Is Uribe Really a Mentiroso? Preliminary Fact-Check Notes

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Rocking Rául: EL TIEMPO (the Colombian Defense Minister’s family founded it) has the exclusive kill shots from the kill zone, and wants to make damn sure you know it.

“The Colombian president is officially requesting Ecuador to authorize a military operation to rescue a group of 20 Colombian antinarcotics police who are supposedly under attack by a guerrilla ambush on Ecuadoran soil. And this is a lie.”

URIBE DIJO A PRESIDENTE CORREA QUE OPERACIÓN EN FRONTERA ERA “PARA RESCATAR A UN GRUPO DE POLICÍAS ANTINARCÓTICOS”: Ecuador Inmediato reports that “Uribe told President Correa that the operation on the border was ‘to rescue a group of antinarcotics police.'”

I have been trying to glean the substance of the Ecuadoran claim that “Uribe is a liar” for further fact-checking.

Not that I really have time to do this sort of thing. But nobody else seems to be doing it.

You read that Correa has called Uribe a liar, and that Uribe is offended by the characterization. But, well, is he? Did he misrepresent any material facts intentionally in this whole affair?

The Estadão here in São Paulo has had some decent coverage from Paris, trying to dig out the French position on this question. They are reportedly royally pissed off that the Colombians knew that the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt was to be the purpose of the FARC presence.

Uribe does actually have a pretty serious credibility gap to overcome, it seems to me. See, for example,

Para Juan de Dios Parra, Secretario Ejecutivo para América Latina de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Derechos Humanos (ALDHU), lo que ocurrió el sábado pasado no es un suceso aislado y sí deliberado, pues se trata de una operación militar planificada con tiempo. Revela además que el presidente Uribe mintió al mandatario ecuatoriano, al decirle que lo que se trataba era de una operación de rescate a un grupo de policías antinarcóticos.

In the view of Juan de Dios Parra, executive secretary for Latin America of the Latin American Association of Human Rights Groups (ALDHU), what happened last Saturday is not an isolated case but a deliberate act, a military operation planned well ahead of time. He also says that Uribe lied to the Ecuadoran president, telling him that this was an operation to rescue a group of antinarcotics police.

And how does this guy know?

With all due respect. Parra is a Chilean. The ALDHU is headquartered in Quito.

Según Parra, para logra esta operación militar, el gobierno de Colombia “ha requerido de inteligencia satelital, de traslado de vituallas, de equipo, de logística, de establecimiento de coordenadas, de un teatro de operaciones, de elegirles la hora, el momento, el lugar, las circunstancias, elegir también a los contendores, en fin. Todo esto no se hace de la noche a la mañana”, dijo en el programa “El Poder de la Palabra”, de Ecuadorinmediato Radio.

According to Parra, to bring off this military operation, the Colombian government “needed satellite intelligence, provisions, equipment, logistics, the setting up of coordinates, of a theater of operations, of selecting the hour, the moment, the place, as well as the combatants and their mission. All of this does not come together overnight,” he said on Ecuador Inmediato Radio’s “The Power of the Word.”

Adicionalmente, considera que la incursión militar de Colombia a suelo ecuatoriano puede ser definida como una invasión al territorio de Ecuador, de acuerdo a la definición del Derecho Internacional.

[tktktktk]

Según el vocero de la ALDHU, la intención de Uribe, el día sábado 1 de marzo, fue que “el presidente Correa autorice una operación militar en territorio ecuatoriano para dizque rescatar a un grupo de policías antinarcóticos colombianos que estarían siendo atacados por la guerrilla.”

[tktktktk]

“Por eso es que, con razón, el presidente Correa califica a Uribe de mentiroso”, añadió, y reitera su versión: “Le pide (el mandatario colombiano) al Ecuador, en la persona de su presidente, que autorice una operación militar ecuatoriana para rescatar a un grupo de veinte policías antinarcóticos colombianos que estarían siendo atacados y emboscados por la guerrilla en territorio ecuatoriano; y eso es una mentira.”

“That is why Correa is right to call Uribe a liar,” he added, repeating his version of events: “The Colombian president is officially requesting Ecuador to authorize a military operation to rescue a group of 20 Colombian antinarcotics police who are supposedly under attack by a guerrilla ambush on Ecuadoran soil. And this is a lie.”

“Ya se había producido la masacre, ya estaban los muertos en la selva ecuatoriana, ya se había bombardeado, ya estaba la operación concluida, ya habían sacado el cadáver de Reyes y el otro comandante; y entonces, después de eso, le unen esta figura de ‘un grupo de policías antinarcóticos colombianos con riesgo de ser masacrados por guerrilla colombiana en territorio ecuatoriano’, y le piden auxilio (al presidente Correa).”

“And a massacre had already occurred, they were already dead in the Ecuadoran jungle, had been bombed, the operation was over, they had already taken out the body of Reyes and the other commander; and then, after that, they put together this story about ‘a group of Colombian antinarco police who risk being massacred by the Colombian guerrilla in Ecuadoran territory’ and ask for Correa’s help.”

This is pretty much the Ecuadoran government’s line, but I had not heard this story about the “rescue operation.”

Is it true?

And J.J. Rendón? What is he up to these days?

Juan de Dios Parra explica que la pretensión del presidente Uribe era “envolver con mentiras al presidente para llevarlo a tomar una decisión que involucraba al Ecuador en el hecho bélico”, pero este involucramiento iba a ser posterior a la acción del ejército colombiano que ya había producido los resultados que quería el gobierno de Colombia, “que eran las muertes” de los integrantes de las FARC, concluye.

Juan de Dios Parra explains that Uribe’s intention was “to use lies to get Correa to take a decision that would involve Ecuador in an operation of war,” but only after the action by the Colombian army that had produced the result the Colombian government wanted, “which was the deaths” of the FARC members, he concludes.

Correa, an economist, is the author of a working paper titled “The Washington Consensus in Latin America: A Quantitative Evaluation” (April 2002).

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Interactive game offered at ElTiempo.com sever weeks ago makes reference to helicopter HK2704X … and the Uribe credibility gap.

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