Uribe on Chávez on FOX News To whoever is sending those e-mail threats
Sep 212006

Last Friday, several Colombian human-rights groups received another e-mail threat from someone claiming to represent an organization of ex-paramilitaries. The threat, the seventh since May, is more explicit than the previous six. It reads:

… [T]he cease-fire we granted you – so that you could get lost from our territories liberated by communism – has now expired. Starting next Friday, September 22, our men will arrive in your cities to look for you, and we know very well where to find you.

It ends with "September 22, don’t forget!!!"

That is tomorrow.

Let’s hope that these e-mails are just the work of a lone sociopath who has no intention of actually carrying them out. Because almost nothing has been done to investigate their origin and find out whether this is the real thing.

4 Responses to “The e-mail threats get scarier”

  1. richtiger Says:

    It requires enormous courage to speak out in Colombia for justice. Those of us sitting peacefully and safely at our computers may comment on Colombia; but we’re not risking our lives in the process.

  2. jcg Says:

    The possibility is worrying, no doubt. I personally hope that nothing happens, even if that’s, sadly, not only unlikely, but also completely out of my hands.

    In the meanwhile, all I (or most of us for that matter) can do is speculate.

    I’m still concerned about why someone (officially or privately) apparently doesn’t try tracking down the e-mail/IP addresses involved. Have the human rights groups involved formally denounced this legally, beyond sending out public or electronic communiques? I don’t know, it could go either way, but I’d like to. Even if it may not make a big difference in the long run.

    Again, there’s a very real possibility that some of the members of the NGOs involved will, unfortunately, eventually suffer attempts on their lives, no matter what.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that real life threats and actual attacks need to be directly tied to *these* specific e-mails. That thesis can’t be discarded until proven otherwise. To put it bluntly: the link could well exist, or it could not, regardless of the actual violence involved.

    Some people can and will likely be attacked. independently of whatever these e-mails mean. There’s no foolproof way to automatically identify which deaths will be “e-mail mandated” and which won’t be.

    For all we know, only some of the e-mail threats could end being true, while others could be the work of subsequent copycats or even just propaganda, intended to draw attention while the real targets are attacked.

    There’s endless space for speculation, because we know almost nothing. I can only hope that any ensuing violence, e-mail related or not, is prevented as much as is humanly possible.

  3. Adam Isacson Says:

    It’s my understanding that the human rights unit of the fiscalía and the Vice-President’s office, among other state entities, have been notified every step of the way. But it’s also my understanding that there has been little effort to trace these mails, or their Yahoo and Hotmail addresses. These return addresses are easily faked, of course, and even if they’re not the IP addresses could lead only to an internet cafe somewhere.

    But it’s certainly possible to do this. Recall that email threats to a journalist last year were traced back to the computer of a friend of President Uribe’s.

  4. jcg Says:

    Thanks for the information, Adam. That’s in part one of the reasons I was thinking about it. Yes, it can easily be faked, of course, but the attempt should still be made, in any case.

Leave a Reply