Posts Tagged ‘ELN’

Colombia: Santos campaign chief resigns

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Today’s top news in Latin America:
J.J. Rendón, who has managed some of the most successful political campaigns in Latin America (and the failed campaign for Henrique Capriles in Venezuela, which he did pro-bono), has resigned as campaign manager for Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on allegations that Rendón had negotiated with drug traffickers an offer to surrender in 2011 and shut down their operations.

Who is J.J. Rendón?

Rendón is THE topmost campaign advisor in Latin America. He plays to win, and plays hardball. Here’s his talk on neo-totalitarianism:

Who is the accuser?
The man making the accusations, Javier Antonio Calle, was one of Colombia’s most hunted drug traffickers. He turned himself in to the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2012 and is now in jail in the U.S.

The firestorm:
Since Colombia is holding a presidential election on May 25, this has generated a political firestorm.

Adding to the fire, there’s also the 18-month old FARC negotiations in Havana, Rendón’s opposition to Chavismo (he’s Venezuelan), and speculation as to what role international players may have had in the release of this news. One may also have to consider Calle’s motivations, too.

The Espectador story:
Last Sunday El Espectador newspaper published an article claiming that Rendón was given $12 million for submitting a proposal to end 90% the country’s lucrative drug trade

According to El Espectador, the former drug lord, Javier Antonio Calle, alias “Comba,” has told prosecutors that several of the country’s drug traffickers made ​​a deal in 2011 with Rendon in order to submit the proposal to the government.

The proposal outlined a route to shutting down 90% of Colombia’s drug trade, with the surrender of top capos and their henchmen. Among those who participated in the proposal were some of Colombia’s top drug lords, such as Luis Enrique Calle, alias “Comba,” alias “Cuchillo,” Diego Rastrojo, and Loco Barrera.

The 2011 document called ”Agenda for solving the problem of drug trafficking and the violence it generates,” allegedly shows that Rendon officiated as a general strategist for the proposal, which was facilitated by former ELN guerrillas Francisco Galan and Jorge Castañeda. Other sources consulted by El Espectador confirmed that Rendon was actively involved in creating the plan.

Rendon subsequently told El Espectador that there was no exchange of money, that he “acted as a simple messenger”. He insists that he only recently learned the details of the proposal, adding that he will take legal action in response to the allegations.

In the dossier held by El Espectador, Rendon is described as the “general strategist” charged with “damage control, crisis management and facilitator of the negotiations.”

When asked by the journalist Daniel Coronell of Semana Magazine if money had been involved, Rendon replied that, “if there was money involved it must have been in the hands of those who put him in touch with representatives of the narcos: the then senior presidential advisor for political affairs German Chica.”

Rendón has tweeted seven points in response, which I translate (Rendón’s tweets posted below the fold)

1. I received from F[rancisco] Galán a request to communicate to the Government the illegal groups’ proposal to submit to justice.

2. I communicated to Mr. President @JuanManSantos in the presence of prosecutor @Viviane_Morales and General Naranjo their intention.

3. Mr. President @JuanManSantos requested that I channel to the Prosecutor’s Office the documents of that intention to submit to justice.

4. So I did: transparently and officially. With the document # 2011-100-001832-3 dated 7/5/2011 at the General Prosecutor’s Office (Despacho de la Fiscal General).

5. The document was on the hands of the competent authority, for study and follow-up. That was the extent of my part in that matter.

6. I firmly insist that I have not received any money, stipend or benefit, and I dare anyone who says I have to prove it.

7. I am fully willing to collaborate with the competent authorities to clarify anything they may consider relevant, as always!

Uribe’s tweets:
Former president Álvaro Uribe, who is staunchly opposed to negotiations with the narcoterrorists, in turn tweeted,

Pres. Santos has been carrying a long dialogue with ELN in spite of that terrorist organization’s continuous crime, adding it to the FARC’s impunity.”

and,

Pres. Santos announces reform to Prosecutor’s [Office] on the day they ordered to investigate him.”

