Magnicidio

Bougies déposées à la mémoire du maire de Gdansk assassiné, Pawel Adamowicz. Cracovie, 19 janvier 2019.© REUTERS

A Gdansk, on a fait appel à des psychologues pour aider la population, profondément choquée par l’assassinat le 13 janvier du maire de la ville, Pawel Adamowicz – un meurtre retransmis en direct à la télévision, en prime time, devant des millions de téléspectateurs. L’homme de 27 ans accusé de ce crime était sorti de prison quelques mois plus tôt. Il avait préparé son attentat médiatique jusque dans le moindre détail: après avoir enfoncé un couteau dans le cœur du maire, il a crié dans un micro qu’il avait tué M. Adamowicz pour se venger de Plateforme civique, le parti centriste d’opposition qui l’avait, prétendait-il, injustement envoyé en prison.…  Seguir leyendo »

Gdansk, alto al odio

El asesinato de Pawel Adamowicz, alcalde de Gdansk, el pasado 13 de enero, es algo más que un suceso banal o un lamentable atentado en un rincón de Polonia. Es más bien, creo yo, una señal preocupante del aumento general de la violencia política en Europa. Adamowicz no era un político corriente. El alcalde de Gdansk, un hombre cercano a Lech Walesa, fundador de Solidaridad y vencedor de la ocupación soviética, y próximo también a Donald Tusk, actual jefe del Gobierno europeo, había sido elegido recientemente con dos tercios de los votos, un triunfo raro en democracia. A sus 53 años, encarnaba la continuidad del liberalismo polaco y europeo, una antiquísima tradición nacional.…  Seguir leyendo »

A memorial to Pawel Adamowicz, the mayor of Gdansk, Poland, who was stabbed to death at a charity event earlier this month.CreditCreditAgencja Gazeta/Reuters

In Gdansk, psychologists have been called in to help the public. Such is the great shock following the murder on Jan. 13 — on live prime-time television with millions watching — of the city’s mayor, Pawel Adamowicz.

The 27-year-old man accused of killing the mayor was released from prison a few months ago. He had planned every detail of the telegenic attack: After stabbing the mayor in the heart, he shouted into a microphone that he had killed Mr. Adamowicz to get revenge against Civic Platform, the centrist opposition political party that he alleged unjustly put him in jail.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Gdansk to say goodbye to their mayor; spontaneous gatherings took place in other Polish cities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Paweł Adamowicz. Photograph: Wojciech Strozyk/Reporter/Rex/Shutterstock

The death of Paweł Adamowicz, the popular liberal mayor of Gdańsk, has sent shockwaves across Poland and elsewhere in Europe.

Silent marches have been held in Warsaw, Gdańsk and other cities to pay tribute to him – and tens of thousands of Poles participated. Saturday, the day of his burial, will be a day of national mourning.

The alleged assailant, a 27-year-old man from Gdańsk, was released from prison last month, it emerged on Monday. After the stabbing, the assailant told the crowd he blamed Adamowicz’s former political party Civic Platform for his jailing in 2014 for a series of violent attacks.…  Seguir leyendo »

El senador chileno Jaime Gúzman

El 1 de abril de 1991, fue asesinado en Santiago de Chile el senador Jaime Guzmán Errázuriz. Abogado y profesor quien fuera uno de los principales redactores de la actual Constitución Política de Chile, la cual permitió retornar a una democracia plena en 1990. Guzmán fue asesinado muy cerca de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Católica, tras dictar una cátedra de derecho constitucional. Fue llevado a un hospital cercano y falleció 3 horas mas tarde. Su crimen fue planificado y ejecutado por miembros del grupo guerrillero de extrema izquierda, Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodriguez (FPMR), un grupo armado chileno que inició sus actividades el 14 de diciembre de 1983 para luchar contra el gobierno liderado por Pinochet.…  Seguir leyendo »

Khashoggi, el caleidoscopio

Es imposible no exaltarse por la desaparición de Jamal Khashoggi, ocurrida en Estambul el pasado 2 de octubre. Pero no sabemos por qué faceta abordarla, ya que es muy compleja y ofrece muchas lecciones. Empecemos por la torpeza de los asesinos: han acumulado tantos errores que nos parece asistir a una película fracasada. Pero estos errores son indicativos del régimen político que los envió a Estambul. Los dictadores, que no escuchan a nadie, son los más propensos a cometer errores: en 1804 Napoleón mandó secuestrar en Alemania al duque de Enghien al sospechar, equivocadamente, que conspiraba contra él. El secuestro despertó la indignación de los tribunales europeos, y Talleyrand, ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Napoleón, le dijo: «Señor, más que un crimen, es un error».…  Seguir leyendo »

La primera lección del alucinante caso Khashoggi es que la realidad tiene, definitivamente, más imaginación que la ficción. ¿Qué John le Carré, Somerset Maugham o Gérard de Villiers hubiera podido imaginar un escenario tan atroz e improbable? O, ¿en qué novela de espionaje se ha visto al soberano de un país con ambición mundial decapitar, en uno de sus consulados, a un opositor porque le estorbaba?

