Indonesia’s Big Muddy

More than two years on, the mud is still flowing in East Java. It bubbles, hisses and creeps menacingly close to the top of the dam wall hastily built to contain the disaster zone. So far the mud has drowned 14,000 homes, 33 schools, 65 mosques, a major toll road and an orphanage and it keeps coming at the rate of more than 20 Olympic swimming pools every day. So it's hard to believe that Aburizal Bakrie, the powerful government minister whose family owns the company at the center of the mudflow disaster, would be treated like a king by local villagers, but that's exactly what he claimed in a speech last week.

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