September 25, 2007

POLITICS IN COLOMBIA IS VERY MUCH A FAM- ily business. Journalist and writer Apolinar Diaz Cal- lejo described it as "hereditary power without monarchy." This is nowhere more evident than in ownership of the media. The major dailies, El Tiempo and El Espectador, belong to different factions of the Liberal party. El Tiempo, the more conservative of the two, is owned by a great Liberal political family, the Santos. The present editor, Hernando Santos, boasted of the election of Virgilio Barco: "We didn't make the new president, but El Tiempo certainly was an important factor in getting him nominated. At first we were virtually the only ones fighting for him." La Repdblica (Conservative) is owned by the family of former President Mariano Ospina Pirez. El Siglo (Conserva- tive) is controlled by the infamous political family of Alvaro G6mez Hurtado. Nueva Frontera (Liberal) is edited by former President Carlos Lleras Restrepo. Gui6n (Conserva- tive) by former President Misael Pastrana Borrero, La Prensa (Conservative) by Pastrana Borrero's son, and the weekly Semana by the son of Liberal ex-President Alfonso L6pez Michelsen. Incredibly, all the major television news programs are run by the children of former presidents: -"Noticiero de la 7" by Felipe L6pez Caballero, son of L6pez Michelsen, grandson of ex-President L6pez Pumarejo; -"Noticiero 24" by Mauricio G6mez, son of Alvaro G6mez Hurtado, and grandson of Conservative Party godfather Lau- reano G6mez; -"Noticiero Crypton" by Diana Turbay Quintero, daugh- ter of ex-President Turbay Ayala; -"Noticiero TV Hoy" by Andr6s Pastrana, son of ex- President Misael Pastrana Borrero; and -"Telenoticiero de Mediodia" by Maria de Rosario de Ortiz Santos, from the Santos family of El Tiempo and ex- President Eduardo Santos.

Tags: Colombia, media, elite, monopoly

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