My question:
Never mind Santos; Who gains the most by taking down Rendón?

(more…)

Colombia: Don’t fire the mayor yet! And how about the GPS?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

says a judge, after much to-do over garbage mishandling by a former guerrilla who’s mayor of Bogota:
Mayor’s Firing Should be Postponed: Colombia Chief Prosecutor:
Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez Ordered Gustavo Petro’s Removal

Colombia’s chief prosecutor is urging President Juan Manuel Santos to postpone a controversial decision by the inspector general to fire Bogotá’s left-leaning mayor over alleged mismanagement of trash collection, saying the decision’s better left for courts or voters.

And here’s the thing,

The fate of the mayor of the city of eight million is being closely watched in Havana, Cuba, where Colombia’s government is engaged in 13-month-old peace talks with the country’s main Marxist rebel group FARC. A key outcome of any peace deal would likely include allowing leftist rebels who lay down their weapons to run for political offices, including that of mayor.

In other Colombian news, front-page, WaPo, finally, a bit of good news:

U.S. aid helps Colombia kill rebels

Covert action in Colombia
U.S. intelligence, GPS bomb kits help Latin American nation cripple rebel forces

The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades, due in part to a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders, according to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.

The covert program in Colombia provides two essential services to the nation’s battle against the FARC and a smaller insurgent group, the National Liberation Army (ELN): Real-time intelligence that allows Colombian forces to hunt down individual FARC leaders and, beginning in 2006, one particularly effective tool with which to kill them.

That weapon is a $30,000 GPS guidance kit that transforms a less-than-accurate 500-pound gravity bomb into a highly accurate smart bomb. Smart bombs, also called precision-guided munitions or PGMs, are capable of killing an individual in triple-canopy jungle if his exact location can be determined and geo-coordinates are programmed into the bomb’s small computer brain.

Meanwhile, After Killing 8, Colombian Guerrillas go on Christmas Truce

The everybody-wants-a-canal Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 5th, 2013

LatinAmerPanama has shown that having a Canal is cool, so now everybody wants one. This Carnival is dedicated to their pipe dreams.

ARGENTINA
The ANSES-PDVSA link 

As the Economist reported in February, ANSES is already under fire in Argentina for failing to index pension funds to inflation, meaning that many of Argentina’s seniors are receiving far less money than they put in the system. More generally, CFK has turned the agency into a large slush fund for social programs that go to political supporters. Argentina’s opposition hopes to make an issue over why ANSES can find over a billion and a half dollars to pay Venezuelan debt when Argentina’s seniors can barely get by on their pensions and the average Argentine citizen must fight for every peso-to-dollar conversion they need to do international business.

Shocking video of train drivers sleeping and reading a book
CCTV is released of train drivers in Buenos Aires, sleeping, reading a book and checking their emails while behind the controls.

BRAZIL
Religion in Brazil
Earthly concerns
The promise and peril of a papal visit

Brazil jail massacre police guilty
Twenty-five Brazilian police are given life sentences for their part in the 1992 Carandiru jail massacre in Sao Paulo that left 111 prisoners dead.

Samples of Sales Taxes on Products in Brazil

CHILE
‘I want to dig a deep hole and bury myself again’: Chilean miners stunned by decision not to prosecute over accident
The decision that no one will face charges over the mining accident in Chile that left 33 men underground for 69 days has left many speechless

UN official tells Chile to stop using anti-terrorism law against Mapuche in land dispute
A United Nations investigator has urged Chile’s government to stop using an anti-terrorism law against Mapuche Indians who are fighting to recover their ancestral land.

COLOMBIA
Army blame leftist guerrillas as Colombia’s largest oil pipeline is attacked
Colombia’s largest oil pipeline was hit by an explosion causing a significant oil spill in an attack blamed on leftist guerrillas, according to the army.

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica tops list for women’s rights in the Americas, but report warns of ‘troubles’ ahead
Costa Rica leads its Latin American neighbors in women’s and civil rights but trails in government responsiveness and civil society participation.

