Isaias's Sick Games and How We're Falling for It

Danilology is quickly becoming the pastime of choice for Venezuelan media junkies. And it’s not hard to see why: the Danilo Anderson murder investigation has gotten weirder than a David Lynch movie – just one layer of absurdity on top of another, a virtual lasagna of unsolved riddles.

Danilogate really does have it all: coup-plotting bankers, racketeering prosecutors, good cops, crooked cops, plastic explosives, police bomb experts, gangs of midgets, purged police files, stacks of hundred-dollar bills, jet-skis, disappearing porn videos, congressional funerals, ordenes del libertador, police abductions, raided jewish schools, helicoide torture, murdered suspects, rigged trials, busloads of suspects, pseudo-paramilitary unpsychiatrists, jungle conspiracies, murder-plotting cardinals, CIA-stunt dubles, fugitive journalists, media gag orders, RSF condemnations and now, now the cherry-on-top: a Fiscalia-sanctioned interview of Geovanny Vasquez de Armas on Colombian TV.

Zowee! It’s enough to make your head spin…

Which, I think, is just the problem: our heads are spinning…and that’s just the way Isaias likes it. As attention has focused more and more on the shooting-fish-in-a-barrelish sport of punching holes in Isaias’ colander of a case, attention has shifted away from what should be the crux of the matter: what actually happened on that evening in November, 2004, who was really behind it, and why.

Seen as an attempt to fool public opinion, Isaias’ conspiracy-theory (literally, that’s what it is) has failed badly. Seen as a smoke screen to obscure the real story, it’s working beautifully.

Think about his decision to allow RCN to interview Vasquez de Armas. At first sight, it makes little sense. On last night’s broadcast, Vasquez de Armas merely confirmed the most incriminating stuff the oppo media has been writing about him: he really does have a long history of identity fraud, has lied about his profession, really he just might be the least reliable witness in history.

In a way, allowing foreign reporters to cover a story you’ve just gagged in Venezuela is a kind of dare: “dare ya to cover the RCN interview,” Isaias seems to be saying. And, indeed, most oppo outlets have olympically ignored the judicial gag order and run with the story…what will the consequences be? Maybe Isaias is trying to goad the oppo media into breaking the gag order so he can come down on them like a ton of bricks…but he does that at the cost of further weakening the star-witness’s badly battered credibility. So…is Isaias stupid?

Not at all, because this last round of Geovanny Madness keeps the spotlight firmly on Isaias’ nutty CIA-in-the-jungle conspiracy theory, and safely away from what actually happened to Danilo.

So lets just consider some of the questions that are not being asked as public opinion swarms on Vasquez de Armas:

  • Why did multiple witnesses report seeing a DISIP team just meters from the explosion just minutes before it happened? Who were they? What were they doing there? On whose orders?
  • Why was Detective José Cuellar replaced as head of the investigation? Why did so much of the evidence he collected, which leaked to the press, later disappear from the record?
  • Why is the investigation still being led by Prosecutors Gilberto Landaeta and Yoraco Bauza, both of whom are publicly implicated in Anderson’s extortion racket?
  • Where did the money Anderson kept at home and in his farm in Sabana de Uriche end up?
  • What else did DISIP find in those locations? Was there really a sex video in Danilo’s safe? If so, who was in it, doing what, and where did the video end up?
  • How did Juan Carlos Sanchez die, where, and why?
  • Why were the Guevara brothers’ claims that they were tortured never investigated?
  • How could the Guevara brothers be convicted in the absence of any physical evidence linking them to the crime, on the basis of a single anonymous tip-off?
  • Who’s behind the cover-up? What exactly is being covered up? Why is Isaias willing to go to such extreme lengths to keep the case murky?
  • And, the big one, who killed Danilo Anderson, and why?
  • These are the questions the press should be focused on. The government has ignored most of them, given very lousy answers for the others. But the media has stopped asking these questions. Instead, they’re transfixed with the idiot story about the non-German speaking unpsychiatrist’s CIA rumble in the jungle. Sadly, the torrent of bullshit coming out of the fiscalia is working. Nobody talks about this stuff anymore.