Y, qué decir de estas preguntas que nos acechan, porque, aunque son reales, parecerían un sinsentido en una película de terror: ¿Le cortaron los dedos antes que la cabeza?, ¿lo habían colgaron incluso antes?, ¿lo estrangularon?, ¿por cuánto tiempo gritó?, ¿lo hicieron, como se ha dicho, entre doce o quince personas?, ¿guardaron una grabación de sus gritos?, ¿se dieron estos placeres como el más cruel de los doce Césares de Suetonio?, ¿lo cortaron en rodajas o fue a tiras, como en El suplicio de los cien pedazos que tanto fascina a Georges Bataille?…  Seguir leyendo »

El brutal asesinato de Jamal Khashoggi, el periodista saudí que desapareció en el consulado de su país en Estambul hace dos semanas, ilustra, no ya la barbarie de Arabia Saudí (de sobra conocida), sino la desintegración moral de la Casa Blanca.

Desde la llegada de Donald Trump a la presidencia de Estados Unidos, los baremos éticos de la acción política en este país se han ido desplomando en la impunidad. Las acciones de Trump, fiel reflejo de su misoginia, racismo, desprecio y brutal ignorancia, se sustentan en el apoyo de su base de voto (ni siquiera mayoritaria, puesto que perdió las elecciones de 2016 por casi tres millones de votos y se impuso a su adversaria por la peculiar naturaleza del sistema norteamericano), blanca, de clase media-baja, patriotera, de ideología ultraderechista bastante primaria y afincada en el centro del país.…  Seguir leyendo »

Trump y la hidra de los tiranos asesinos

Cuenta Woodward en su último libro, significativamente titulado Fear, o sea ‘Miedo’, que durante las reuniones preparatorias del viaje oficial a Arabia Saudí, con el que Trump inició su política exterior, hubo un momento de estancamiento.

Que un presidente norteamericano eligiera Riad como su primer destino, tenía que tener rédito económico. Se hablaba de un megacontrato de venta de armas, pero los saudíes no movían su cifra de inversión.

“Voy a hacer una llamada telefónica”, dijo entonces Jared Kushner, yerno y asesor de Trump, al director para Oriente Medio del Consejo Nacional de Seguridad, Derek Harvey. Kushner marcó un número de Riad y habló con su “amigo” en la corte saudí.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protestor holds a picture of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate, on October 5, 2018 in Istanbul. - Jamal Khashoggi, a veteran Saudi journalist who has been critical towards the Saudi government has gone missing after visiting the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, the Washington Post reported. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

In the spring of 2012, I made an extended visit to Saudi Arabia to report on the effects of the Arab Spring there. The arch-conservative oil monarchy was pursuing a robust counter-revolution, but the uprisings had brought new energy to reformers across the region. I was curious to see how Saudis themselves saw their country’s future.

Among the many people I spoke with was Jamal Khashoggi, at the time an unusually well-connected journalist with an irrepressibly optimistic outlook. I also met the prominent reform cleric Salman al-Ouda, who had 14 million Twitter followers; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the pro-Western billionaire investor; Hatoon al-Fassi, a brilliant historian who viewed the liberated women of pre-Islamic Arabia as a model for change in her own society; Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, a US-educated economics professor; Waleed Abu al-Khair, a Jeddah lawyer; and the young blogger Eman Fahad al-Nafjan.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the fallout continues over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the government in Riyadh is putting on a tough face. If there are sanctions over the alleged murder of Mr. Khashoggi, the Saudis want the world to know, they will fight back.

On Sunday, the Saudi government released a recalcitrant statement: “The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy and that the Kingdom’s economy is affected only by the impact of the global economy.”

These are empty threats.…  Seguir leyendo »

Thanks to the actions of the impetuous Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — from the brutal war in Yemen to picking a fight with Canada to, most recently, the apparent murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi — Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a pariah state. The royal court in Riyadh — including King Salman bin Abdulaziz — surely realizes that this situation cannot continue.

If they are smart they will take decisive action. First, King Salman needs to remove Prince Mohammed from his post, admit responsibility for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi, and face consequences. Later, if Saudi Arabia truly wants to become a respected member of the international community, the government should take steps toward becoming a constitutional monarchy.…  Seguir leyendo »

A portrait Mohammed bin Salman appears during a show at the King Fahad stadium in Riyadh as a part of celebrations of Saudi National Day on 23 September. Photo: Getty Images.

There is no doubt that the disappearance and likely death of Jamal Khashoggi will now damage Saudi Arabia’s relations with the US and Europe, should Riyadh be found responsible. (And as yet, Saudi Arabia has done little to convince that it is not responsible.)

