary in March/April
2009. They were preparing a new campaign before the second anniversary. Anger and anxiety overwhelmed
them because of the documentary. He says there always was activity on the internet (e-mails...)
but they became very subdued.
ID - What consequence did this have on the McCanns family life and
in particular that relating to the twins? MW - Around
the time of the negative e-mails and threats, which was when they tried to
launch the campaign, we went away for the second anniversary with Kate and Gerry to a remote house in the countryside.
Anniversaries and Christmases were never very good. But in 2009 it was horrible.
When they arrived at the cottage, they heard through friends they had in
Praia da Luz that the 10,000 posters they had distributed and put up in the Algarve had been ripped
and torn. Their friends had called them on the phone to say it was awful and that there were some
people who were saying that the child was dead.
The fact that people
in Praia da Luz believed the conclusions of the book was terrible for them
because they were already depressed. It was a time of great anger and sadness. During the weekend we talked about the
effect of the book.
Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Madeleine McCann's parents are to launch a high-intensity new appeal for information tightly
focused on the area where she went missing.
Over the next two weeks 10,000 leaflets in Portuguese will be handed out and posted in letterboxes in Praia da
Luz, Lagos and Burgau in southern Portugal.
The campaign will also advertise on billboards, three buses and a van.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on 3 May 2007.
Despite an international publicity campaign and massive police search, she has never been found.
Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the hope was to find the vital clue that could lead
to Madeleine, who was nearly four when she went missing, being found.
The official Find Madeleine Fund said in a statement: "At the time of Madeleine's disappearance the emphasis was
placed more on international appeals, and it has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the
surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give.
"Someone in the area could almost certainly have the vital information that could help Madeleine's return to her
family, or a combination of people all coming forward with a single piece of information could piece together vital clues
which could solve the disappearance.
"Experience also shows that people almost always confide in someone else."
Madeleine McCann's parents launch new appeal to find daughter, 24 March 2009
Madeleine McCann's parents launch new appeal
to find daughterTelegraph
Madeleine McCann's parents have launched a new appeal for information about their daughter focused on
the area where she went missing nearly two years ago.
Last Updated: 5:01PM GMT 24 Mar 2009
About 10,000 leaflets in Portuguese will be handed out and posted through
letterboxes in Praia da Luz, Lagos and Burgau in southern Portugal over the next fortnight.
The Algarve campaign will be backed up with billboards and advertising on three buses and a van.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the appeal was "very localised" with the aim of collecting the vital clue
that could lead to Madeleine being found.
The official Find Madeleine Fund said in a statement: "At the time of Madeleine's disappearance the emphasis was
placed more on international appeals, and it has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the
surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give.
"The purpose of the current campaign is to do just that - ask the local Portuguese residents for information to
help to find Madeleine.
"Experience shows that the crucial answers are in the immediate vicinity.
"Someone in the area could almost certainly have the vital information that could help Madeleine's return to her
family, or a combination of people all coming forward with a single piece of information could piece together vital clues
which could solve the disappearance.
"Experience also shows that people almost always confide in someone else.
"Someone in Praia da Luz may have been given information that should be passed on and now is the perfect opportunity
to do just that."
Information can be provided to the McCanns' private investigation team anonymously by telephone, email, text message
or free post, and will be treated in confidence.
Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007
while her parents dined with friends nearby.
Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found.
The first part mentions facts that are now widely known by the public – the campaign's purpose, scope, the
It is mentioned that the subject is distressing for those who live in the village, and the few persons who agreed
to speak to the reporter, stated that they find the initiative strange.
First interviewed person: "I think it's not going to advance anything. While they were here, they weren't that
worried. The family, they were welcomed here like family. Meanwhile, they ran away, I don't know why."
Second interviewed person: "There was nothing that I, my husband, everyone here in Praia da Luz didn't do, looking,
searching, to see if we could find the little girl. So I think if anyone knew anything, me, if I knew anything, I would try
to give the information right away."
Third interviewed person: "They asked a lot of questions. There were many Portuguese people speaking about the
issue. The rest, I don't know. There's nothing more that I can say."
In a closing comment, the reporter mentions that almost two years ago, the entire village population was involved,
with the police, in intensive searches, and that it could be precisely the reason why this appeal from the McCanns is causing
such discomfort among the residents.
Gerry and Kate McCann ask for the Algarvians' cooperation, 24 March 2009
On the brink of the second anniversary of her disappearance in Praia da Luz, the couple asks for help again. This time,
the target are the residents of Praia da Luz's surrounding areas, who will receive a direct appeal from the little British
girl in their letter boxes, over the coming days
Leaflets, posters and billboards asking for information about Madeleine McCann's whereabouts make up the new appeal campaign
that Kate and Gerry promote in the Algarve, on the brink of the second anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter
in Praia da Luz.
The billboards were being installed early this week, on locations like the entrance to Praia da Luz, and along the EN125
[main national road that crosses the Algarve east to west], between that village and Vila do Bispo, in Lagos and in Odiáxere.
The McCann couple's idea is to search for information about the little girl's whereabouts, among the Portuguese community
in the surroundings of Praia da Luz.
"At the time of Madeleine's disappearance the emphasis was placed more on international appeals and it has been recognised
that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information
they may have to give", Kate and Gerry explained in a press release.
"Experience shows that the crucial answers are in the immediate vicinity", they said, to justify their hope that "someone
in the area could almost certainly have the vital information that could help Madeleine's return to her family".
Therefore, thousands of leaflets are going to be distributed at local markets, and even mailed to each residence within
the municipality of Lagos. The posters started to be affixed over the weekend, on bus stops and on urban furniture at those
same locations. This time, shops seem to be kept out.
Many, like the Batista supermarket, had no mention of the campaign on Tuesday.
Some shopkeepers explained to barlavento.online that they refused to affix the posters, because they were unaware of
the campaign. "We don't know who is promoting this and what the purpose is, so we prefer not to put them up", the owner of
a handicraft shop in Praia da Luz explained.
The regional armed wing of the campaign is Atelier do Sul, a publicity agency that is based in
Boliqueime, owned by Fred Phillips, one of the most active members of the British community in the Algarve.
The only time that the McCann couple made a similar appeal was in December, when they released a video
that showed the little girl at play, five months before she disappeared.
Kate and Gerry continue to publicly express that they believe they can find their daughter alive, despite
the fact that the Polícia Judiciária faced the theory of homicide.
Due to being suspected of its authorship, the little British girl's parents were made arguidos in September
2007, a status that would be lifted in July 2008 due to a lack of evidence to prove the child's accidental death.
A fresh appeal involving leaflets and bus adverts is being
launched today by parents of missing Madeleine McCann.
Kate and Gerry McCann are using cash from their Find Madeleine Fund to distribute about 10,000 leaflets, printed
in Portuguese, appealing for information in the area around Praia da Luz.
The Rothley youngster was just three when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in the resort.
The family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "Kate and Gerry McCann are today launching a new, very localised
appeal for further information about their missing daughter.
"Around 10,000 leaflets, written in Portuguese, are being distributed in the Luz, Lagos and Burgau areas over the
next two weeks. The leaflets will be going through doors, backed up by a few billboards, and advertising on three buses and
an A-van. Leaflets will also be distributed at markets."
