Uribe: “The FARC Wants You To Vote Moreno!”

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El Tiempo-Datexco research on the favorable and unfavorable public perception of the two leading candidates for mayor of Bogotá, published today.  The Peñalosa chart appears to contain a gross error, showing the “favorable” data point (48.3) as significantly lower than the “unfavorable” data point (35.6) on October 15. 

We need a communications policy and an ongoing dialogue with the mass media that will guarantee that the sense of risk is proportionate to the actual risk. –Rio de Janeiro mayor Cesar Maia, December 2006

Lula should be IMPEACHED for criminal association with a narco-guerrilla group, the FARC! Just look! El Tiempo reports that Brazil is offering to let Chávez and FARC negotiators meet on Brazilian soil! –Rio de Janeiro mayor Cesar Maia, September 20, 2007

Sin mencionarlo, el presidente Uribe pidió a los bogotanos no votar por Samuel Moreno: “Without mentioning the candidate by name, Uribe asks Bogotans not to vote for Moreno.”

A satirical graffito discovered in the ashes of ancient Pompeii attacked a local mayoral candidate more of less as follows:

The filthy drunks who sleep in the park urge you to vote Claudius for mayor! 

There is nothing new under the sun. Thus sayeth the Preacher.

EL TIEMPO (Bogotá) reports.

On the risk scenario for the upcoming in elections — a number of candidates have been assassinated,  in darks deeds attributed to the FARC, while the “parapolitical” risk is also very much in the news — see also

The candidate of the Democratic Pole (PDA) has a comfortable lead — some 17% —  in the poll over the rival candidate, Peñaloso, a former mayor of the Colombian capital, according to EL TIEMPO and its polling firm, Datexco.  Let me see if I can find some other polling figures, for comparison’s sake.

En su recorrido por Algarrobo (Magdalena) y Chiriguaná y El Paso (Cesar) dijo que el candidato del Polo tiene el apoyo de la guerrilla y compra votos. El Polo rechazó las afirmaciones.

In a swing through Albgarrobo, in Magdalena province, and Chiriguaná and El Paso, in Cesar province, the Colombian president said the PDA candidate supports the guerrilla and buys votes. The PDA rejected those statements.

“Hoy Algarrobo le habla a Bogotá”, dijo Uribe, tratando de no dejar duda sobre el destinatario de su mensaje. “Que no se equivoquen allá (…) eligiendo alcaldes respaldados por la guerrilla y que además compran votos”, dijo el Presidente ante una plaza colmada de seguidores que lo aplaudían a rabiar, bajo un sol que superaba los 34 grados.

“Today Algarrobo sends a message to Bogotá,” Uribe said, trying to leave no doubt about who the recipient of said message was. “Let them make no mistake there in Bogotá … electing mayors backed by the guerrillas and who furthermore buy votes,” said the President to a town square packed with supporters who applauded him wildly, beneath a hot sun of more than 93 degrees (F).

Pero a juzgar por la manera como Uribe insistió en lo de Moreno, sin mencionarlo, su interés por tratar de evitar que llegue a la Alcaldía de Bogotá, no es tan espontáneo. Más bien, es muy pensado.

Skipping ahead some.

But judging from the way Uribe insisted in referring to Moreno, without mentioning his name, his interest in preventing the PDA candidate from becoming mayor is not merely casual. Rather, it is very thoroughly thought through. 

“Un buen líder prefiere perder las elecciones antes que comprometerse con la guerrilla, los paramilitares o comprar votos”, repitió una y otra vez.

“A good leader prefers to lose the election rather than compromise himself with the guerrilla, paramilitaries or vote-buying,” he repeated several times.

En Chiriguaná, ya al atardecer, fue más directo. “Desde estas tierras, acusadas durante tantos años desde Bogotá de convivir con los paramilitares, de comprar votos, le decimos a la opinión de las principales capitales que no cometan el error de elegir personas que no son capaces de rechazar la compra de votos. Personas que tartamudean y gaguean cuando se les pregunta si comprarían votos para evitar su derrota en las elecciones”. No podía estar hablando de alguien distinto a Moreno.

In Chiriguaná, in the afternoon, he was more direct. “From these lands, accused from Bogotá for so many years of complicity (convivir) with the paramilitaries, of vote-buying, we say to the opinion[-makers] of the big cities that they should not make the mistake of electing persons who are incapable of rejecting the buying of votes

A major flap was made over recent remarks by the PDA candidate in response to a question on the subject of his attitude toward vote-buying.

I cannot really quite get my head around what was so controversial about the statements actually made, but he seems to have successfully argued that his remarks were taken out of context, and that his “failure to reject’ the practice is a straw man that misrepresents his actual views.

For a field collector of the fleurs du mal of campaign rhetoric, the technique seems awfully familiar.  See also

This blog does not endorse candidates for elected in office because we are not Colombians, have never been there, do not know many Colombians, and have no firm idea what the hell goes on in that part of the world.

EL TIEMPO and a few other publications seem like pretty reliable sources on contemporary developments — or at least offer a Journalism 1.0-based universe from which to try to triangulate and reality-test the quality of information.

So we try to take notes and find time for background reading that might help us grok things a bit better. But we are not really there yet. So no wagering.
The political marketing practiced by the likes of Dick Morris and J.J. Rendón down there, however, we think we are starting to get some idea about.

And we think that if taxpayer money is going to such efforts — many of which really do seem to follow the same rhetorical playbook — then maybe somebody should get hauled before a grand jury and probed like a Kansas farmer abducted by UFOs.

The interesting question: How long will Latin American countries allow themselves to be transformed into battleground states by proxy according to the “Red State-Blue State” Manichaean allegory that both the Moonie wing of the GOP and the Bloggers for Dean seem so interested in perpetuating?

Fox News reports: “Fidel Castro endorses candidacy of Hillary Clinton!” Seriously. They reported that. Which was by way of being not true, as usual.

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Risk [to free and fair elections], by municipality, from incidents of armed confrontation.


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