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Manuel Rosales to seek frontier alliance with Colombia’s Uribe

By Aleksander Boyd

Machiques 12.10.06 | Danilo Chourio was kidnapped on 26 November 2005 from his hacienda La Colonisa. Almost immediately the kidnappers communicated to his family the ransom wanted. Three days after, the Chourio family paid 80 million Bolivares [$37.000] not before demanding from the group that held Danilo a “fe de vida” in the form of a telephone conversation to check whether or not Danilo was still alive. Nearly a year has come to pass and the Chourio family still does not know the whereabouts of Danilo. Sadly they have not been able to find his body. No further communications took place following ransom payment.

Maria Rosario Chourio, one of Danilo’s daughters, said that they have pretty much exhausted all search methods in “Sector Medio Millon and La Pastora” in the Cachamana area. She said authorities have not done anything with regards to the case. Officials from CICPC, CUA, GAL, GN and the public prosecutor’s office have ignored their plights alleging lack of resources to mount an effort to find Danilo. Of special significance to Maria Rosario was the insulting treatment she and her family received from Carlos Luna, director of GAL. A man thought to be connected to the kidnap was arrested in Coro state, although she does not have any further information. Maria Rosario is convinced that her father is still alive. In light of the lack of communication with the kidnappers and the fact that it’s been nearly a year since he was taken away I asked her how could she be so certain about it. With tears in her eyes she replied “la esperanza es lo ultimo que se pierde.”

The kidnapping industry is flourishing in this border area. Narco guerrilla and Organized criminals have realized that the priorities of the Chavez regime lay somewhere in Bolivia, Cuba, Lebanon, Iran, etc., and the recent massacre in La Paragua –near the border with Brazil- where a military death squad robbed and killed in cold blood a group of miners comes to reinforce the conventional wisdom amongst outlaws that with Chavez criminals rule. A 426% increase of kidnappings has been reported. The surge can be explained by analyzing the lax policy that the current administration has vis-ŕ-vis guerrilla groups that cross over from Colombia in the know that he who sits in Miraflores is a political ally. “We are at the mercy of criminals here, the army and the National Guard are but part of the problem” said one farmer in Villa del Rosario, who admitted that they have had to recourse to self defense methods to safeguard their lives and property. “We are determined to not walk” –kidnappers use the term “camine” (to walk) with victims about to be abducted. Some survive to tell the story and others get killed but all seem to have reached that fearless and resolute state out of principles. The expression “la palabra empeńada” or to keep one’s word is still a practice respected by most people around here. To them the word of criminals lacks value and for that reason they are not prepared to trade theirs, even if it means to lose their lives or that of loved ones.

Presidential candidate Manuel Rosales was asked to comment about this issue after an event with local farmers in Villa del Rosario. He said that one of the priorities of his government will be to forge an alliance with Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe and build upon successful models implemented in Colombia. “We will bring security to our common border. Colombia is a sister nation, we have a history together and I am determined to work shoulder to shoulder with President Uribe to put an end to the problem. This official leniency with criminals running from prosecution in Colombia, which allows them to establish operation bases on this side of the border is to end. As soon as I become president they will get from us the same treatment President Uribe’s administration gives them.”

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