Algarve invaded by 10 thousand photos of Maddie, 25 March 2009
Algarve invaded by 10 thousand photos of Maddie 24horas
McCanns launch a new campaign to find their daughter
Tens of outdoors and approximately 10 thousand leaflets with images of Maddie are being affixed and distributed in
Praia da Luz. The idea is to ask the village's residents for help
Madeleine McCann's parents have launched a new campaign in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve, in order to try to find their
daughter, who disppeared in that village almost two years ago. Tens of new posters have been affixed on walls, bus stops and
public transportation, where images of Maddie are visible.
The idea beneath this initiative is to prevent the population of Vila da Luz from forgetting the face of the little girl
that disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007, as a representative of Kate and Gerry McCann explained to 24horas.
According to information from the couple's spokesman, the child's parents believe that she is still alive and admit that,
in a way, they didn't care properly for contacts with the locals, who will now receive 10 thousand leaflets in their post
boxes, asking for help and possible information about what happened on the night that Maddie disappeared.
Residents have been forgotten in the investigation
According to information that has now been made available by the couple, on the days that followed Maddie’s disappearance
"the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information
they may have to give", as "the emphasis was placed more on international appeals".
The announcement of this campaign, which surprised the vast majority of Algarve's residents, is seen with mistrust. "I
can't believe these people now come out to say they need our help after having insulted the Portuguese", Rute Fernandes told
24horas, adding that "this is a pure waste of time as there is not a single person in the Algarve who doesn't know
the case and who doesn't know who the little girl was".
For months, until Gonçalo Amaral left, the Polícia Judiciária investigated countless leads in the Algarve and abroad,
but always ended up returning to the group on nine English people that accompanied Madeleine, including her own parents, Kate
and Gerry McCann. The couple itself had Spanish private detectives and British henchmen in the Algarve, but all the allegedly
obtained information revealed to be false or without any interest for the case, which even ended up thickening the suspicions
against the couple.
"Experience shows that the crucial answers are in the immediate vicinity, someone in the area could almost certainly
have the vital information that could help Madeleine's return to her family", the McCanns now argue, through their spokesman,
further suggesting that now, after two years, someone may have received information that leads to the solution of the mystery,
and that this information may be delivered anonymously by phone, text message, email or mail.
Who is carrying out the campaign?
At the origin of the initiative, which was embraced by Kate and Gerry McCann, stands the "Find Madeleine" fund, without
names or faces being associated to it. The graphic execution of the campaign was commissioned from "Atelier do Sul", according to a source at the firm, because it's "bilingual and based in the Algarve".
From there on, the press note that was directed to journalists ended up being published on the "findmadeleine.com" website.
Nevertheless, there is still no reference to persons in Portugal who may explain what is going to happen. One can read that
"local Portuguese residents" are asked "for information to help to find Madeleine". And the text continues, "experience also
shows that people almost always confide in someone else, (…) her family hope and believe that local residents can be
a very real help". It's further clarified that the campaign will last for two weeks.
Contacted by 24horas, Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' advisor, attributed the campaign to "volunteers" and during
the morning was still unaware about times and places where actions will be carried out, like distributing leaflets at the
markets of Luz and Lagos.
There are billboards in Lagos and Praia da Luz
Many residents react badly to the McCanns' billboards
The new campaign to find the little English girl that disappeared in 2007 includes the placement of posters between Lagos
and Praia da Luz, on the rear windows of the buses that travel until Sagres and the distribution of leaflets to the population.
On a yellow and black coloured base, the image of the child's face is repeated, the detail of her right eye, and the messages
"help me!" and "don't give up on me!".
A website and telephone numbers are indicated for anyone who wishes to communicate any detail, any piece that may fit
the puzzle that the Maddie case has become. The message is clear: don't shut up, communicate, even anonymously, any lead that
may clarify the disappearance.
The message will also reach the homes of the residents of Luz by mail, communicating that "we're still in time to save
The campaign started yesterday, without major visibility for the residents, as few noticed the posters and the billboards,
and those who did notice the return of the little girl's image and the will to search for her there, saw little interest in
Many even show their discomfort, "the shame goes on, the parents know where she is", a passer-by said. Another pleaded:
"Leave us alone, we've had enough!". And yet another: "This is just another marketing stunt, why after so long?".
Phone, mobile phone, text and email
"We're still in time to save her!". "Don't give up on me!" It's as if the little girl spoke to those who open the webpage
"ajude-me.eu", the website that is mentioned on the posters and photographs that have been affixed between Lagos and Luz. A brief text
recalls the context of the disappearance of the child, that disappeared only days before her 4th birthday.
"It's quite possible that the piece that is missing from the puzzle still lies in secrecy in Praia da Luz", one can also
And then, over seven items, various questions are asked: "Have you seen or heard something strange on the night that
Madeleine disappeared? Did you observe a third party's strange behaviour? Do you recall any fact that may be related to the
The appeal is launched "talk, anonymously and confidentially, with my friend Isabel".
Isabel is the woman who picks up the phone, she advances no details about the campaign, with a Northern accent she says
she "only wants to help" and the conversation goes no further because, as she justifies, "she's there to pick up the phone".
Any contact may be made to a free number, a mobile phone, by text message, email or freepost.
English don't release data
The English Foreign Office refused to hand over information about the communications that were made by John Buck, then
British Ambassador to Portugal, arguing that it could affect the relationship between both governments.
The request to access those documents was made by British citizens and journalists under the "Freedom of Information
Act 2000", a law that regulates the public's free access to information about the work of the government and public institutions
in general, namely the police.
Despite the fact that the English Government's reply mentions communications between its representatives and the Portuguese
police, the 13 emails that are at the core of the matter have been sent or received by the ambassador, the consulate in Portimão,
and the representatives of the British Foreign Office in Portugal and in London, between the 9th of May and the 21st of June
According to a source at the Foreign Office itself, some of the emails that were exchanged between the ambassador and
the ministry "contain obvious evidence of the interference of the diplomat with the PJ's hierarchy and that fact has conditioned
In the same document, the English government further confirms that "a [McCann] family member had made clear to FCO staff
that all comments made by that individual to FCO had been made in strict confidence and were not intended for disclosure to
At the consulate's door
The face of Madeleine McCann has also found a place at the new offices of the British consulate in Portimão. The space's
inauguration took place on Friday, and at that time, the little girl's photograph was already affixed at the main entrance.
The ambassador and the consul, as well as inspectors of the Polícia Judiciária, visited.
No news is good news
Kate and Gerry say they continue to believe that their daughter is alive. On the website "findmadeleine.com", they refer
a positive aspect from the absence of news, "nothing suggests that anyone has harmed Madeleine". And they recall recent media-exposed
cases like those of "Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck and Natasha Kampusch".
McCanns consider returning to Portugal, 26 March 2009
Kate and Gerry McCann are considering a return to Portugal even before the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance,
a source close to the couple has told 24horas.
"I know that some contacts have been made with the lawyers in Portugal, as well as with some of the couple's friends
in the region, but nothing has been confirmed yet", the same source said, stressing that among the couple "Kate is more reticent
towards a possible return."
