Markets in everything?

by on July 4, 2008 at 9:47 pm in Current Affairs | Permalink

Who knows, but just maybe:

Doubts about the official version of the rescue surfaced in Switzerland
where a public radio station quoted an unidentified source – "close to
the events, reliable and tested many times in recent years" – saying
$20m was paid to the guerrillas. "It was not a negotiation with the
Farc directly but with a person who is very important in that
organisation, commander César," Frederich Blassel, a journalist with
the Swiss station, told Colombian radio. The reported suggested that a
wife of one of the guards – possibly César – had acted as a go-between
after being arrested by the security forces.

It’s in any case spectacular news and a major blow against terrorism.  Colombia remains an underrated economy and tourist destination and I expect this to serve as a further tipping point toward good things.

Rationalitate July 5, 2008 at 2:52 am

It’s in any case spectacular news and a major blow against terrorism

How is it a major blow against terrorism if some government capitulated (probably France’s) and gave into the terrorists demands? It satisfies Western nations’ desire to look like they’re beating the narcoterrorists without legalizing drugs, satisfies FARC’s desire for money, and leaves would-be terrorists in the same position as before the whole affair – not entirely sure if a government would give in to such a demand. If anything, I’d say it’s a gain for Betancourt and the other hostages, but a loss for society in that people will (at least marginally) be more willing to accept the war on drugs because of this piece of evidence (which I thought would be minor, but apparently you believe it’s a “major blow against terrorism”) that it is indeed possible to successfully combat narcoterrorism without cutting off their supply of money – revenue from illegal drugs. (Because if they were legal, there wouldn’t be any money in it.) The victims of the war on drugs (both in the US, in places where drugs pass through [e.g., Mexico, Colombia, Mao’s Red Army bases, the junta’s Burma, Kim Jong-il’s Hermit Kingtom], and then to the rest of the world) aren’t as visible as Ingrid Betancourt’s stylish teenage son, but all combined they make his plight look pretty negligible.

E. Barandiaran July 5, 2008 at 6:25 am

Tyler, the Colombian government had offered much more money, up to US$100 million, for the release of these hostages. Read
http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/justicia/2008-07-05/cuatro-gobiernos-ingrid-betancourt-y-un-video-descartan-que-rescate-haya-sido-un-montaje_4362631-1

So, Uribe would have got a good deal if he had paid only US$20 million.

Please tell me, what’s the purpose of circulating rumors from unidentified sources? It seems that you agree with NYT’s policy of fabricating news.

Jason Armstrong July 6, 2008 at 12:59 am

FARC will whither without an outside sponsor. So long as people continue to shine a light on Hugo Chavez, they won’t last long.

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