What a relief! Latin America’s littlest strongman decided to “revise” his pledge to bring Hugo Chavez up on charges of “genocide” and/or “terrorism” before the International Criminal Court. Venezuelan newspapers chalk it up to Uribe’s “democratic spirit,” but it probably had a bit more to do with “lawyers” and “dictionaries” and “a super dubious past.”
Anyway it got us thinking: What if the shoe were on the other foot? I mean, sure, back in the day Senator Uribe was considered to be one of the world’s top drug dealers, working for the Medellin cartel and being—how did U.S. intelligence put it?— “a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar.” But that was 1991, this is now, and surely we couldn’t hold a grudge going back to the early 90s (sorry just a little laptop humor!) Haha here at BoRev, we don’t need any miracle computer to tell you what a liberal democracy is made of. We’re kicking it analog after the jump.
For the record, Colombian paramilitaries are also listed as a terrorist group in the US and Europe. With that in mind, Uribe’s political allies alone make the FARC look like boy scouts. Por ejemplo:
>>> Fourteen of Uribe’s closest congressional allies remain behind bars for their terrorist links, and are slowly revealing where bodies have been dumped, leading to discovery of mass graves last spring.
>>> His foreign minister was forced to resign a year ago when her brother (a senator) was arrested for overseeing the killing of thousands of peasants. (Yeah that’s “thousands” with a “thu”)
>>> His campaign manager/secret police chief was jailed that same month for “giving a hit list of trade unionists and activists to paramilitaries, who then killed them.”
>>> His Army chief “collaborated extensively” with illegal death squads and, back in 2002, colluded in the massacre of 14 people for their supposed leftist politics.
>>> His police intelligence unit illegally wiretapped the phones of journalists and opposition figures for two years
>>> His Defense Minister “tried to plot with the outlawed private militias to upset the rule of a former president,” and
>>> In last fall’s elections, a whopping 30 major candidates turned up murdered.
And of course our little hero gags newspapers from reporting on corruption, jails journalists without trial, gave himself the power to rule by decree, overrides Supreme Court decisions by fiat, refers to human rights monitors as “political agitators in the service of terrorism,” and amended the Constitution to give himself a new term. But other than that he’s a goddamned democratic beacon.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.