Kate and Gerry McCann abandoned Portugal in September 2007, after two days of questioning at the PJ that culminated with
the couple being made arguidos, under suspicion of being involved in Maddie's disappearance. They would both travel back to
the United Kingdom, from where only Gerry would later return to Portugal.
The announcement of the couple's possible return to our country is not seen with pleasure by part of the Algarve's population,
which can't forgive the couple for their comments about a country that has done everything to search the world’s most
famous missing girl: "That's like the campaign that they're doing now. It's useless and only mocks the Algarve", 24horas
heard from António Martins, a resident in Praia da Luz, who added that "saying that the Portuguese didn't help them or that
we didn't give all the information, is ridiculous!".
"They might as well start by replying to the PJ's questions and doing the reconstitution, then we'll see what the police
thinks", he said. Maria Afonso, a local resident, has a different opinion: "This campaign won't bring the little girl back.
Two years later, it's stupid to think that way. This is only going to soil the Algarve's name, and our streets. Who is going
to sweep away the papers that they're going to distribute?"
Cost of the campaign not revealed
It's not known exactly how much the new campaign that the McCanns launched in the Algarve is going to cost, given the
fact that the heads of the financial fund that was created by the couple nine days after Maddie's disappearance, refused to
publicise any amount, admitting that "we're going to spend what is possible and necessary to find Maddie."
This is an attitude that differs from the one that could be read from the Find Madeleine fund's provisory accounts, which
revealed that only 13% of the almost 3 million euros that entered the coffers were used to search for Maddie, as 24horas
The campaign, which is foreseen to last two weeks, was commissioned from an Anglo-Portuguese firm that is based in Boliqueime,
'Atelier do Sul', directed by Fred Phillips and Suzi Steinhofel, and renowned as one of the best and most expensive firms
in the area.
Coincidentally, 'Atelier do Sul' was one of the few firms that were visited by the same consul that accompanied Kate
and Gerry McCann's questioning in Portimão.
Just like her predecessor, Bill Henderson, Celia Edwards abandoned our country after the McCann case.
Little over 12 thousand euros
by Miguel Ferreira
26 March 2009
The campaign that started this week in the Algarve will be one of the least expensive campaigns that the McCann
couple has carried out until now. Under the slogan "Help me!", with the photo of the little girl that disappeared almost two
years ago in Praia da Luz standing out, the posters, leaflets and outdoors that ask the Algarvians for information about Maddie's
whereabouts cost the McCann couple little over 12 thousand euros, as 24horas has established.
The couple's spokesman refused to reveal the amount that was spent in the operation, but 24horas
did the maths. Based on market prices, 2 weeks of publicity on the rear window of three 'EVA' buses that connect Lagos with
Sagres, cost approximately 660 euros, according to a company source. There is a publicity van at the McCanns' service during
the same period, which will cost another thousand euros, as we could establish.
Then there's the 10 thousand leaflets and posters that have been produced by Atelier do Sul, for distribution in
Lagos and Praia da Luz: another 2 thousand euros, according to a source that is connected to the business.
The rental cost of the four 'Publirádio' billboards that are installed in locations like the entrance to Praia
da Luz, and along the EN125 [national road], in Burgau, Lagos and Odiáxere, will cost 4500 euros, according to a company source.
Finally, if it had been necessary to pay this operation to the publicity agency that is mobilising the means, 'Atelier
do Sul', which is owned by one of the most active members of the British community in the Algarve, the McCanns would have
spent another 4000 euros, according to a business source.
All summed up, in the worst case scenario – and believing that everyone has demanded payment for their services,
the 'Find Madeleine' fund will have spent only around 12 thousand euros.
Fund. The amount that has been spent with the
campaign will always be a drop of water in the Find Madeleine Fund's volume of receipts. Just on the 8th of November, a cricket
race that was promoted by Greenhills Taverners Society, in London, brought the fund 5 thousand pounds, almost 5400 euros.
Secrecy. The authorship of the campaign was shrouded
in mystery for a few hours. On Tuesday morning, the couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, couldn't recognise the campaign
and attributed the initiative to a group of people who volunteered for the cause. But during the afternoon, the couple emitted
a press note in which it assumed the initiative.
People of Luz tear off Maddie posters, 26 March 2009
Of the big campaign about Maddie's disappearance that was launched by the McCanns in the area of Luz, Lagos, there was
little left, yesterday afternoon, apart from half a dozen posters that had been affixed on bus stops and billboards. The local
population has torn off and shredded the rest of them, throwing them into the garbage.
"They put up a poster on my shop window but I took it off right away", CM was told by Luís Mamede, the owner of an optics
store in Luz, who sees this campaign as "another massacre" for the people in Luz. "It's enough!", he said, stressing that
"Luz is being hurt by a situation that is alien to it: The child's parents are to blame but it's the people who live and work
here that have been hurt. Tourists with children are afraid of coming here. That's unfair, because Luz has always been safe".
Tiredness and indignation were, in fact, the emotions shown to CM by the locals. For Ana Santos, this campaign by the
McCanns "is a clown circus. It's normal that people remove the posters, because they have nothing to do with what happened
and they've been seriously hit". Emílio Caracol says he's "fed up". And he adds: "I don't know the McCanns. I've had two children
and I've guarded them, and I guard my four grandchildren as well."
The "uselessness" of this campaign was recognised by English citizens Steven Gray and Alan Fox, who were taking a walk
around Luz yesterday: "If Maddie is alive, she's not here." Concerning the removal of the posters, they consider that "people
want to forget and the case is bad for tourism".
Madeleine McCann posters are ripped off walls in Algarve, 26 March 2009
Vandals have targeted Madeleine McCann posters put up in the Algarve resort where she disappeared as part of a new appeal
Last Updated: 7:32PM GMT 26 Mar 2009
Several posters featuring the youngster's face have been torn down in Praia da Luz.
The attacks have been blamed on locals who have voiced criticism of the McCanns' new campaign for information on
their daughter's whereabouts.
The fresh appeal is focused on the area where Madeleine, three, went missing on May 3 2007 during a family holiday.
Around 10,000 leaflets are being handed out and posted through letterboxes in Praia da Luz and the nearby towns
of Lagos and Burgau.
The Algarve campaign is being backed by billboards, posters and advertising on local buses.
The appeal has been criticised by part of the local population who have dismissed it as a waste of time and claim
it is affecting the resort's image.
Resident Maria Afonso said: "It's stupid to think this campaign will bring Madeleine back two years after she disappeared.
"It's just sullying the reputation of the Algarve." Local Rute Fernandes added: "It's a waste of time. "There's
not a single person on the Algarve that is unaware of this case and doesn't know who Madeleine McCann was." Family spokesman
Clarence Mitchell has said the appeal's aim is to collect the vital clue that could lead to Madeleine being found.
The official Find Madeleine Fund said in a statement earlier this week: "At the time of Madeleine's disappearance
the emphasis was placed more on international appeals, and it has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia
da Luz and the surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give.
"The purpose of the current campaign is to do that - ask the local Portuguese residents for information to help
to find Madeleine."
New Madeleine posters torn down in anger, 27 March 2009
Posters put up in Portugal in the renewed search for missing Madeleine McCann have been torn
down and thrown in bins.
