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Colombia: The Case of J.J. Rendón, ‘he who can't be named’

Tomáz Garzía, a Colombian blogger and cartoonist, revealed through his blog Mundo desgrafiado [es] that he had received an email from the legal representative of Mr. Juan José Rendón (better known as J.J Rendón) who asked him to delete the content from the blog Claroscuro [es] where Tomáz refers to J.J. Rendón and his participation in this year's presidential elections in Colombia. Wikipedia in Spanish [es] describes J.J Rendón as,

un publicista y psicólogo venezolano. Se presenta como estratega y consultor general. Ha escrito libros sobre rumorología. Es conocido en todo América Latina como el ‘rey de la propaganda negra, de la desinformación, del rumor como arma de propaganda política.’

a Venezuelan publicist and psychologist. He introduces himself as a strategist and general consultant. He has written books on rumor mill. He is known throughout Latin America as the ‘king of black propaganda, of disinformation, of rumor as a weapon of political propaganda’

Regarding his participation in this year's presidential elections in Colombia, Wikipedia in Spanish explains,

Rendón regresó al país en el año 2010. Esta vez lo hizo como jefe de la marchita campaña del exministro y candidato presidencial Juan Manuel Santos, unas semanas antes de la votación del 30 de mayo. […] Pese a la cantidad de comentarios negativos acerca de Rendón, la campaña de Santos repunto en las encuestas y la estrategia del venezolano lo llevo (a Santos) a obtener en las urnas más de 9 millones de votos.

Rendón returned to the country in 2010. This time as the manager of the withering campaign of former minister and presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos, a few weeks before the vote of May 30. […] Despite the quantity of negative comments about Rendón, the Santos campaign rocketed in the polls and the strategies of the Venezuelan led him (Santos) to obtain 9 million votes.

The email released by Tomáz Garzía [es] in his blog says that his actions constitute a violation of copyright, since he used the registered image of J.J. Rendón, who in this case Tomáz calls “he who can't be named.”

Cartoon by Tomáz Garzia. Cartoon reads: "Note: Some faces in this cartoon have been covered because they violate rules related to copyright. All silencers and black robes are a product of the author's imagination and are in no way related to reality." Image used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Colombia Creative Commons license

Alternative media like Equinoxio [es], Twitter users [es] and bloggers are sharing their opinion on the issue, emphasizing the right of freedom of expression.

Maritza Sánchez (@ColoresMari) says on Twitter:

Resulta que no se pueden utilizar los sustantivos propios, a riesgo de ser demandado…

Apparently you can't use proper nouns, because of the risk of getting sued…

On Twitter, user @raigohead says:

Con – El silenciador del Señor Innombrable – Se confirma que no se puede hablar de cierto “mafiosos” mediáticos…

With -The silencer, he who can't be named- it is confirmed that you can't talk about certain “mafia” media personalities…

Julián Ortega (@Julianortegam) writes:

(…) ahora resulta que J. J. Rendón es una ‘marca registrada’ y no se puede rajar de él.

(…) now it looks like J.J Rendón is a ‘registered brand’ and you can't mess with him

Moriz Jakobsen (@Oyerista) warns his Twitter followers:

¡Pilas! te puede llegar un mail del abogado de JJ © por cuenta de tu blog.

Watch out! you might get an email from the lawyer of JJ © through the account on your blog.

Camilo Andrés Suárez (@Kami_an) says:

JJRENDON vs Blogueros de Colombia, interesante batalla, unos por su “prestigio” y otros por la “libertad de expresión”

JJRENDON vs Colombian bloggers, interesting battle, some [fighting] for their “prestige” and others for “freedom of expression”

Cartoon by Xtian in support of Tomáz, used with Xtian's permission

In a comment on Tomáz’ post titled “The silencer, he who can't be named [es],” Filipos [es] offers his support:

Sólo puedo decir que, sean cuales sean las pretensiones de los actuantes (que no parecen las mejores), no hay que dejarse intimidar.

I can only say that, whatever the intentions may be of those involved (which don't seem to be the best), you must not let them intimidate you.

Juancho H. in the blog La Lámpara de Diógenes, after a brief introduction and a summary, ends like this [es]:

Ah, por cierto… si al señor J.J. Rendón le duele que hablen mal de él, quizá debería observar su forma de proceder, agresivo contra principios democráticos, antes de andar exigiendo algo que él suele desconocer.

Oh, by the way… if Mr. J.J. Rendón is hurt because people talk bad about him, maybe he should look at his actions, aggressive against democratic principles, before he demands something he usually does not give.

The blogger under the pseudonym Blueandtanit amplifies the information and shows us Google's cache [es] of the post Tomáz wrote on the Venezuelan publicist. [The cache shows a cartoon of Rendón made by Tomáz, and a link to the whole post which is no longer available]. At the end of her post, the blogger concludes [es]:

Desde este blog quiero manifestar mi solidaridad con Tomáz, ojalá pueda seguir haciéndonos sonreir con sus caricaturas gráficas y escritas y ojalá la libertad de prensa y de expresión sea un motivo de unión de blogueros y twitteros, esto le puede pasar a cualquiera, a cualquier bloguero, twittero, medio independiente.

