Recent News About Daniel Coronell

[UPDATE, January 23, 2010: Daniel was named on Friday to be the new Vice-President in charge of news for Univision. This will bring him to Miami, though he will continue his essential column in Semana.]

In 2005-2007, my friend Daniel Coronell, a columnist for Semana and director of Noticias Uno, lived here in the San Francisco Bay Area, having been forced to flee Colombia due to threats against his life by criminals in the circle of then President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe. Recently, it was revealed that Uribe directed Colombia’s internal security agency, the DAS, to undertake surveillance of Coronell and others, illegally. As the cases related to the illegal surveillance have proceeded, some of the alleged perpetrators have themselves fled the country, urged by Uribe himself.

Here, the ex-President  shows his astounding arrogance, admitting in a radio interview that he urged a member of his administration accused of illegal acts to seek asylum in Panama. As described by Reporters without borders:

Former DAS director, María del Pilar Hurtado, the chief potential witness to the former head of state’s involvement in the corruption of this top intelligence service, has just conveniently obtained political asylum in Panama. While denying discussing her asylum request with her, Uribe himself confirmed that he advised his close associates to seek asylum abroad in a long interview he gave yesterday to RCN radio, to among other questioners, his former vice-president and journalist by profession, Francisco Santos !

The full radio interview is here (in Spanish).

Here, helpfully subtitled by Reporters without borders, is a video of Daniel watching Uribe make almost beautifully fatuous expressions of moral authority on the topic of the responsibilities of the press.

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