A new appeal for information was launched this week but some residents on the Algarve have reacted angrily to the move.
Ana Palma, a reporter for the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha, said: "We went to Praia da Luz trying to find the
posters but most of the small ones had been removed, there were only five or six left.
"We then started to ask people what had happened and they told us they are tired of this. They feel they and their businesses
have been harmed and they want closure."
The McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell said: "Clearly any such action is wrong and misguided. All Kate and Gerry McCann
hope is that this latest campaign will lead to that vital piece of information.
"The people of Portugal are decent and they are appealing to them to come forward and help them."
The fresh appeal focuses specifically on the area where the family was staying when Madeleine vanished.
Over the next two weeks 10,000 leaflets are being handed out and posted through letterboxes in Praia da Luz, Lagos and
In a statement, the Find Madeleine Fund said: "It has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da
Luz and the surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give.
"The purpose of the current campaign is to do just that - ask the local Portuguese residents for information to help
to find Madeleine."
There have been problems in the past with disgruntled residents, unhappy with the constant media intrusion and negative
publicity following the investigation.
But Madeleine's parents remain determined. They say they will not give up looking for their daughter as the second anniversary
of her disappearance on May 3, 2007, fast approaches.
Madeleine, then just under four, went missing from the couple's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz while they were having
dinner with friends in a nearby restaurant.
Anniversary of pain to bring new Maddie appeal, 29 March 2009
THE parents of Madeleine McCann are planning to give a rare television interview to make
a fresh appeal for information which they hope could lead to her being found.
Kate and Gerry McCann are also considering flying out to Portugal in the coming weeks to boost their renewed efforts
there for a breakthrough in the run-up to the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance on May 3.
A source close to the couple said: "Discussions are taking place now to work out what to do for the anniversary. One
idea is for a television appeal from one or both of them."
As part of the new drive, 10,000 leaflets will be handed out to people who live on the Algarve in the coming weeks and
large posters have also been put up.
Kate and Gerry have also updated their website with a new heartfelt message. They said: "Can you imagine a little girl
or boy out there, hoping and waiting to be found but for people then to write them off, forget about them, just because there’s
been no 'news'?
"We urge you to remember Madeleine as a real, living and findable little girl. In spite of all the investigative work
done, there is still absolutely nothing to suggest harm to Madeleine and therefore, a very real likelihood that Madeleine
is alive and well. It is vital that we never, ever give up on Madeleine."
Their missing daughter was very much in their thoughts when the couple celebrated Mother's Day with their other children,
twins Amelie and Sean, both three, at a church service last weekend near their home in Rothley, Leicestershire. Amelie, who
bares a striking resemblance to Madeleine, clapsed her sister's favourite Cuddle Cat toy tightly in her hand throughout the
For Kate, who looked happy and relaxed, it was her second Mother's Day without Madeleine, now five. Web-users around
the world still pay tribute to Madeleine who vanished from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz while her parents dined nearby.
They continue to post their own messages on YouTube with pictures of Madeleine. The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell
said: "What goes on the internet has not been sanctioned by Kate and Gerry. We just hope that anything about Madeleine
is supportive and genuine."
A new campaign launched by Kate and Gerry McCann to help find their missing daughter, Madeleine, has ignited fresh controversy
in Praia da Luz.
For the next three weeks, posters, pamphlets, billboards, bus back advertising, mail shots and mobile A-van announcements
will be targeting residents of the Lagos and Vila do Bispo areas.
New tactics have been employed in this latest campaign to try and raise the awareness of the local Portuguese community
in the search for Madeleine.
Algarve design consultants Atelier do Sul have been hired to run the marketing of the campaign. Creative director Suzi
Steinhofel said: "We were first approached in January about the campaign and our objective is to effectively approach the
local Portuguese community about the case, as it is believed that they were never properly questioned in the first place."
As the official press release from findmadeleine.com states: "At the time of Madeleine's disappearance the emphasis was
placed more on international appeals and it has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the
surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give."
The message designed by Atelier do Sul is specifically targeted at a Portuguese market.
"We were employed on this campaign because of our knowledge of the Portuguese culture. The message on the adverts says
"Não desista de min" meaning: do not give up on me, and this message comes straight from Madeleine and no other party," said
"The Portuguese community are more likely to respond to a plea from a child. People have told me that the campaign has
given them shivers when they see it and this is good because we hope that the posters will produce an emotional response with
a positive outcome."
The campaign has brought the Madeleine case back to the forefront of the media agenda in both Portugal and the UK as
the second year anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance approaches on May 3.
Reports of disgruntled residents in Praia da Luz reacting negatively to the campaign have been detailed in Portuguese
daily newspaper Correio da Manhã and on British news channel Sky News.
Claims that posters have been "torn down in anger" by residents of Praia da Luz, reported by Sky News, have been countered
by some residents in Praia da Luz who spoke directly with the Algarve Resident.
Davis Lewis, who lives in Praia da Luz, told the Algarve Resident: "To be honest I haven't even seen any posters or billboards
near where I live. We have not received anything in the post either.
"I can understand why they are targeting the local Portuguese here because the Brits in the area are pretty transient
and the case also had huge international coverage so I am sure if an ex-pat had any information they would have come forward
He added: "As for claims of people ripping down posters, I haven't seen evidence of this, however I am not sure the people
in the area are very happy about the case being brought to the attention of the media again.
"People in Praia da Luz did everything they could at the time to help and for us here it is more of a case of water under
the bridge, people are becoming jaded with the case. I don't believe the answers to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
lie in Praia da Luz anymore."
A spokesman from local medical service Luzdoc told the Algarve Resident: "I have seen two big billboards in the area
and quite a few shops have the pamphlets displayed. People don't seem all that eager to put up the posters in their windows
this time but I have not seen anyone ripping upany of the campaign advertising."
Suzi Steinhofel added: "I have not personally seen a negative reaction from the people of Praia da Luz but I have heard
about a certain level of reluctance to the campaign, However, the team here have been prepared for that and have conducted
the campaign cautiously because of this."
For further information about the new campaign please visit www.ajude-me.eu (only available in Portuguese).
Missing Madeleine and a reluctance to help, 03 April 2009
Missing Madeleine and a reluctance to help Sky News
April 03, 2009 11:01 AM
I hear of more anti-Madeleine protests in Praia da Luz, where the McCanns have launched a renewed campaign for information
about their daughter's disappearance.
A billboard on the edge of the town has been daubed with paint and flyers handed to locals have been ripped up, according
to my man on the Algarve.
He tells me traders are struggling to cope with a drop in tourism, the low pound and a lingering stigma of Luz as an
unsafe place to take kids.
"People are driving into Luz, seeing the posters and thinking 'Oh God, it's that place and then driving straight
out again," he says. "We've done a lot to help, but what more do they expect from us?"
The marketing campaign is being run by a design consultancy and aimed at the Portuguese community which, it says, was
never properly questioned at the time Madeleine vanished.
Bit late in the day for that.
But, two years on, what would you do? The key to the mystery must lie in Luz.