CUBA
Cubans killed activist: Spanish politician
Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya did not die in a car crash last year but was instead “assassinated” by Cuban secret services, a Spanish politician who was at the wheel of the car said in an interview published on Monday.
(h/t Babalu)

The Cuban Sugar Missile Crisis: ‘Obsolete’ live munitions and grenade launchers found on N. Korean ship

HONDURAS
Prisons in Honduras are ‘in control of inmates’

JAMAICA
As Cost of Importing Food Soars, Jamaica Turns to the Earth

MEXICO
Mexico blast blamed on explosive mix
An official inquest says an explosion that killed 37 people in January at Mexican state oil firm Pemex was caused by a mix of methane gas and solvent vapours.

PANAMA
Live ammunition found on North Korean ship held in Panama
Sniffer dogs found ammunition for grenade launchers and other munitions aboard the Chong Chon Gang

PERU
Humala humbled
A lonelier president faces protests

British climber feared dead after scaling 19,000ft mountain in Peru alone
A British climber is feared dead after failing to return from a solo ascent of a 19,000ft mountain in Peru.

PUERTO RICO
84 Haitians abandoned off Puerto Rico

People smugglers have abandoned 84 men and women from Haiti on a deserted island off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Politics in Trinidad and Tobago
Own-goal

URUGUAY
Drug legalisation in Uruguay
The experiment
Another blow against prohibition

VENEZUELA
Groll: Meet the NSA’s new data centers: Russia, China and Venezuela

Otto Reich sues Derwick Associates

Bronze medal in prison overcrowding

PDVSA Creates Privatization-Like Program To Increase Oil Production

Chavez’s heirs in full psychotic dissociation

The week’s posts:
Good news: Colombia eradicates “river blindness”

Colombia: WSJ reviews 2 novels

Venezuela imports US$3 billion worth of Cuban surveillance equipment

Among the Snowden headlines,

Argentina: Wall-to-wall Papal photo up

Panama: More Cuban weapons in the N. Korean freighter

High intensity drug trafficking areas: Caribbean security threats

Brazil: Santos Basin/Libra field among top 6 key oil & gas discoveries of 2013

Central America: Everybody wants a canal


Chavez’s widening legal terror UPDATED with VIDEO

Friday, July 16th, 2010

This morning’s podcast topic:
The unions are on a rampage, and Chavez’s Reign of Legal Terror Widens

Also:
MARXIST CHAVEZ JAILS PROMINENT POLITICAL OPPONENT (h/t Gates of Vienna)

And if things weren’t bad enough,
Colombia: Defense Minister Claims FARC, ELN Are In Venezuela

UPDATE
Report from Noticias 24 in Spanish,

21634

To hell in a hand basket

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

No Carnival this week, but you may understand why I needed a weekend of tango after reading these headlines:

Brazilian police have seized weapons from the FARC destined to the Rio slums. (link in Portuguse)

As the educational budget in Venezuela is reduced, Chavez increases his budget by 638%.

We seldom hear about the Colombian ELN here in the US, but they are as bad as the FARC: Colombian football team ‘killed’

At least 10 bodies – believed to be those of a kidnapped Colombian football team – have been found across the border in Venezuela.

The bodies, with multiple gunshot wounds, were found in Tachira. One of the team is reported to have survived.

State authorities say they suspect a left-wing Colombian guerrilla group, the ELN, is to blame for the deaths.

The team, kidnapped two weeks ago, was known as Los Maniceros or Peanut Men, as they sold nuts along the border.

The most senior official in Tachira state, Leomagno Flores, blamed the violence on the armed wing of the ELN, a group led by a man known El Payaso or the Clown.

Venezuela had denied permission to land to a plane sent to pick up the corpses but the Venezuelans finally came around and are paying for shipping the bodies back to Colombia. The governor of the state of Tachira asserts that the ELN has four guerrilla camps in Venezuela.

Right now I have a cold and will get some rest. Will deal with American politics later today.

And
Don’t know why the BBC had to say ‘killed’; clearly the people were murdered, so why the quotes??