The newspaper of President Ivan Duque’s financial patron “talked” to Colombia’s former army chief after the general said the attorney of Duque’s political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, would speak for him.
El Tiempo’s claim it “talked” to retired General Nicasio Martinez, contradicted the general’s claim made on Uribe’s Twitter account the day before on Monday.
Who was El Tiempo interviewing?
In the press statement, Martinez allegedly said that “I have designated Mr. Jaime Granados as my agent to represent me legally… who will be my only spokesperson from now on.”
The contradictory claims fuel doubts about the editorial independence of the newspaper that interchanged personnel with the president’s office and published propaganda as if it were news last year.
The legal shield
While El Tiempo claimed it had talked to Martinez, the Q&A may as well have been an email exchange with the attorney of both Uribe and the army general.
Both are in trouble with the Supreme Court; Uribe over his alleged witness manipulation practices and the former army commander for allegedly ordering the wiretapping of the court and sending this information to the Democratic Center, the far-right party of Duque and Uribe.
According to El Tiempo, Martinez denied any wrongdoings. In fact, the retired general allegedly said that the criminal investigation was a “retaliation for reporting and preventing acts of corruption.”
Evidence released by Caracol Radio indicated last year that the former general who has been linked to crimes against humanity abused his position to block at least one corruption investigation.
“Tears in our eyes”
According to the newspaper of Duque’s political patron, Luis Carlos Sarmiento, the former army chief claimed he had requested his resignation on December 9 after, “with tears in our eyes,” a day in which the Martinez family decided the general would retire over a “family-related personal situation.”
The president announced the army chief’s resignation on Christmas Eve last year after a year that — under Martinez’ watch — was marred by corruption and human rights scandals and less less three weeks before Semana made the general’s alleged criminal activity public.