Recent photos from around Praia da Luz, added 04 April 2009
Many thanks to 'Mitts' for these photographs
A defaced billboard of Madeleine on one of the main roads around Praia da Luz
One of the few new posters of Madeleine to be found - inside a closed building
The Praia da Luz church notice board contains only a year-old poster
The steps leading up to the patio area of Apartment 5A are dirty. The apartment itself looks unoccupied and neglected
- the 'For Sale' sign has now been removed. A Metro report states it has recently been vandalised.
Gerry McCann returns to Praia da Luz, 04 April 2009
returns to Praia da Luz, on 04 April 2009, for the first time since Madeleine's disappearance.
the role of an adviser, with Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, for the recording of scenes for the
Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary, 'Madeleine Was Here', to be shown on 07 May 2009.
visit coincides with a large number of redundancies from the Ocean Club complex and he encounters a hostile response
from some of the local community.
The McCann couple are not welcome at the Ocean Club, that is dealing with a mass dismissal that affects 21 employees.
In the letter that they received last Friday, two clear references are made to the main motive: the Madeleine case. The
indignant workers prefer not to show their faces, fearing to be hurt in their compensation payments. They all state that they
are "hurt" and believe they were "fooled" by the couple.
"We worked from 8.30 a.m. until midnight just to protect them. We did everything, we helped with the searches, we looked
everywhere, we never let the journalists in and this is how we are thanked", a former reception worker laments. She accuses
Kate and Gerry of having created serious financial difficulties for the company by scaring tourists away with the media circus
that they created, and of promoting a bad environment.
"Gerry didn't want to come here when the Polícia Judiciária contacted him. Why does he come now? Does he want to push
this place even lower than it already is? Hasn't he realised yet that we live off tourism? There are 21 ruined families. It
looks like he is mocking us", she accuses. As there are no doubts that the case has weakened tourism, they consider the possibility
of suing the couple. "We hurt nobody, all we want is our work, to be left alone and that the tourists return. Mr McCann should
disappear from here for good. We've had enough of him". In 2007, 130 persons worked at the Ocean Club. Two years later, the
number was down to 48. Now, 21 have been dismissed, and the ones that remain fear a similar outcome.
Mark Warner launches legal action against insurers, 08 April 2009
Mark Warner has confirmed it is launching a legal action against
its insurers AIG.
The operator filed the writ in the high court seeking compensation for lost earnings following
the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from its Praia da Luz resort in Portugal two years ago.
The action comes following news that Madeleine's father Gerry has returned to the resort to
advise on a reconstruction for a Channel 4 documentary to mark the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance on May
However, his return to the resort was reported to have been met by hostility from locals who
blame the negative publicity over the case for a downturn in tourism to the resort.
National newspapers reported that he was heckled while new posters appealing for help over
Madeleine's disappearance were defaced and ripped down.
THE Find Madeleine Fund will be empty by the end of the year, Gerry McCann has confirmed.
Speaking during his first trip back to Praia da Luz, where Maddie went missing almost two years ago, he said: "There's
still money in it.
"I can't give the exact figure but we have spent and continue to spend a lot of money with the aim of trying to enhance
the chance of finding her.
"It won't dry up in the next few months, but probably by the end of the year at the rate we are running."
The fund, set up after Maddie disappeared, raised more than £2million from the public.
In January we reported how it had dwindled to £600,000 after donations dried up.
Accounts showed £250,000 was spent on search fees, £111,000 on legal fees, and £123,573 for management of the campaign.
Gerry, who returned to Portugal to help with a Channel Four reconstruction of his daughter's disappearance on May 3,
2007, was heckled by angry locals, who blame the McCanns for a major economic downturn in the seaside resort.
In the interview with The Portugal News, he added: "That aspect was everything I hoped could be avoided.
"I can totally understand that people want to move on.
"They don't want the media intrusion and the negative association with Madeleine's abduction.
"For me, and this is going right to 2007, I didn't feel any evil around Praia da Luz or anywhere else in Portugal.
"What happened there could have happened anywhere in the world.
"Actually the amazing response we had from the community was incredibly important to us.
"I am sorry for any harm caused to Praia da Luz. I specifically want to thank the local population for all their support
He added: "Kate and I have been desperate to go back to Praia da Luz but we haven't done so due to the media exposure
and the controversy such a visit would pose.
"We want to go back and meet the people without it being highlighted.
"There is nothing bad about the resort. It is beautiful.
"In these difficult economic times we don't want to worsen things.
"But I do hope people understand why we are doing what we have done. This is a key factor in an investigation strategy.
Madeleine is still missing.
"We need to do everything reasonable to get any information.
"The best thing for everyone is that she is found and that whoever took her is caught."
The father-of-three added: "We are united in our search for Madeleine and we are very strong in our relationship."
Gerry said Madeleine's siblings twins Sean and Amelie, now four, know their sister is missing and have been told someone
He said: "The twins talk about her every day. They are great. They say things like 'When Madeleine comes home...'
"When we are having bad days, these comments drive you on.
"If Madeleine came through the door, Sean and Amelie would react like she went missing yesterday.
"She is still a huge part of their life and it's refreshing.
"They completely understand she is missing and they understand someone has taken her.
"There is not a lot more. We had counselling on how to cope with the twins, given to us by a child psychologist who has
dealt with child abduction who said we should fill in the gaps as they get older.
"But, with us, the psychologist said the problem you have is that there is very little to fill in.
"The fact remains, she was there one minute and gone the next.
"The apartment doesn't hold any bad karma.
"It was just a couple of thoughts really. It was about re-enacting the events on the night of her disappearance and it
was where I last saw Madeleine.
"But actually, I felt more emotional at church last Sunday with the support and seeing the photograph of Madeleine with
the words 'Help Me' along with the green and yellow ribbons around it was more difficult to cope with."
The Channel Four documentary is due to go out on May 7.
Gerry added: "The reason we are doing this documentary is that it should be about Madeleine.
"I can understand why people don't like it or that our level of child care was not to their standard but the focus should
be on an innocent child and that someone has taken her.
"There's one thing that has been revealed in the case files which is that there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead
and there is no evidence to suggest that Kate and I were involved in any theories. It's about Madeleine.
"As her parents, I hope people understand that we have to do what we are doing."
The twins now know Maddie was taken, 10 April 2009
THE twin brother and sister of Madeleine McCann now know that she was taken away from them.
And they still talk about her every day, says their dad Gerry.
Gerry also insisted that his wife Kate will one day find the strength to return to the Algarve resort where Madeleine
The former GP has not set foot in Portugal since she and Gerry left in September 2007 after being made official suspects.
The couple were cleared of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance in the previous May.
But Kate did not accompany Gerry, 40, when he flew to the Algarve last weekend to help with a reconstruction of the night
Maddie went missing.
The Scots-born dad-of-three also ruled out a joint visit for the second anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance
on May 3.
In an exclusive interview with Algarve-based English-language newspaper The Portugal News, he said: "We want to get to
the stage where Kate and me going to Portugal is not a news story."
Insisting their marriage is as strong as ever despite the stress of their daughter's disappearance, he added: "We are
united in our search for Madeleine and very strong in our relationship."
Gerry said of twins Sean and Amelie, now four: "They are great and say things like: 'When Madeleine comes home.' When
we are having bad days, that really drives you on.
