The dubious activity of the “honorable” family of TV anchor Maria Camila Orozco was part of Colombia’s cultural heritage before the journalist was even born.
As if that wasn’t enough, the 29-year-old heir of the Caribbean dynasty spent much of her career spreading lies of former President Alvaro Uribe and his attorney, Jaime Granados.
Lying will generally condemn a journalist to oblivion, but not Orozco; she became an anchor at national television network Caracol while local media are short of superlatives to praise the virtues of the family from the south of La Guajira.
To speak of the Orozco family from Villanueva is to speak of their history and of the many great men this honorable family has given. To name them all would cover more than ten pages. But it is also good to highlight some who have honored the name of their native Villanueva.
Hoy en Noticia
Orozco doing lip service for alleged mafiosi should not come as a surprise. She was brought up in a family whose alleged corruption became cultural heritage more than half a century ago.
The legendary composer Rafael Escalona wrote about Enrique Orozco, who tried to use his political power to get contraband smuggler Tite Socarras out of trouble in the 1965 classic “El Almirante Padilla.”
El Almirante Padilla (Rafael Escalona)
Up there in La Guajira where contraband was born
The Admiral Padilla got stuck near Puerto Lopez and left him ruined
Poor Tite, Poor Tite, Poor Tite Socarras
Man, he is really sad now
He has lost everything for smuggling
If only Saint Thomas saw the bandit pirate ship
He promised to throw a party when turning over to a South Korean submarine
Little Enrique believed his patron Laureano would get a lot of things done
He went to Bogota, but it was all in vain
Where will he go now?
How will Tite Socarras make a living now?
Where will he go now?
Making a living without contraband?
Pop singer Carlos Vives covered the song in 1991, but removed the not so flattering part about the Orozco family, which has held all kinds of political positions in La Guajira and the neighboring Cesar province.
When singer Juan Piña recorded the song in 1977, the late Conservative Party mogul’s attempted corruption of former President Laureano Gomez was still very much a part of the story.
Spinning Uribe’s lies
Thirty-one years after the hit, Orozco got her first job as a spokesperson for the Prosecutor General’s Office, which she somehow combined with studying journalism and public relations until she graduated in 2012.
In early 2013, she began working for Uribe’s attorney, Jaime Granados, and immediately began spinning a web of lies on YouTube against opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda, one of the former Medellin Cartel associate’s fiercest critics.
The conspiracy theories based on allegedly bribed witnesses had effect and the Supreme Court opened a criminal investigation in September 2014 into the claims that proved to be false in February 2018.
From Uribe’s lawyer to Duque’s brother-inlaw
Orozco was hired by Blu Radio news chief Nestor Morales, the brother-in-law of President Ivan Duque, in March 2016 and “exclusively” reported that Uribe’s sons, Tomas and Jeronimo, claimed to be the victims of a conspiracy by “scrap metal czar” James Arias, which was a lie.
The Uribe brothers’ scrap metal company Ecoinversiones was involved in a major tax evasion and fraud cartel that cost the former President’s sons a $1.4 million (COP5.4 billion pesos) fine and landed mastermind Garcia in prison.
Orozco didn’t get sacked, but announced in April 2016 she would also be working for public television news program CM& as the judicial reporter for senior host Yamid Amat.
This wasn’t much of a success as the senior journalist sacked her in March 2017.
We are in the darkest hour of journalism
Maria Camila Orozco
A month after the Supreme Court announced criminal charges against Uribe in February 2018, Orozco went to Caracol, where she immediately began to cover trials against Granados’ clients.
Initially she reported for both Caracol and Blu Radio on the case against the fugitive former Hyundai boss Carlos Mattos who appeared to be bribing multiple judges to prevent his extradition from Spain.
In July 2019, sacked army Colonel Julio Cesar Ramirez told far-right website El Expediente that Orozco “always tried to help us and published” baseless corruption claims against former armed forces commander General Alberto Jose Mejia with the help of far-right El Tiempo columnist Salud Hernandez.
The accusations were never proven and President Ivan Duque was forced to sack National Army chief Nicasio Martinez and more than a dozen other top army commanders for engaging in an unhinged political war against opponents of Uribe.
Orozco takes over reporting on Uribe
When the Supreme Court in August that year rejected all Granados’ requests to drop the charges against Uribe, the attorney’s’ former PR chief took over reporting on the her former employers’ case on both Blu Radio and Caracol Noticias.
We have talked to the attorneys of former President Uribe who have said to disagree with the decision.
Maria Camila Orozco
In an October 2019 interview on Caracol with Uribe’s now-detained fixer, Diego Cadena, the journalist claimed that not Cadena, but Cepeda, had paid a witnesses, which the Supreme Court had already debunked.
Why not add Uribe’s alleged election fraud?
In early 2020, when the Supreme Court ordered an investigation against Uribe for allegedly conspiring with a drug trafficking organization to rig the 2020 elections, Orozco lied that the late money launderer was never suspected of any crime until after his murder in Brazil in May 2019.
The journalist additionally coined the theory that Hernandez’s murder was ordered by the man whose son was allegedly assassinated by the Duque money laundering campaign financier.
When the Supreme Court placed Uribe under house arrest earlier this month, Granados’ Orozco jumped in again to give her former boss’ what appeared an advertorial.
The journalist who hadn’t interviewed the former president’s alleged victim once since she helped Uribe spin false claims, Orozco obediently allowed her former boss to claim that “what Senator Ivan Cepeda has said is a bunch of lies.”
Duque’s brother-in-law did the rest of Granados’ lip service on Blu Radio also without hearing the alleged victim of the former president and former Medellin Cartel associate.