Looks like that whole immunity-for-ex-paramilitaries thing isn’t working out so well in Colombia. Whatta surprise:
A US court has requested the extradition of former Colombian paramilitary boss Carlos Jimenez.
The move comes a few days after Jimenez, alias Macaco, was stripped of his preferential prison treatment afforded to demobilised fighters.
Colombia said Jimenez violated a peace agreement by continuing to organise cocaine shipments and run a criminal empire from prison.
Jimenez is wanted in the US on drug trafficking charges.
On Friday, Jimenez was transferred to Colombia’s most secure prison, Combita, to be tried as an ordinary criminal.
He is the first jailed warlord to lose benefits agreed under a 2003 peace deal which led paramilitary leaders to surrender and demobilise 31,000 of their men in exchange for reduced jail terms and extradition protection.
It wouldn’t be the first time that this ill-conceived scheme backfired, either. In fact, from the outset, this plan has been fraught with dreadful embarrassments. Even the green-fuels movement has been tainted by paramilitary violence and deal-breaking. Pretty soon biodiesel will replace marching powder as Colombia’s most murderous export. (Hey, Terra-Free Fuel Fools, are you paying attention?)
But it isn’t nearly as bad an idea as re-electing Alvaro Uribe yet again. The first time he jacked the ballot box might be diplomatically called a hideous mistake, the second a sinister coinkidink. Vez numero tres will be proof positive that a fix is in, and that the corruption and impunity of the Colombian right both go all the way to the top (and beyond.) Don’t forget that this pile of poop fell out of his baby’s diapers. (Ever wonder why he conceived that bastard in the first place?)
It’s like what Eric of BoRev.net said–Uribe’s move to eliminate term limits and consolidate his own less than legitimate power is just fine ‘n’ dandy with the same tame US (and UK) media that constantly castigate a certain truly popular, democratic Venezuelan leader for doing the exact same thing. (Well, except for the part about legitimacy, of course.) You’d almost think they had an agenda, or something.
What sickens me, though, is the sheer bullshittery of all the Uribe apologia I’ve seen in the press. And the lack of deeper digging or closer scrutiny. (Yes, WaHoPo, I’m talking to you. And your syndicated columnists, too.) Why, for example, do things like this not get so much as a bat of the eyelash?
A failure in Washington would nevertheless be a blow to Uribe. Throughout his tenure he has gotten intimately involved in bringing foreign investors to his stigmatized country. “I have worked all my life with the private sector,” he says, “and I consider that the state is the most important private enterprise.”
The state as private enterprise? As in fascism? Only a bidness rag would dream of spinning such a blatantly antidemocratic remark as a positive plus, one would think. Well, that’s how it used to be. Now, the mainstream media have all adopted that, er, unique approach. But anyone with more than a reptilian hindbrain realizes that a democratic state belongs to the people, and that its elected head is a public servant–or ought to be.
Just how much of this will the lamestream media have to get their noses rubbed in before they finally admit that this pencil-necked geek isn’t worth propping up anymore?