"She is still a huge part of their life and it is refreshing."
As for his and Kate's approach to raising the twins, he added: "I am undoubtedly much more aware of potential danger.
"It's a horrible balance we as parents now face."
He said he coped well with revisiting the apartment, as it "doesn't hold any bad karma".
But he added: "I felt more emotional at the local church last Sunday, seeing the photograph of Madeleine there."
Some locals heckled Gerry and many of them say the new campaign is putting off tourists.
Gerry said: "I can totally understand that people want to move on."
The reconstruction of the night Madeleine disappeared will be shown on Channel 4 on May 7.
'Find Madeleine' £2.5m fund running dry as McCanns insist they will never abandon the hunt,
10 April 2009
'Find Madeleine' £2.5m fund running dry as McCanns insist they will never abandon the hunt Daily Mail
By VANESSA ALLEN and GERARD COUZENS
Last updated at 7:56 AM on 10th April 2009
The £2.5million Madeleine McCann appeal fund is set to run dry by the end of the year, her father Gerry McCann said yesterday.
Donations to the fund - which poured in at £260-an-hour in the immediate aftermath of her disappearance - can no longer
match the expense of the family's international search operation.
Mr McCann, 40, insisted he and wife Kate would never abandon the hunt for missing Madeleine but said the fund could run
out of money by the end of the year.
He said: 'We have spent and continue to spend a lot of money with the aim of trying to enhance the chance of finding
'It won't dry up in the next few months, but probably by the end of the year at the rate we are running.'
Accounts lodged with Companies House earlier this year showed the Madeleine Fund raised almost £2million in the first
ten months after the three-year-old vanished on May 3, 2007.
But public donations slowed to a trickle after Mr and Mrs McCann were named as suspects in the Portuguese police investigation,
and when it emerged they had used the fund to pay two £2,000 instalments on their mortgage.
Mr McCann's comments suggest donations have failed to rise again in the five months since the couple were formally cleared
He gave an interview to an English language newspaper in the Algarve, The Portugal News, as part of the family's attempt
to focus attention back on Praia da Luz.
As the two-year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance approaches, the McCanns' advisers - who include retired British
police officers - believe the resort could still hold crucial clues which were missed by the flawed Portuguese investigation.
Mr McCann, a heart consultant, has made a series of visits back to Portugal but his wife, also 40, has yet to return.
Mr McCann said: 'She'd love to come back but we will not be returning for the anniversary. We wanted to go to Praia da
Luz and do this as quietly as possible and not to disrupt.'
He was heckled by locals during his visit to the Algarve resort last week, and posters about Madeleine's disappearance
have been ripped down and defaced.
The Ocean Club, where the McCanns stayed, recently laid off staff and blamed the redundancies on the effects of Madeleine's
disappearance on tourism, as well as the economic downturn.
Asked about the heckling, Mr McCann said: 'That aspect was everything I hoped could be avoided.
'I am sorry for any harm caused to Praia da Luz ...I can totally understand that people want to move on.'
Mr McCann returned to the Ocean Club apartment where Madeleine vanished while her parents ate dinner at a nearby tapas
restaurant with friends.
He spent almost an hour in the bedroom she shared with her twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelie, and returned to
the church where he and Mrs McCann prayed after her disappearance.
He said: 'The apartment doesn't hold any bad karma. It was just a couple of thoughts really. It was about re-enacting
the events on the night of her disappearance and it was where I last saw Madeleine.
'But actually, I felt more emotional at church last Sunday with the support, and seeing the photograph of Madeleine with
the words "Help Me", along with the green and yellow ribbons around it, was more difficult to cope with.'
A reconstruction of the night Madeleine disappeared will be screened on Channel 4 on May 7 as part of a documentary,
which will also feature interviews with her parents.
Mr McCann said his family was still struggling to cope without Madeleine, but insisted his marriage was still strong,
saying: 'We are united in our search for Madeleine and we are very strong in our relationship.'
'We'll never give up search for Madeleine', 11 April 2009
The parents of Madeleine McCann have said they will never give up searching for their daughter, as they revealed money
is fast running out.
More than £2 million has been donated by the public to help find Madeleine since she vanished from the family's holiday
hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Donations flooded in to a fund set up by her parents, Gerry and Kate, of Rothley, in the first 10 months after her disappearance
on May 3, 2007.
Now, the fund is dwindling and the pot has fallen below £500,000.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the money had been spent on hiring private investigators to continue an international
search, as well as legal fees to administer the fund and the costs of publicity to keep the cause in the public eye.
He said the fund would have run dry already without the £875,000 the McCanns won in libel settlements against newspapers.
Mr Mitchell said: "While I am not sure what the exact figure is, two or three months ago it was approximately £500,000
"There will be a few hundred thousand pounds left.
"We'll have an exact figure when the anniversary (of Madeleine's disappearance) comes round.
"Some donations are still coming in, usually when there's a bit of renewed publicity, but the core money is going out
"At this rate, the money will probably be gone by the winter.
"If it were not for the newspaper settlement it would have probably run out some months ago."
Mr Mitchell, who said he was paid a small retainer from the fund, said they hoped Madeleine would be found before the
cash runs out, but said the search would continue.
He said: "If the money runs out, the search will still continue, but the way it is done depends on the money available.
"That money is there to be spent and every penny is being spent properly. If it was sitting in the bank doing nothing,
people would, rightly, ask questions about why we were not using it to find Madeleine. That the only aim of the fund."
Gerry McCann, a consultant at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, has travelled to Portugal to make a Channel Four documentary.
Part of the programme shows him returning to the room Madeleine was staying in when she disappeared.
In an interview with The Portugal News, Mr McCann said: "We have spent and will continue to spend a lot of money with
the aim of trying to enhance the chance of finding her.
"It won't dry up in the next few months, but probably by the end of the year at the rate we are running.
"It's a possibility we might never see her again, but until we have absolute definitive evidence of what happened to
Madeleine, we can't stop searching."
Staff and regulars at the Red Lion pub, in Rothley, raised more than £300 for the fund with fun days and sponsored car
washes in June 2007.
Amanda Platts, from the pub, said: "I hope they do continue to find money from somewhere, but these days, everyone has
less cash in their pockets to donate. People in the village really do hope she is found."
Gerry McCann: Reopen hunt for Maddie, 12 April 2009
DEVASTATED Gerry McCann wants police to reopen their investigation into the disappearance of his kidnapped daughter Madeleine.
The heart specialist said: "At the minute there is no law enforcement agency actively looking for Madeleine – looking
at the evidence, saying: 'Where are the gaps and what more can we do?' That's what we need."
Investigators working for Gerry and his wife Kate have spent months poring over the shelved Portuguese police files on
the two-year-old case.
They are also working on a Channel 4 documentary about the kidnapping, which will include a reconstruction of the night
Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007, with actors playing the McCanns and their seven friends.
Speaking in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz after working as a consultant for the programme, Gerry, 40, played down
any criticism of the Portuguese police.
He said: "They worked extremely hard and there were many different pressures. If you look back there were probably mistakes
on all sides."
He was not offended when some locals gave him a cool reception on his return to the resort last weekend.
