A look at the attack on Marta Colomina

June 29, 2003

When an attack like the one perpetrated on reporter and TV personality occurs, I try to be careful about what I say. In a rational world, it would be stupid for the pro-Chavez forces to commit such an act. But revolutionaries are not rational, so one has to step out of the rational world. It was not rational in Guatemala, El Salvador or Nicaragua, why should it be here? Obviously, an attack like that makes the Government look bad, so one could easily say that the opposition did it, just to get back at the Chvez administration.


The problem is that the pattern is always the same. An attack occurs. The Government may or not condemn it. The Government blames the opposition or says it is irresponsible to blame the pro-Chavez forces. The Government says the investigation is very advanced and it will make some people in the opposition look bad. Weeks, months and even years go by and no investigation is presented, nobody is charged. We move to the next case.


It was only in February that Government officials and Chavez himself claimed the investigation on the bombings of the Spanish and Colombian embassies was very advanced and it will show the true face of the opposition. Nothing ever came out of those. Hundreds of attacks on reporters have gone unpunished. (Yes, hundreds, the OAS has certified them)


The problem is that these are not simple attacks by thugs, even though they seem incompetent. The attacks on the Embassies were made with C-5 explosive which is highly controlled and contains identifying chemicals to be able to trace it. In the Colomina attack, the weapons were Styer assault guns which are sold to Governments only and are not readily available. Thus, what the Government is showing is simply its incompetence, but what else is new?


 


Clearly, the attack was not meant to kill, but intimidate. That has been the pattern in all of the attacks against reporters. The Government has not only done nothing to investigate, but has also failed to follow the precautionary measures issued by the OAS Human Rights commission. Thus, there is incompetence and negligence. The Government is not simply not assuming its role, it actually is being irresponsible when it is slow to condemn and when it does it, it blames the opposition. That is not what governing in a democracy is all about. We may know it, but they simply have no clue.

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