Three meanings of the adjective sucio are dirty, filthy, obscene. Long ago, the natives of Salvador stigmatized one of their rivers by naming it the Rio Sucio. Last week the lower reaches of this stream near Quezaltepeque were choked with dead, floating, stinking fish. There had been, guessed geologists, a minor earthquake near the remote headwaters of El Rio Sucio.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!