"I can understand that," he said. "They don't want the media intrusion and the negative association with Madeleine's
"I didn't feel any evil around Praia da Luz. What happened here could have happened anywhere.
"I'm sorry for any harm caused and I want to thank the local population for their support and tolerance.
"Kate and I haven't come back due to the media exposure and the controversy such a visit would pose.
"I hope people understand why we are doing what we've done.
"Madeleine is still missing. We need to do everything reasonable to get any information. The best thing for everyone
is that she is found and whoever took her is caught."
'Help me' poster splattered in paint, how Praia da Luz turned on Maddie, 12 April 2009
'Help me' poster splattered in paint, how Praia da Luz turned on Maddie The Sun
THOUGH splattered with paint her face is unmistakable.
This defaced billboard appealing for information about missing Madeleine McCann is on
the main road into Praia da Luz, from where the little British girl vanished aged three on May 3, 2007.
One day after it was put up sick vandals ignored the Maddie poster's heartbreaking "Help
me!" plea — and instead maliciously obscured the campaign's hotline number.
As the second anniversary of her disappearance approaches, the spoiled hoarding is a
chilling reflection on how locals in the seaside town feel towards Maddie still being in the news.
They are angry the tot continues to be associated with the resort and would gladly forget
the whole affair.
Emotions are especially high at the Ocean Club complex from where she disappeared, where
21 employees have been sacked due to a downturn in trade.
The first line in the letters of dismissal blamed negative publicity caused by Maddie
vanishing. Some workers heckled dad Gerry McCann, 40, during his recent surprise visit to film a reconstruction of events.
Others are said to be considering legal action against the family for loss of income.
A middle-aged barmaid at the development's empty tapas bar — which should be bustling
with British tourists during the Easter holidays — revealed she is among those being let go on May 9.
Gazing out to the deserted pool area, where Maddie's mum Kate McCann, 41, took the last
photo of her daughter, she confirmed many locals resent the continuing impact of the disappearance.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "We need peace in this village. Since
Maddie vanished there has been a black cloud hanging over it.
CAN YOU HELP FIND MADDIE? CALL 0845 838 4699 WITH ANY INFORMATION
"Ocean Club always had a great reputation for families but the case ruined us overnight.
"Surely there's another way of searching for Madeleine which doesn't put off tourists
and jeopardise our livelihoods."
Even Ocean Club staff who avoided redundancy fear their jobs will go at the end of the
The management company has allegedly warned it may be forced to pull out of the resort
if business does not improve.
Eliseu, a male receptionist, said: "We've been told our future depends on trade during
high season. The financial crisis isn't helping occupancy but the Madeleine McCann case is to blame too."
Chatting in front of several shuttered Ocean Club apartments, another barmaid called
Edie added: "I have been here for 22 years and it could all come to nothing.
"In the two years since Maddie's disappearance trade has got slower and slower."
Five minutes from the Ocean Club, through Praia da Luz's winding streets, stands the
orange and white Our Lady Of Light church, where the devoutly Catholic McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, attended several masses.
Inside, beside the stunning gold altar, is a single handmade poster featuring Maddie's
last poolside picture and the words "Pray for me".
But in the impressive Fortaleza restaurant, directly across the road, manager Carlos
Rodriguez told The Sun residents no longer think about the tot. He said: "It's not that people aren't sympathetic but two
years have passed. My business is down 40 per cent since then and everyone in Praia da Luz is struggling."
Despite 10,000 new "Don't Forget About Me" Maddie leaflets delivered in the vicinity
last week, no local businesses visited by The Sun had them on display.
Around the corner, punters were enjoying beers in the April sun outside Kelly's Irish
A hostile Scottish barmaid rolled her eyes when asked about residents' attitudes towards
the McCanns. Refusing to give her name, she said: "I think people just want to move on because they are really fed up.
"Everybody hopes Maddie will be found but nothing we say will bring her back."
Praia da Luz's beautiful beachfront is packed with shops. But the lack of tourists is
undeniable — and many vendors here also blame the "Maddie effect".
In Funky Fish, a trendy beachwear boutique, shop assistant Tania Patricia admits traders
are frustrated because the town is still in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Tania, 25, said: "Attitudes towards Maddie are mixed. Two years have gone by and still
no sign of her. What can we do?
"I was sad about the big poster being splashed with paint. It was probably young vandals.
Perhaps they are angry about how the town's reputation has suffered."
Emails in Maddie hunt stay a secret, 13 April 2009
"The couple's lies destroyed Luz. Today, the Ocean Club is a shadow of what it once was. Our revolt is with the couple,
because it was due to an invention that they destroyed our life. Many have lost their job and the possibility of closing is
The unburdening, from an employee who still has his job at the resort in the Algarve - where Madeleine disappeared from
two years ago, on the 3rd of May - illustrates the 'revolt' against the McCanns. They are accused of simulating an abduction
and prompting the exodus of tourists from the Algarvian village.
Now, the more than one hundred workers that were dismissed over the last two years promise to advance to court, demanding
the payment of damages. 'We're looking for a lawyer who specialises in Labour Law. What we want is for justice to be done.
The company has alleged redundancies due to a shortfall in invoicing, and in the dismissal letters explicitly stated that
they were due to the McCann case. It was because they advanced the abduction version that Luz stopped being sought as a tourist
destination. The resort was the first one to feel the downturn," the same employee says, declining to identify himself.
Nevertheless, the Ocean Club workers assert that the company has adopted the correct behaviour for them. "After
the upheaval that the McCann family has prompted, it was impossible for us to resist. Customers left, reservations fell right
away during that summer. The work places were at risk."
The dimensions of the disaster were such that, in May 2007, when Madeleine disappeared from the apartment, the Ocean
Club, which manages 400 units, employed 130 people. "Today we are 27. But for how long?", the same witness questions.
The stories of despair are numerous. Women and men, aged 40/50 years, who suddenly are jobless. "The village is small
and everyone has been hit by the case. There is no capacity to find alternatives and there are many families who face serious
problems. People who had been working for the company for more than 20 years and now, suddenly, they don't know what to do.
And many of the shop owners are making an effort to keep their doors open until the summer. But if business does not improve,
they'll be forced to close", a former employee concludes.
The impossibility of the child's abduction
Two years later, the mystery lingers on. And without the child's body being found, the hypothesis of homicide has to
be formally abandoned. All that is left are the contradictions which hardly sustain the abduction theory that was advanced
by the parents and turned the Ocean Club into a cursed place.
The McCanns assert that they left Maddie asleep with her siblings and that it was Kate who noticed the child missing.
It was around 22:00, and the couple insist that every 15 minutes one of the group of adults checked the rooms to verify that
no intruder had entered. During the first hours after the disappearance, Kate asserted that the window had been broken into.
An abductor had entered the bedroom and had taken the little girl.
The laboratory tests did not confirm the theory. On the window, there were only traces of DNA from Kate. There is no
trace of any stranger. Also the bed where the child had supposedly slept looked untouched. The abductor also had to pass by
the two other children to reach Maddie. The possibility of a paedophile network was set aside because the child was only three
years old. It is also strange that Madeleine didn't scream or wake up when she was taken.
'I'll be a witness' (Gonçalo Amaral, former inspector of PJ)
Correio da Manhã - The resort's workers want to advance with a lawsuit against the couple,
after the dismissals. Do you understand the motivation?
