Friday, July 04, 2008


In "The great Colombian fake-out," The Los Angeles Times describes the role that a fake website for a bogus humanitarian organization played in convincing hostage-holding FARC rebels that their leaders had ordered the captives release. This PowerPoint presentation about "Operation Jaque" from the Colombian military doesn't include details about the web presence of the "International Humanitarian Group" that played a role in the government's deception that resulted in freeing the hostages without bloodshed. Because their website is so vacuously slick and their terms of service are so draconian, I'm hoping it is these people. The very fact that the FARC guerrillas could be duped points to the truth of many of the assertions in Reformatting Politics about how the understudied .org factor in transnational networks merits more attention from critics and scholars.

According to the LA Times, operatives also used "pen drives and floppy disks to send bogus messages to the leadership," because their former communications channels had been disrupted. See this Virtualpolitik story for more about FARC's use of ubiquitous computing technologies and the ways that these tactical moves have been represented in the PowerPoint politics of the nation-states that respond.

In Europe their were a number of online petitions to free longtime prisoner of the FARC, Ingrid Betancourt, such as this multilingual one with video. Sites like the Ingrid Betancourt Support Committee seem to have no intention of disbanding, given that over four thousand people are still being held by the FARC.

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Anonymous mavan said...

Colombia is spelt with an "o".

6:30 AM  

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