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AUC founder gave orders to El Tiempo journalist: Letters (Colombian narco/death squad war lord)

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-14-11 11:42 PM
Original message
AUC founder gave orders to El Tiempo journalist: Letters (Colombian narco/death squad war lord)
Source: Colombia Reports

AUC founder gave orders to El Tiempo journalist: Letters
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 18:04
Sarah Cast

Carlos Castao, the late founder of the paramilitary army the AUC, instructed El Tiempo journalist Salud Hernandez-Mora what to publish, according to letters revealed Wednesday by the newspaper Un Pasquin.

In a letter sent to Hernandez-Mora in January 2003, Castao wrote, I beg, very respectfully, that you smooth out my answer to the question of how to finance the paramilitaries abandoning drug trafficking.

Esteemed commander, replied Hernandez-Mora on January 31, 2003, I understand your request, and it will be done.

~snip~
The letters reportedly prove that Castao was corresponding not only with Hernandez-Mora and Yamhure, but with former Constitutional Court Judge Rodrigo Escobar Gil and the current Colombian ambassador to Peru Jorge Visbal.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/18987-let...

Read more: Carlos Castao, the late founder of the paramilitary army the AUC, instructed El Tiempo journalist Salud Hernandez-Mora what to publish, according to letters revealed Wednesday by the newspaper Un Pasquin.



Colombia is the 3rd largest annual recipient of US taxpayers' heavy foreign aid packages.
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gbscar Donating Member (283 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. 
Edited on Thu Sep-15-11 08:39 AM by gbscar
The above can be confirmed by reading the quotes and information here (in Spanish):

http://twitpic.com/6ktz6a/full

So that "order" is not referring to something published by El Tiempo, where the Spanish-born Hernandez-Mora works as a columnist as opposed to journalist. Colombia Reports doesn't really care to make any of that clear, but the Un Pasquin article does.

The ethical question remains, no doubt, but ultimately becomes somewhat different.

Should you interview a paramilitary and, if so, do you maintain cordial or friendly communications with him?

If Castao asks you to clarify or alter one of the answers he gave during the interview, should that be done?

On purely personal grounds, I wouldn't do any of the above myself. I'd find it repugnant. However, there are journalists who think differently, not just when they interview murderous right-wing paramilitaries but also drug traffickers, rebels and other criminals around the world. Under those circumstances, I understand that there is another valid point of view.

Of course, it would be quite cynical to say this without addressing the other issue discussed in the Un Pasquin article, which is definitely far more serious. Using illegally obtained information from the DAS in order to criticize Supreme Court magistrates does make Hernandez-Mora look like a tool of the extreme right in their slander campaign against Colombian justice or, at best, morally indifferent to the point of not caring about letting her interests coincide with those of criminals.

In the end, the truth is none of these details make Hernandez-Mora look the least bit respectable in my view.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for the clarification! Reminds me of Blair and Murdoch
or Bush and Faux News (not to mention the New York Slimes). Oh no, you might say, Blair and Bush weren't rightwing paramilitary leaders, exactly...ahem. But, if you look at things objectively, how is slaughtering 100,000 innocent people to steal their oil different from slaughtering trade unionists and peasants to steal their civil/human rights or their land? The only difference is scale. Blair and Bush are FAR WORSE than the AUC. Both are lawless and massively murderous. And the so-called 'journalists' who collude with them--whether Bill O'Reilly or Judith Miller, or Hernandez-Mora at El Tiempo, or any of the other warmongering SOB's who write and control the 'news' --are culpable as well.

--

"Using illegally obtained information from the DAS in order to criticize Supreme Court magistrates does make Hernandez-Mora look like a tool of the extreme right in their slander campaign against Colombian justice or, at best, morally indifferent to the point of not caring about letting her interests coincide with those of criminals."

--

This is basically a description of the corpo-fascist press--the interests of so-called 'journalists' coinciding with criminals in and out of government. It promulgates extreme rightwing "talking points" and plots of various kinds, for various purposes, with absolutely no regard for journalistic ethics or common human morality. We saw it with Rumsfeld feeding lies about Iraq to Judith Miller and her and the Slimes eagerly publishing them all as truth. We see it every day in the corpo-fascist press campaign to topple the Chavez government in Venezuela--for instance, the interests of the corporate press coinciding with the interests of the criminal, traitorous rightwing coupsters in Venezuela. And we are also seeing the effects of spying such as Murdoch was doing--likely vastly more prevalent than we realize, both private and government spying--in the behavior of politicians, judges and others who are being blackmailed. The DAS and its probable use of the spying to create "hit lists" for death threats and assassinations was more extreme but the "ethic" is the same: anything goes in the pursuit of profit and power.

It is quite interesting, too, that the Bush Junta was providing funds, technical assistance and an American go-between, who was reporting directly to the U.S. ambassador in Colombia, for the DAS/Uribe spying operation--according to recent testimony.

Hernandez-Mora's relationship with the DAS and with the AUC is a paradigm of it all--as developments in Latin America often are. If the Bush Junta was aiding Uribe's spy operation in Colombia, we can be sure that the Bush Junta was spying on everybody here as well--congresspeople, judges, prosecutors, critics, etc. In fact, we know they were. There were reports of it in 2002/2003 that New York Slimes suppressed for a year using the lame (and utterly absurd) excuse that they didn't want to influence the 2004 election. (I mean, what IS the job of the press--except TO reveal reasons why we shouldn't vote for somebody?!)

What I'm saying is that Hernandez-Mora's violations of journalistic ethics is the "new normal"--appalling as that is. It surprises me not at all. And I think that one of the tasks of us citizens who seek out the truth, and who desire good government in a decent and just society, is to remain appalled even when we cannot be surprised any more by the vast depths of corporate/war profiteer corruption.



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