Gonçalo Amaral - I do not only understand it, I think they are right as well.
I'm available to testify for them, if they so wish. Because the abduction is a lie.
- How has this case affected the village of Luz?
- Today, Praia da Luz is a ghost-village. The English have stopped going there.
- And should the parents be held responsible?
- I think so because they told a lie. They know that Madeleine is dead
and that there were no abductors.
A new suspect in the investigation into the disappearance of little Maddie McCann, on 3 May 2007, in Portugal, is being
sought, revealed the British newspaper, The Sun, yesterday. He is of Mediterranean appearance, aged thirty years.
This is what the Sun said: That recently, a new suspect had been identified in the case of the disappearance of little
Madeleine McCann. According to the British tabloid, it is a man who, a few days before the girl went missing in Praia da Luz
- in southern Portugal, where the McCanns were on a family holiday - had behaved "in a suspicious way." Furthermore, the witnesses
claim that he "watched only the apartment" where Maddie was staying, with her two siblings and her parents, Kate and Gerry.
Of Mediterranean appearance, he would be between his late twenties and early thirties. Above all, it is not the
same man that a friend of the McCanns had seen, with a child, on the night of the disappearance of Maddie, 3 May 2007. A computer-generated
image will be broadcast on Channel Four, on May 7, an evening devoted to the case and a proposed reconstruction of the abduction.
Among Portuguese former investigators, there is no panic. For several months, whilst the McCann couple continue their
research with private detectives, the Portuguese police put the investigation between brackets convinced - according to several
Portuguese media - that the child had died from a fall on the staircase of the apartment rented by her parents in Praia
da Luz. According to this theory, Gerry and Kate, panicked and concealed the body. Allegations denied by the spokesman for
the couple, Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC journalist who has found it laughable. One thing is certain: the negative impact
this extremely media-focussed case has had on the local economy. The directors of the Ocean Club complex, where
the girl disappeared, had earlier this month carried out the dismissal of 21 employees out of 48. In the letter to employees,
it had underlined "the high cost of reducing its activity as a result of the unfortunate case of Madeleine McCann."
Two years after Madeleine McCann disappeared from the apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, residents and business
owners have only one wish: to get back to normal, by recovering anonymity and the normality of a village that was always quiet
and essentially marked by strong English tourism.
'All we want is to recover our peace and quiet. To live normally in the way that we used to live in', asserts a business
owner, only a few metres away from the Ocean Club, remembering the days of turmoil that were lived in May, when Madeleine
was last seen.
'I think that the break in business is not only related to that. The truth is that people have less money to spend and
this year, the month of April was not sunny enough to attract tourism', says Fátima Pereira, who has been selling hats near
the beach for ten years.
Alda Almeida, the owner of a small shop by the beach, recalls Maddie and the McCann couple. They were regular customers,
she saw them with the children every day, and she helped in the search, on the first few days. Now, all that she wants if
for time to go back and that nothing had happened.
'We actually went through an anticipated crisis. Last year things were very bad already, but this year it's gone worse.
We're tired with all of this, we want to know the truth, the previous events with the police left us with many doubts. The
parents should clarify all of this', she asserts.
The crisis that was prompted by the Maddie case extends to the Ocean Club. The resort is practically empty and only a
few English people choose the location. 'Business used to be very good. The child's disappearance left the resort in serious
financial distress. Just look at the redundancies and nowadays' occupation rates. It's a tragedy', an employee concluded.
The Ocean Club used to employ over 130 people when the little girl went missing. Now, the resort employs 27, after the last
Criminal action – The dismissed Ocean Club workers admit the possibility
of filing a judicial process against the McCanns. They demand them to prove the abduction theory that they keep defending.
Not to miss: Thursday
On Thursday, Correio da Manhã offers its readers (for 6,95 euros + newspaper) the DVD that reconstructs the investigated
facts and reveals new images. A new light on the Maddie case.
Missing Maddy - anonymous hotline opened, 28 April 2009
Published Tue 28 April 2009 16.53, Last updated: 28 Apr 2009
The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have told how they take hope from the cases of children
who have been held prisoner for years before being found.
Kate and Gerry McCann say the ordeals suffered by Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck and Natascha Kampusch show that youngsters
can survive after they go "off radar".
And the couple have launched a new push to trace her through internet social networkorking sites like Facebook.
Alongside that campaign they have also opened a new hotline and web portal for anonymous tip-offs from people who may
have information about who took Maddy.
The move comes after a poster campaign was launched in the Praia da Luz area of Portugal where she vanished.
And to co-incide the the second anniversary of her disappearance a Portuguese language version of the "Find Madeleine"
web site has been posted created.
Heart specialist Gerry, and his wife Kate say the hunt for Maddy is re-focusing on Portugal because residents "have never
been properly asked about information they may have to give".
Dr McCann, 40, and his Liverpool-born husband Kate, 41, are to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show appealing for information
on their daughter whose 6th birthday is next month.
A fund to aid the hunt for Maddy raised more than #1.5m but despite extensive enquires and many alleged sightings she
is still missing.
In a news statement on their web site the McCanns, of live in Rothley, Leices say: "As the second anniversary of Madeleine's
abduction approaches, there is much still to be done.
"We continue to remain focussed on our aim - to find Madeleine and bring her back home safely. As Madeleine's parents
we cannot and will not ever stop doing all we can to find her.
"The search for Madeleine continues with the same strength and determination, and thankfully, there are many people who
are continuing to help in a variety of ways.
"The reduction in media reporting does not signify a lack of effort - far from it! If anything, the search for Madeleine
goes on with renewed vigour and great experience.
"We have quietly and persistently been working very hard - exploring all possible avenues in order to get that key piece
of information. Someone somewhere knows where Madeleine is.
"It is impossible for us to ignore the day to day heartache of missing Madeleine but there is however, a very important
and positive fact that remains - in spite of all the investigative work done, there is still absolutely nothing to suggest
harm to Madeleine.and therefore, a very real likelihood that Madeleine is alive and well.
"You only have to recall the cases of Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck and Natascha Kampusch to appreciate that children
can seem to disappear 'off the radar' for very long periods of time.
"The return of these children to their families not only gives us great hope but also starkly emphasises that perseverance
is essential, and surely what every such child deserves.
"It is vital that we never, ever give up on Madeleine.
"Can you imagine a little girl or boy out there, hoping and waiting to be found but for people then to 'write them off',
forget about them, just because there's been no 'news'? For that child never to be reunited with their family because everyone
had given up on them? Just imagine.........
"And so, we will never, ever give up.
"We urge you to remember Madeleine as a real, living and findable little girl.
"Our most sincere thanks go to everyone who is helping us in our efforts. You know why we must keep going.
"Please don't give up on Madeleine."
* Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City, Utah on June 5, 2002 at the age of 14. She was found alive nine
months later on in March 2003 about 18 miles from her home,
* Shawn Hornbeck was missing for more than four years before being discovered in Kirkwood, Missouri, on in January 2007
by police searching another missing boy.
* Natascha Kampusch was held in a secret cellar by her kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil for more than eight years, until
she escaped on 23 August 2006.