Colombia: “Presidential Corruption Czar Resigns After Uribe-Escobar Allegations”

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“Loving Pablo: Hating Escobar”: As told to some unsung Colombian Kitty Kelley, an odd infotainment sidebar to the whole narcoparapolitical novelón.

‘Zar’ anticorrupción renunció tras artículo que vincula a padre del Presidente con Pablo Escobar: EL TIEMPO reports that the Colombian president’s “anticorruption czar” has resigned in the wake of a Nuevo Herald (Miami) report that tied President Uribe’s father to narcotraffickers who may have been responsible for his father’s assassination.

Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, hijo del ministro de Justicia Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, asesinado por la mafia, argumentó “razones personales y familiares” para su retiro.

Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, son of Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, who was murdered by the mafia, alleged “personal and family reasons” for his resignation.

El domingo, el diario El Nuevo Herald, de Miami, aseguró que un helicóptero de propiedad de Alberto Uribe Sierra fue incautado en un allanamiento en el complejo cocalero de Tranquilandia, en Caquetá.

The Nuevo Herald reported on Sunday that a helicopter belonging to Alberto Uribe Sierra was seized in a raid on a cocaine-manufacturing complex in Tranquilandia, in Caquetá province.

Which has what to do with Lara Bonilla? The story assumes familiarity with the case — which is, to be sure, a public and notorious one — that I do not have.

Newspapers where I come from do not afford high priority to such matters, even when they have to do with countries that get billions of U.S. tax dollars to put an end to the scourge of narcoterrorism. And how are they doing, anyway? See

Escobar’s role in the assassination of Lara Bonilla sparked the dramatic confrontation with the government that eventually led (1) Escobar’s downfall (2) dead bodies piled up in mounds.

Según la publicación, el inmolado Ministro de Justicia dijo a varias personas antes de su muerte que esa operación contra Tranquilandia iba a causar su muerte.

According to the Herald, the late Justice minister told various person before his death that he would not survive the Tranquilandia operation.

The Herald story adds a bit more detail: The minister complained of infiltration by narcos into the highest levels of government, it reports, based on reviewing witness statements at the time — from the decedent’s sister and from the police official who conducted the raid (now deceased by a misadventure involving being professionally killed.)

Como ejemplo de esa infiltración, el ex ministro mencionó al presidente Alvaro Uribe Vélez y a su padre Alberto Uribe Sierra, según una declaración bajo juramento de la hermana de Lara obtenida por El Nuevo Herald.

As an example of this infiltration, he mentioned President Álvaro Uribe and his father, Alberto Uribe Sierra, according to a sworn statement by Lara’s brother obtained by El Nuevo Herald.

And also a sworn statement by the police commander of the raid on the Bhopal of Bolivian marching powder, I read in the NH.

Who, again, has since died of banana-republican natural causes — the mafia had him whacked.

La declaración, rendida en julio de 1984 a raíz de la muerte de Lara Bonilla, sugiere que el ex ministro consideraba que Uribe Sierra estaría vinculado con el mundo del narcotráfico pues se había descubierto un helicóptero de su propiedad en un gigantesco allanamiento a un laboratorio de procesamiento de cocaína al sur del país, en un lugar conocido como Tranquilandia.

This statement given in July 1984 after Lara Bonilla’s death, suggests that the former minister believed Uribe Sierra to be tied to the narcotraffic, because a helicopter belonging to him had been discovered during a massive raid on a cocaine processing plant in a place known as Tranquilandia.

Given to whom?

EL TIEMPO:

Cecilia, hermana del ex ministro, citada por la publicación, aseguró que Lara mencionaba al actual Presidente y a su padre, como ejemplo de la infiltración de la mafia en las instituciones.

Cecilia, the former minister’s sister, cited by the publication, said Lara mentioned the current president and his father as examples of the infiltration of government institutions by the mafia.

Esta semana, Cecilia Lara Bonilla confirmó que sí dio una declaración a la justicia en el 84, aunque se abstuvo de dar detalles. Pero afirmó que lo relatado en la declaración corresponde a lo que su hermano le contó a la familia en una reunión que tuvieron en la casa de su mamá, pocos días antes de ser asesinado por la mafia.

