JORGE  ELIECER  GAITAN: El Bogotázo & 09 de Abril de 1948

From: Gloria Gaitán.
Date: 08 Apr 2001
Time: 15:52:19
Remote Name:


~You are cordially invited to attend a historic meeting, on April 9th, 2001, in Washington DC, to announce the filing of a lawsuit in DC District Court against the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, for the release of documents about Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, whose April 9, 1948 assassination triggered the Bogotazo riots and a period in Colombian history,known simply as "La Violencia", in which an estimated 200,000-300,000 people died in fighting between Conservative and Liberal forces.

~53 years later, Colombia remains at war with itself. The causes of Colombia's violence, deeply rooted in history and today financed by drug trafficking and kidnapping, are complex and the subject of academic debate.

~However, most agree that the assassination of Gaitan marks a central point in Colombian history, and is Colombia's #1 mystery.

~My counsel in the Freedom of Information case, Wolf v. CIA and FBI, is Washington lawyer Daniel S. Alcorn, Esq. Mr. Alcorn is one of the nation's leading Freedom of Information lawyers. He was counsel in the precedent setting FBI Crime Lab FOIA suit, and has worked with the US Assassination Records Review Board to cause release of records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

~I'm inviting fellow journalists, researchers, and anyone else with an interest in Colombian history, to join us for an informal meeting to discuss the Gaitan assassination and the court case. Press kits, declassified CIA, FBI, and Scotland Yard documents, and historical photos, courtesy of the Instituto Colombiano de la Participación "Jorge Eliécer Gaitán" (Colparticipar) will be available to hand out.

~See: <http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/gaitan/gaitan.htm> for more about the investigation.

~WHERE and WHEN: Monday, April 9th, 2001, from 10:00 - noon, at Bullfeathers restaurant, 410 First St. SE, Washington DC. Just off Independence Ave. south of the Capitol building, a few blocks walk from L'Enfant Metro station

~The FOIA Lawsuits: Last fall, I filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, for records about Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. The CIA replied that it could "neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence" of any records responsive to my request.

I appealed, citing Executive Order 12958, signed by President Clinton in 1995, which requires Federal agencies to declassify documents which are more than 25 years old. The CIA denied my appeal, citing FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3).

These apply to information which, if released, would compromise our national defense and reveal sensitive intelligence sources and methods. They repeated their claim that they could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any records.

The CIA's position makes little sense in light of disclosures made by the first Director of Central Intelligence, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, in a closed- door hearing to a congressional subcommittee, and to the press afterwards.

Besides, the information I'm requesting is more than 50 years old - how could the release of it compromise our national defense?

The FBI has been even less forthcoming in answering a similar request I made to them. They didn't reply. I treated this as a denial, and included them in the suit.

I'm not going to sue Scotland Yard, but I've included below an exerpt from the top secret investigation of Sir Norman Smith, which reads like a detective novel.

~Enjoy. - Paul: <http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/gaitan/archives/hillenkoettertestimony.htm>

~Exerpt from April 15, 1948 closed-door hearing of the House Executive Expenditures subcommittee. Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter was the first Director of Central Intelligence:

~Mr. Brown. Can you give the information on the record as to who killed Gaitan?

~Admiral Hillenkoetter. Gaitan was killed by a man named Hose Sierra. (sic)

~Mr. Brown. May I ask who Sierra is?

~Admiral Hillenkoetter. Sierra was a nephew of an army officer who was killed in 1938. This army officer's name is Cortes.

~Mr. Hoffman. The man who killed him had just been acquitted?

~Admiral Hillenkoetter. Should I just give the story, sir? This Sierra was a nephew of a man by the name of Gallarza Ossa. Ossa was killed by Cortes in 1938. Cortes was being tried for murder with Gaitan as his lawyer, and was acquitted of the murder of Ossa shortly before noon on April 9.

~Mr. Hoffman. It was purely personal revenge?

~Admiral Hillenkoetter. Yes, it was an act of reprisal.

~Mr. Brown. The committee will stand adjourned.

There are a number of problems with just this short exerpt.

For one,the assassin's name was Juan Roa Sierra.

Second, Gaitan had defended Cortes on the previous day, April 8th, not at noon on the 9th. [see The Assassination of Gaitan, Braun,p. 134].

Third, a careful reading of the above shows that Hillenkoetter confuses the killer and the victim and contradicts himself.

