If nothing else, the Digger never does thing by halves: probably the single most influential and divisive figure in the history of Colombian politics, Uribe is the eldest son of the late landowner Alberto Uribe Sierra. Sierra’s criminal connections led to his violent death at the hand of leftist guerrillas in 1983. According to the investigative journalist Fabio Castillo, at the time of his death he was known as a “recognized trafficker”, and wanted for extradition to the U.S.
Uribe’s career has been the subject of speculation, rumour and accusation regarding his links to Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drugs Cartel. It was after he was made Director of Civil Aviation in 1980 that the rumours began, because Uribe’s appointment coincided with the rise of Escobar as an international trafficker.
What’s more, Uribe has tried but failed to explain satisfactorily the unusually high number of pilot’s licenses and airstrip construction permits issued on his watch. Spookily, most of them were used by drug barons, and are widely cited as a major contributing factor to Escobar’s success. According to Escobar’s former lover Virginia Vallejo, the drug lord held Uribe in high regard for establishing the infrastructure to transport cocaine to the U.S..
So given the Newscorp penchant for bribing coppers (and pols with a penchant for white powder) Alvaro is going to feel entirely at home in Digger HQ.
Since Hackgate, there’s been a self-destructive additional dimension of poison in Rupert Murdoch’s psyche. Not only is everything he does now designed to say to any sovereign power “stop me if you dare”; the brazen use of his media titles to achieve his warped ambitions becomes more amazing as time passes. In the piece underneath today’s front page lead, the Times argues that drug use ‘can be beneficial and should be decriminalised’ – and manages a major in-joke dig by adding at one point ‘David Cameron said in Opposition that drugs policy has been failing for decades’. It adds that ‘the Report’ from which it quotes (never identified) ‘is a first step on the road to decriminalising all drugs.
Which may well be very good for Colombian exports. But I can’t imagine how it will help a society already riddled with every form of escapism and delusion.
Truly, Mr Murdoch is an amazing man. An amazing man who must be stopped.