Monday, 25 May 2009

Colombia: News in English from Uribe

Thanks to Colombia Reports for pointing out that the Colombian presidential website now has an English language news section.

I clicked through, and honestly, you don't even have to read the articles to get a good idea of Uribe's media policy. The headlines of the first articles include "President Uribe reiterated guarantees for the release of kidnapped people, but he informed that terrorist propaganda will not be allowed" and "President Uribe denounces false accusations against Armed Forces", alongside notes on Uribe receiving an award from a United States business school and the World Bank praising Colombia.

If, however, we do take a closer look at the "false accusations" article, we are treated to this gem:
President Uribe denounced that there is a group of lawyers hired by international organizations to discredit the Colombian Armed Forces and the Democratic Security policy.
Yes, it's a classic Uribe "there is an international conspiracy and everyone who criticises me is a terrorist in disguise" moment. Much of the rest of the article is frankly difficult to read but an object lesson in the dangers of publishing material written by non-native speakers without thorough editing.
President Álvaro Uribe affirmed that all this cases of violation of human rights have been acknowledged with no ambiguities in the ordinary justice.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think it's a bad thing that the articles are there to read at all. I'm a great believer in knowing your enemy. I just hope that everyone remembers to take them with a pinch of salt.

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