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Sat May 17, 2014, 09:28 PM

J.J. Rendón and the dirty politics of Latin American narcotrafficking

J.J. Rendón and the dirty politics of Latin American narcotrafficking
May 16, 2014 — Sabina Becker

[font size=1]
“I have ties to narcotrafficking? Those are just rumors!”
Sure, Jota-Jota…we believe you.[/font]

The more one looks at Juan José Rendón, the more this silly “samurai” takes on a sinister overtone. Because according to J.M. Karg, a journalist based in Buenos Aires, wherever Jota-Jota goes, drug money is not far behind:

Following the recent denunciation of ties between political advisor J.J. Rendón and Colombian narcos, which resulted in Rendón’s withdrawal from the re-election campaign of Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Latin American public opinion once more debates the relationship between two worlds that seem separate, but whose interrelatedness continues to grow: politics and narcotrafficking. Which directors have been questioned over probable ties with money stemming from this merchandise? And why is the collaboration between these two spheres increasing?

It is known that the world of narcotrafficking and its lavish generation of monetary liquidity at low cost and amazing speed, has brought various political campaigns to involve themselves with this wasteland of illegality. Some leaders seem to prefer to pay the political cost which the revelation of this connection could signify, as long as they have important funds to compete in elections, whether internal — within their own party — or general — for executive and or/legislative offices in each country. On the other hand, it guarantees a certain juridical “impunity” to be able to operate, creating a kind of “virtuous circle” in which both parties benefit in the short term. The problem, clearly, is the revelation in the medium to long term, and its possible juridico-mediatic repercussions, to the point where political careers end or those involved go directly to prison.

The Colombian capo, Javier Antonio Calle, was the one who revealed, from the United States, that Rendón had received, over the last three years, $12 million from the three biggest narcotraffickers in Colombia, supposedly to get an agreement for surrender in exchange for no extradition [to the US], from the Santos government for them. The non-consummation of the plan does not negate Calle’s revelation: the ties between Rendón and these events, now under investigation by Colombian justice.

Do these facts soil only the campaign of Juan Manuel Santos? In no way. Rendón has advised, during these years, a handful of well-known political leaders in various countries: Peña Nieto in Mexico, Capriles in Venezuela, Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras, Santos himself — and also Uribe — in Colombia, De Narváez in Argentina, and Quijano in El Salvador. If the current denunciation comes at a time of collaboration between Rendón and Santos, this revelation indirectly taints all those leaders, who also share a conservative vision in the politico-economic ambit. Why? No relation of this type comes overnight, and the hypothesis that Rendón had begun in these last few months to have dealings of this sort is certainly not very factual — or credible.



On edit:

I need to thank great DU'er Catherina for sharing Sabina Becker writing with DU progressives.

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