Paramilitary leader’s “self-interview” causes outrage

Self-interview
Paid advertising featuring an interview with paramilitary chief Macaco, published on El Espectador (clic the picture to see the full page… I apologize for the bad quality of the picture)

On Saturday, weekly newspaper El Espectador published on his page 16A a “paid advertising” featuring an interview with Carlos Mario Jiménez Naranjo, also known as Javier Montañez or Macaco, former commander of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) now demobilized Central Caribbean Bloc (BCB), whose “Justice and Peace” confession is scheduled for this week. Jiménez presents himself as a “peace businessman”. Jiménez replaced late Carlos Castaño as the BCB commander, when he joined the AUC while being a drug dealer (he could be extradited to the US because of this).

Of course, the Fundación Villa de la Esperanza, which paid the ad, is supported by Jiménez. In the “self-interview”, Jiménez keeps justifying the reasons he entered the AUC, claiming he was forced to do so. About paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso’s confession three weeks ago, when he implicated a lot of key people in Colombian politics (including current Vice President Francisco Santos and his cousin, Minister of Defence Juan Manuel Santos), economy, military, police and even large American and domestic companies, which allegedly supported the paramilitary death squads, Macaco says: “Mancuso’s truth is his truth and this country won’t be able to take it as a thermometre to measure we the ones who follow him, because my truth, as the other commanders’ one, has another nuances. My truth is, mainly, the one about the confrontation against guerrillas and the liberation of some regions from the insurgent oppression”. Later, he says “if the truth [will lead] to rise more resentment, why [should I] tell the truth?”. His confession will refer about “the confrontation of BCB in the regions and how illegal economies worked” there, where the 7,000 members of the BCB “worked”, from south of Bolívar Department, at the north of the country, passing by Santander Department and the Magdalena Medio region, until the Guaviare jungles and the southern Pacific coast, all places where they are allegedly responsible of massacres and murders.

El Espectador, regarded as one of the few examples of independence in Colombia (Guillermo Cano Isaza, his director in 1986, was murdered in front of the former offices of the then daily by hitmen hired by Pablo Escobar’s Cartel de Medellín… he would not ever allowed publishing this kind of “advertising”) is now under fire by most of its readers. After a financial crisis, it was bought by tycoon Julio Mario Santo Domingo in 1997 and became a weekly in 2001. One of the commentators at controversial and anti-Uribe journalist Felipe Zuleta’s blog (who is a columnist of El Espectador) sums the outrage up:

Leaving freedom of expression in the hands of [Carlos] Ardila Lülle (owner of RCN Radio and Fox News-like RCN TV), Julio Mario Santo Domingo (owner of El Espectador and Caracol TV), Jesús de Polanco (owner of Spain’s El País and Colombia’s Caracol Radio), Juan Gossain, [Darío] Arizmendi, [Julio] Sánchez Cristo (popular radio personalities), the Santos family (owners of El Tiempo, Colombia’s main and only daily national newspaper), etc., is like leaving convents in the hands of prostitutes.

This controversy happens days after opposition senator and former (demobilized in 1990) M-19 guerrilla Gustavo Petro told Financial Times that “the media have conditioned the public to believe that the leftwing guerrilla group, the FARC, is to blame for most of Colombia’s problems, while playing down the paramilitaries’ role”. Wrongly, the British daily adds that “the owners of some media groups have been accused of financing the paramilitaries”, which is not exactly true.

Many Macaco‘s “supporters” followed him to Medellín, where he’ll “confess” his crimes in order to get the benefits of the Justice and Peace Law. The enthusiasm of the people who consider him his “liberator” contrasts with the victims’ pictures showed by their relatives. The same happened last week when another two paramilitary chiefs were confessing. The worst of all is that, according to weekly newsmagazine Semana, Macaco, despite of the rivers of blood and death in the regions his paramilitary bloc “worked”, has not beed formally accused of crimes against humanity.

PS: Before ultra-right-wingers come here to insult me because I haven’t mentioned FARC criminals, I will have to remit them to the coverage made by Mr. Adam Isacson on his blog Plan Colombia and Beyond: the FARC-France-Colombia issue on “humanitarian interchange” (including the “unconditional” release of FARC’s “foreign minister” Rodrigo Granda by Sarkozy’s request) and the visit (again) of Álvaro Uribe to Washington.

