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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Excellent article on Columbia's Truth Commission by Juan Forero in the WAPO

Former commanders of the extremely violent right wing paramilitary AUC confirm that they were supported by generals, businessmen and elected officials. Not a surprise but it could be important.

I particularly liked the 4th from last paragraph which I believe to be a deliberate parody of the balance fetish. It has to do with the tiempo of the assertions.

Perhaps Mancuso's biggest impact came when he said that two current ministers in Uribe's government, Vice President Francisco Santos and Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, met with top paramilitary commanders in the 1990s. The two men, cousins in an influential family that owns El Tiempo, Colombia's most influential newspaper, had acknowledged long ago having met with the paramilitary members. Both said they did so to further peace in Colombia, not as part of a sinister plot, as Mancuso alleged.

Mancuso's allegations have prompted some commentators to note that the commander has besmirched as many people as possible while still falling far short of accounting for all of the crimes he has committed. "The strategy behind three days of testimony that tainted people, institutions and business must be understood," said El Tiempo in a Sunday editorial. "If the whole county is responsible, then no one is responsible."

Just a coincidence that Forero told us that el Tiempo is owned by a family two of whom are implicated by Mancuso immediately before reporting (for balance) that el Tiempo is, surprise surprise, unimpressed by Mancuso's testimony ?

yeah sure.


Anonymous said...

Another price of the insane war in and occupation of Iraq, by the way, has been turning aside from the interests and needs of Latin Americans; though whether we ever dealt reasonably with the interests and needs of Colombians I do not know. I have had no proper understanding of life in Colombia.


Anonymous said...

Possibly you would suggest more background on Colombia.