chapter  4
1 Pages

Guerrilla Politics

Vladimir did not want to speak about his deeds; he said he was trying to sell his biography. His obstinance and ambition forced me to dig through the public records. There are a half-dozen Vladimir testimonies. He also spoke to a reporter for a local magazine, VEA, many years before he was famous. Information about Luis Rubio, Pablo Guarín, and Henry Pérez came from countless newspaper stories, government reports, and testimonies that I leafed through in the courthouse in Bogotá. I got access to the case against Victor Carranza and the case against the Castaño brothers for the murder of Bernardo Jaramillo. I also looked through declassified U.S. intelligence reports on the drug traffickers. The indispensable guide to the creation of the paramilitaries in the Middle Magdalena Valley is Medina Gallego’s Autodefensas, paramilitares y narcotráfico en Colombia: Origen, desarrollo y consolidación. El caso “Puerto Boyacá,” from which I drew the Betancur quote supporting the Puerto Boyacá model. A useful supplement was Las verdaderas intenciones de los paramilitares, by Corporación Observatorio para la Paz, which has particularly good information on Henry Pérez. Additional information about Pablo Escobar and his ranch was gleaned from Cañón’s El Patrón: Vida y muerte de Pablo Escobar. Kirk’s More Terrible than Death was also very useful on all counts.