This week, Cecilia Lara Bonilla confirmed she had given a statement to authorities in 1984, but declined to give details. She did, however, confirm that what was contained in that statement corresponds to what her brother told the family at a meeting held in their mother’s home, a few days before he was murdered by the mafia.

Según fuentes de Palacio, el ‘zar’ anticorrupción estaba pensando dejar el cargo desde agosto. Lara no respondió ayer los llamados de EL TIEMPO.

According to Palace sources, the anticorruption “czar” had been thinking of leaving office since August. Lara did not respond to calls from EL TIEMPO yesterday.

Lara, un abogado de 31 años especializado en el Instituto de Estudios Políticos de París, aspiró el año pasado al Senado, pero no salió elegido.

Lara, 31, an attorney with specialized studies at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, ran for the Senate last year but was not elected.

Is that at the Sorbonne?

Carta de Gobierno a ‘El Nuevo Herald’

Letter from the government to El Nuevo Herald

El Gobierno colombiano envió ayer una carta al director del periódico El Nuevo Herald en la que reitera que el padre del presidente Álvaro Uribe no era dueño de un helicóptero incautado en 1984 en el complejo cocalero de Tranquilandia, en Caquetá.

The government of Colombia sent a letter yesterday to the Miami paper in which it repeats that the father of President Uribe was not the owner of the helicopter captured in 1984 in the cocaine complex at Tranquilandia.

En la carta se anexa un aviso publicitario aparecido en la revista Cromos, el 22 de mayo de ese año, en el que Carlos Amórtegui, representante legal de Aerofoto Amórtegui & Compañía Limitada, hace constar que el aparato fue vendido el 6 de febrero de ese año por el señor Alberto Uribe Sierra, el padre del Presidente.

Attached to the letter is an advertisment that appeared in Cromos magazine on May 22, 1984, in which Carlos Amórtegui, legal representative of the Amórtegui aerial photography firm states that the helicopter was sold on February 6 of that year by the president’s father.

Sold to whom?

“Como en reiteradas ocasiones uno de sus periodistas ha intentado mancillar la honra del Presidente de Colombia, me permito anexar el aviso publicado en la revista Cromos. El periodista lo desconoció como elemento de información, porque el aviso hubiese desbaratado todas las afirmaciones calumniosas”, dice la carta del Gobierno.

“Since on repeated occasions one of your journalists has attempted to stain the honor of the President of Colombia, I attach the advertisement published in Cromos. The journalist was not aware of this information, because the announcement would have belied all of his slanderous statements,” said the government letter.

The paper reported that the president and his family have not been able to reproduce the actual bill of sale, however.

President Uribe has denied any wrongdoing by either himself or his father and family, saying that the helicopter had been sold a month before the seizure. But there is no document showing the transfer of the chopper in the aeronautics registry.

It also mentions the son:

Lara Bonilla’s son and Colombia’s current anticorruption czar, Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, told El Nuevo Herald that neither he nor his brothers had read the files of his father, who was killed in April 1984.

The incurious anticorruption czar blogs — or at least, there is a blog, containing no entries, purporting to be authored by him.

He said in 2005 that he would sue former congressmember Alberto Santofimio Botero in his father’s death. Botero was convicted of asking Escobar to murder Luis Carlos Galán in October 2007. Escobar obliged, the court found.

La carta se refiere al periodista Gerardo Reyes, autor del artículo publicado en El Nuevo Herald.

The reference is to the Herald’s Gerardo Reyes, author of the article in question.

See also

La carta del Gobierno Nacional a El Nuevo Herald recuerda que el presidente Uribe ha desvirtuado “decenas de veces la infamia” a la que se hace referencia.

The government’s letter to the Herald recalls that Uribe has rebutted “dozens of times the infamies” referred to.

“Colombia no puede trenzarse en un debate cíclico con individuos empeñados en desacreditarla e injuriar a sus autoridades legítimas”, finaliza la carta.

“Colombia cannot get mired in a recurrent debate with individuals out to discredit it and defame its legitimate authorities,” the letter concludes.

Uribe: L’Etat, c’est moi.

You hear this often.

So what the hell is this all about, anyway? I cannot understand what this story has to do with the resignation of the anticorruption czar. Does he suspect maybe Uribe had to do with his father getting whacked?

Something like that: See

The Miami Herald runs an abbreviated version of the report in English.

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