Colombia has questions about Telesur's video of FARC hostage release (updated).

Posted: 09 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"After 12 years in jungle captivity [Colombian Army] Sgt Pablo Emilio Moncayo was turned over [by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc)] to the Red Cross on Tuesday. ... The release of Sgt Moncayo has also sparked a dispute between the Colombian authorities and the Venezuelan-backed broadcaster Telesur. The Colombians have demanded to know how Telesur had exclusive access to Sgt Moncayo’s handover to the Red Cross, which was supposedly closed to the press. But Telesur, which was set up by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez as a left-wing alternative to CNN, said it was e-mailed the video and that no Telesur personnel had been present at the handover." Tom Hennigan, Irish Times, 2 April 2010.
     "Before the helicopter flew back with Moncayo, the Colombian government's peace commissioner, Frank Pearl, criticized the Caracas-based TV channel Telesur, which is funded in part by Venezuela's government, for releasing photos and videos of Moncayo with Cordoba. Pearl said there had been an agreement the handover would be discreet, and 'the government rejects that a media outlet like Telesur lends itself to do propaganda for a terrorist group.' Telesur said in a statement that the footage was not recorded by any of its journalists and had been sent electronically to the channel as well as other media outlets. The channel called Colombia's reaction 'irresponsible.'" AP, 31 March 2010.
     "The television station denied any wrongdoing, and [Colombian Sen. Piedad] Cordoba said that the humanitarian party had not noticed that the network had someone in the jungle filming." CNN, 31 March 2010.
     Update: "Telesur continental television president, Andres Izarra accuses Colombia of turning his station into a hate and discredit target. ... Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was angry about the video calling Telesur 'Telefarc.' Izarra rejects the charge saying the video was sent to other channels such as Television Espanola, and Ecuavision." Patrick J. O'Donoghue,, 7 April 2010.