They are already trading barbs. Donald Trump has said that Saudi Arabia will be ‘severely punished’ if found responsible for Khashoggi’s death, and while he has since walked back some of his remarks, leading Republicans are pushing for a strong response. Meanwhile, the Saudi commentator Turki al-Dhakheel claimed in an Al-Arabiya column that ‘more than 30 potential measures’ are being discussed by the kingdom as responses to potential sanctions.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mohammed bin Salman is pictured at the 2017 Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Dozens of business leaders are dropping out of the 2018 edition. Photo: Getty Images.

Concerns have been mounting for some time about the actions of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Rash actions have led to war in Yemen, the boycott and standoff with Qatar, the Ritz Carlton detentions, holding the Lebanese prime minister against his will, the diplomatic spat with Canada, and the arrests of dozens of Saudi women and men, ostensibly for voicing mildly critical opinions.

For business, this has been balanced with a recognition of the financial muscle of Saudi Arabia and the business opportunities presented by the Vision 2030 project.

But the Khashoggi affair has tipped that balance, as dozens of business leaders drop out of what was supposed to be a showpiece investment conference in Riyadh later this month.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protester held a picture of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday.CreditCreditTolga Bozoglu/EPA, via Shutterstock

Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, and how it made him anxious.

Afterward, I wrote to him to thank him for the conversation. We continued our dialogue, which quickly evolved into an emotional relationship. I admired his personality: his wisdom and courage to raise political questions in our part of the world. We connected over our shared passion for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression — the fundamental principles for which he fought.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Trump discussed pending sales of weapons with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia at the White House in March.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

More than a week after Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, commentator and intellectual disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the United States is starting to realize it may be time to hold the government in Riyadh accountable for its reckless behavior and its violations of human rights.

On Oct. 10, Bob Corker and Bob Menendez, the top Republican and Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, triggered the Global Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan bill to punish human rights violators, to force the Trump administration to investigate and consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia. The crisis over Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance piles on to growing — if belated — concern over Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war in Yemen, which has produced little geopolitical gain and much human suffering.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia during a visit to the United States in March.CreditCreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

This spring, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, fresh from consolidating power after imprisoning his rivals in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, went on a remarkably successful public relations tour of the United States. M.B.S., as he is widely known, met with Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch and Oprah Winfrey. He spoke about women’s empowerment, took selfies with movie stars, and feted Silicon Valley. He was regularly described as a “disrupter.” The tabloid publisher David J. Pecker — at the time still a close friend of Donald Trump — produced a hagiographic glossy magazine celebrating M.B.S. and his “Magic Kingdom.”

It was, as a senior Democratic staffer told me, a “master class in stroking the American establishment’s erogenous zones.”

Yet even as M.B.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

An official looks through the door of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting the consulate on 2 October. Photo: Getty Images.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fate remains unclear, but one thing appears certain – he has been ‘disappeared’. While it will require an investigation to establish the facts, the implications of Khashoggi’s disappearance are clear.

The new Saudi leadership is now intolerant of all dissent – home or abroad. US policy has inadvertently given carte blanche to the leadership to act with impunity. The kingdom’s international partners have very little leverage over its domestic or foreign policies. And confidence among international investors is nosediving and – without a drastic change in policy – will undermine Vision 2030.

Irrespective as to whether he has been killed or transported back to Saudi Arabia, the move has laid down an indelible marker that the new Saudi leadership will brook no criticism of its transformation project Vision 2030 – levelled from within or outside the kingdom.…  Seguir leyendo »

A supporter of Jair Bolsonaro holds up a doll in the presidential candidate’s image in Sao Paulo on Sept. 9. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

Last Thursday, Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign rally in the southeastern town of Juiz de Fora.

As supporters of the far-right candidate and former Army captain — known for his support of torture during the country’s military dictatorship, and for his desire to loosen gun laws — hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him through the crowd, police said the suspected attacker, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, allegedly lunged at Bolsonaro with a knife, lacerating his small and large intestines. At the time, the injury was considered life-threatening and Bolsonaro was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair the damage and to stop internal bleeding.…  Seguir leyendo »

El activista medioambiental Isidro Baldenegro recibió el Premio Medioambiental Goldman el 18 de enero de 2005. Doce años después fue asesinado en Chihuahua. Credit Premio Medioambiental Goldman/European Pressphoto Agency

Isidro Baldenegro López sabía que su vida estaba en peligro. Después de que en 1986 asesinaron a su padre, el activista Julio Baldenegro, Isidro tomó su lugar como defensor de los bosques de la sierra Tarahumara. Organizó protestas pacíficas contra la tala ilegal de madera, presionó al gobierno para que prohibiera temporalmente la tala en la región y molestó a traficantes de drogas y a líderes de la industria maderera. Cuando, en 2005,  obtuvo el Premio Ambiental Goldman, 99 por ciento de los antiguos bosques tarahumaras habían sido deforestados. Las amenazas contra él y su familia eran cotidianas y el 15 de enero de 2017 fue asesinado.…  Seguir leyendo »