Coming back soon The demobilization “time bomb”
Oct 212005

As the re-election campaign nears, Álvaro Uribe’s image-makers appear to be taking some cues from the north:

President Bush visits "ground zero" in New York, September 14, 2001. President Uribe visits the site of a Bogotá car bomb that targeted Sen. Germán Vargas Lleras, October 11, 2005.

Let’s just be thankful that Colombia’s navy has no aircraft carriers on which to hang "Misión Cumplida" banners.

(Yes, this is a poor-quality blog entry after a long absence. We’re still catching up after hosting several visitors from Colombia for a week; the last of our group left Washington yesterday morning. We will be back in business by Monday.)

2 Responses to “The sincerest form of flattery”

  1. jcg Says:

    There is certainly a curious physical resemblance.

    But what else can we expect? They are/were politicians that seek to project an image of “leadership” in times of crisis, and even Hugo Chavez next door does similar quasi-populist stunts.

    However, in doing so, it’s interesting to note that Uribe (and his image managers) has been smarter than Bush, showing up within hours or days, when using this event and plenty of others in his favor. Bush, by comparison, sometimes has hesitated and has been criticized for the lateness of his reaction, not only on September 11 but also during the recent Katrina disaster.

    The aircraft carrier bit, while also good for comedy purposes, is rather out of line though, since Uribe has not gone as far as saying “Mission Accomplished”.

    In fact, his message isn’t “Misión Cumplida”, but rather something akin to “The Mission is not Over”, with the references to the “culebra” still being alive and all that. After all, some would say, why should he be reelected if the mission had alredy been completed?

  2. María Eugenia Adaime Says:

    Good afternoon:
    First of all, I like your blog. Don’t worry, you’ll catch up, but a lot of things have happened during this week. They usually do here in Colombia.
    It is true what you say about Uribe’s hability to use adverse situations to obtain public support. Somehow the weakness in security which permitted Vargas Lleras’ attack was clouded by the readiness in Uribe’s response. However, you may know that during this week there was a crisis in Colombia’s intelligence Agency (DAS), and some heads were removed. That will affect the campaign, especially because in several statements, party leaders have declared that many candidates have been threatened by the armed groups, as you may know. Let’s see what happens…but, I feel that the presidential campaign is being held by a giant ( a very intelligent giant indeed, and I am not Uribist) against many little dwarfs.
    The question is: will he complete his mission…and how will Colombia be after 8 years of ruling. I don’t know, but I doubt that it will be a peaceful place.

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