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11 responses to “Paramilitary leader’s “self-interview” causes outrage

  1. Leaving freedom of expression in the hands of [Carlos] Ardila Lülle (owner of RCN Radio and Fox News-like RCN TV), Julio Mario Santo Domingo (owner of El Espectador and Caracol TV), Jesús de Polanco (owner of Spain’s El País and Colombia’s Caracol Radio), Juan Gossain, [Darío] Arizmendi, [Julio] Sánchez Cristo (popular radio personalities), the Santos family (owners of El Tiempo, Colombia’s main and only daily national newspaper), etc., is like leaving convents in the hands of prostitutes.

    Jajajajajajajaa, cada vez más caen más bajos estos doctorsuchos de izquierda que no son más que unos parásitos resentidos.

    El periódioco o semanario más antiuribista de Colombia, es el Espactador, incluso este calumnista resentido y clasista de lo peor trabaja allá, recibe la platica de allá y gana visitas a su blog con el link que coloca a allá. Aparte de mentirosos salieron desagradecidos y miserables.

    Increíble que tartufo como ese sea columnistas, increíble que un egoista clasista sea columnistas, increíble que hable mal de periódico que le da plata y visitas a su blog. Increíble estos doctorsuerlos de marras.

    Increíble que la cadena Radial de un IZQUIERDISTA como lo es el presidente de España Jesús de Polanco Gutiérrez apoye a Uribe. Increíble ver la degradación cínico-masoquista de estos señores.

    El tiempo no es uribista, ni apoyaron a Juan Manuel Santos en los momentos de moción de censura. Ese periódico es tan malo, que solo puede ser del PC3.

    Jamás había leído un libelo tan decandente, pero es propio de ralea que lee el blog sicópata de Zuleta y séquito anónimo calumniador.

    Increíble que ese semanrio se preste para el juego de ese mafioso…

    Increíble este país de miserables.

  2. It really makes you wonder. Are these type of things useful for achieving the peace most of us want? They are giving him a space in society, a place to say whatever he wants without torturing innocent people. I’d rather see him behind bars, but how possible was it to put 35,000 paramilitaries in jail, or put 20,000 ‘guerrilleros’ also in jail. I think it’s almost impossible, and if we want peace we have to let these murderers (from AUC, FARC and ELN) get involved in society. Let them say what they want. Judgement should come from the people, eventually these guys will try to get into politics. Colombia should punish them by not voting for them (maybe though to ask). But once again, I rather see this ad than a front page cover saying “50 people tortured in a small village in Antioquia”.

    Macaco’s supporters having a party next to his victims it’s a shameful event, a lack of respect. I don’t know if they really consider him their liberator or they were paid to do that; but you don’t go and throw a party where people are crying for their beloved ones…

  3. Sorry, at the end I wasn’t refering to ‘Macaco’, I was talking about what happened last week with ‘El Aleman’.

  4. Carlos, no sabia de esta publicidad politica pagada. Buen dato.

  5. Jajaja, hasta censuradores nos salieron estos señores. No le digo lo que se merece por simple decencia…

    Hasta nunca.

  6. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Colombia: A Self-Interview

  7. El Espectador deberia resacirse de esta embarrada haciendo un completo reportaje sobre las victimas!

  8. No me apruebe el comentario. Ya conozco de la ralea que son . Unos MISERABLES.

    a MI me dicen que escriba en inglés pero llega la socióloga de marras escribiendo en español, pero no dicen nada. Ahí callanda y cañan, se tapan las cobijas.

    ¿por qué? ^¿Por qué? y ojalá y borres mi comentario para que me termines de demostrar la calidad moral de tu persona…

    Están muy furiosos porque los tenemos comiendo miér…coles.

    Duelale a quién le duela, Uribe es y será el mejor presidente en la HISTORIA DE PAÍS DE APÁTRIDAD. Duelale a quien le duela.

    No aprobes mi comentario y ni este ni el anterior. No, no, no los aprobes, déjalo así. No sé porque volví acá.

    No dan más que lástima, dándoselas de adalid de la moral, pero borrando comentarios porque no les gusta.

    lea un artículos sobre todas las mentiras de semana.com para que les duela más
    http://desenfin.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/una-revista-frivola-e-irresponsable/

  9. Pingback: Global Voices صداهای جهانیصداهای جهانی » Blog Archive » کلمبیا:شبه نظامی دیروز تاجر صلح طلب می شود

  10. Quién es ese Camilo Andrés?

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