Fourth, a familial relationship between Roa and Ossa has not been established.

"Permitting what was perhaps the first authorized publication in United States history of top-secret intelligence documents, Admiral Hillenkoetter gave to the subcommittee excerpts from many other intelligence messages that had reached the State Department directly."

"Marshall Scoffed at Early Warnings on Reds in Bogota," (NY Times, April 16, 1948) <http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/gaitan/archives/nyt16april1948.htm>

"The intelligence director insisted that 'we did know of unrest in Colombia, that we did know there was a possibility of violence and outbreaks aimed primarily at embarrassing the American delegation and its leaders, and that the information was transmitted to officials of the Department of State.'"

"Marshall Knew Riots Likely, House Unit is Told," (Wash Post, April 16, 1948)


~From the Scotland Yard Investigation: <http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/gaitan/archives/scotlandyard.htm>

(a) the report of the same detective to the effect that he left the office of the Investigation Department with the two men at 10.30 a.m. on April 6th; that one of them mentioned an appointment at the Hotel Granada which the other clumsily denied; that, just after they parted company, a friend of the detective came up to him and remarked that he had seen [Fidel Castro and Rafael del Pino] in Dr.Gaitan's office the day before; that he (the detective) happened to see them in the Hotel Granada a little later; that at 11.30 a.m. on Friday, 9th April, he saw them again in the Cafe Colombia; that they were sitting with two other men; and that he thinks he became aware of one of the Cubans(Del Pino) speaking to yet another man whom, on subsequent reflection, he thought to resemble the press photographs of Roa, published after his death.

(b) information ascribed by the detective to the Manager of the Hotel Claridge to the effect that on the night of 9th April, the two Cubans returned to the hotel with firearms and with loot; that all that night they were speaking (in English) by telephone to various people; and that, for the remainder of their stay, they were so nervous and worried that they asked the Manager to give them a secluded room.

(c) information ascribed by the detective to one Guillermo Hoenigsberg, then resident in the Hotel Claridge, to the effect that he overheard the Cubans conversing on the night of April 9th and speaking of the "rightness of the blow" and the complete success of the part they had been called upon to play. He considered that they were certainly the highly paid tools of those who had planned the political murder.

~For more info, contact Paul Wolf at (919) 468-2589 or <paulwolf@icdc.com> ~See: <http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/gaitan/gaitan.htm>

~Feel free to redistribute this OPEN INVITATION to your friends.


Date: 27 Dec 2002
Time: 17:14:42
Remote Name:


~La Guerra de los Mil Dias & La Guajira.

Los Indigenas: Participaron en el conflicto por fidelidades de compadrazgo, por fines económicos y en últimas porque la guerra les llegó a sus tierras. Actuaron, como la gran mayoría de la población, en labores de apoyo o en unidades combativas.

Los indígenas, localizados en prácticamente todo el territorio nacional, se convirtieron en pieza fundamental para la balanza del triunfo y la derrota, conocedores de su región y localizados de manera estratégica, fueron convocados por liberales y conservadores para engrosar sus filas.

Así, los indígenas del Tolima supieron de manera inteligente servir a los dos bandos, sin estar comprometidos con ninguno, ya que tenían claro que tanto rojos como azules veían del mismo color al indio.

En La Guajira, por el contrario, los indígenas se comprometieron pero su fidelidad era "más un negocio y una transacción económica que una actitud partidista". De esta manera el legendario cacique José Dolores, dejó a un lado el pacto celebrado con Uribe Uribe, para hacer parte de las fuerzas conservadoras en nombre del parentesco que tenía con el General Iguarán.

En el centro del gran Cauca estaba la etnia Paez, ubicada en la estratégica región de Tierradentro, desde la cual se podían mantener amenazadas las ciudades de Cali, Buga, Popayán y Neiva. Los paeces, que en su gran mayoría apoyaron al liberalismo organizados en grupos llamados montoneras, hicieron parte de la contienda militar en grupos conformados también por blancos y negros.

En Panamá los Cholos, al mando de Victoriano Lorenzo, apoyaron a los generales liberales y en un momento dado se constituyeron en la única fuerza activa del liberalismo. No obstante, nunca se mezclaron con los otros grupos de combate.

~Tomado de: <http://www.geocities.com/raicespaisas/guerra_de_1000_dias.htm>