From this blog I want to show my solidarity with Tomáz, I hope he can keep making us smile with his cartoons and his words and hopefully freedom of the press and of expression will be a reason for unity among bloggers and Twitter users, this can happen to anyone, any blogger, Twitter user, independent media.

In the blog Tutor Virtual, Carlos Arturo Gamboa shares an analysis and calls on other bloggers to act [es]:

Ante esta amenaza y otras menos visibles, como las interferencias, bloqueos y chuzadas a las cuentas de los blogueros, la comunidad no puede permanecer impávida; bueno al menos la comunidad virtual, porque la “otra” demostró en Colombia que puede vivir con peores atrocidades como las chuzadas del DAS, las masacres y la parapolítica. Invito entonces a que rede-licemos este hecho, a que desde nuestros escasos escenarios de libertad renunciemos al silencio y que en un frente común, desde estos espacios y desde todos los que puedan crear e imaginar, no sólo repudiemos el acto, sino que afilemos nuestras “plumas virtuales” para defender el derecho a Decir, es decir, a Pensar.

Faced with this threat and others that are less visible, like interferences, blocks and hacking blogger accounts, the community cannot remain impassive: well at least not the virtual community, because the “other” one showed that in Colombia they can live with the worst interventions from the department of security, the massacres and the para-politics. I invite you to “webisize” this case, that from our limited scenarios of freedom [es] we give up our silence and with a common goal, from these spaces and from all spaces you can create and image, we not only repudiate the act, but also sharpen our ‘virtual pens’ to defend the right to Say, in other words, to Think.

Nicolás from Diario Nocturno, one of the oldest blogs from Colombia, reports on how he has been a victim [es] of these kind of messages:

Con cada vez más frecuencia los bloggers colombianos recibimos cartas con intención de censura con el intimidante nombre de solicitudes de “cese y desista”, que no son más que amenazas previas a acciones judiciales más severas con la intención de hacernos morir del susto y retirar contenidos que incomodan a alguien por los motivos que sean. El argumento de “no quiero que hable de mí o de mi marca” se mimetiza con “usted no es propietario de los derechos de mi marca y si la vuelve a nombrar nos veremos en un juzgado.”

With more and more frequency Colombian bloggers receive letters intending to censor them with the intimidating name of requests to “cease and desist,” which are no more than threats preceding more severe legal actions with the intention to scare us so we remove the content that is making someone uncomfortable for whatever reason. The argument of ‘I don't want you to talk about me or about my brand’ merges with ‘you are not the owner of the rights to my brand and if you name it again I will see you in court’

J.J. Rendón responded in the comments section of an article on the issue posted in Equinoxio [es]. In his first comment [es] Rendón explains:

Ud puede nombrarme cuantas veces quiera;lo que no deberìa es difamar sin pruebas ni sustento.volverse un replicador de difamaciones de otros *libres difamadores de la web* y sentirse impune.Las opiniones se respetan sì,pero no pueden considerarse opiniones inofensivas o simples aquellas que solo buscan dañar,discriminar,exponer al ataque pùblico o descalificar descarnadamente.Ya no es mi abogado si no YO quien le escribo reclamandole respeto,informaciòn veraz,objetividad y dejar de usar mi nombre calumniandome.
Atte
J.J.Rendòn

You can name me as many times as you'd like; what you should not do is defame without proof or support. Become a replicator of slander of other *free slanderers on the web* and think you are immune to punishment. Opinions are respected, but they can't be considered inoffensive or simple opinions when they are only looking to cause damage, discriminate, create a public attack or starkly disqualify. Now it is not my lawyer but I who write to you asking for respect, truthful information, objectivity and to stop using my name for slander.
Sincerely,
J.J.Rendón

In a second comment [es] a few minutes later, Rendón clarifies his point:

Le aclaro que no es mi intenciòn silenciar a nadie;ya estoy acostubrado a este tipo de ataques sin embargo me siento no solo con el derecho sino con el deber de al menos tratar de dejar clara mi posiciòn al respecto.
J.J.Rendòn

I clarify that it is not my intention to silence anyone; I am used to these kind of attacks but I feel that I not only have the right but the obligation to at least try to clarify my position on this issue.
J.J.Rendón

10 comments

  • Gracias por su apoyo y por difundir esta información.

    Las garantías de expresión de los bloggers deben ser defendidas, no solamente en este caso, sino en todos donde la denuncia sea necesaria.

    Un abrazo,

    Tomáz.

    • Los derechos de los Bloggeros son abosultamente dignos de respetar,siempre y cuando no usurpen,invadan,o violen el derecho ajeno.
      La web no es un pueblo sin ley,y si uds tienen derecho a difamar *libremente* y llamar a eso libertad de expresiòn yo tengo derecho a demandar,registrar mi nombre como marca o lo que sea para proteger o tratar de proteger mi buen nombre. Sus derechos terminan cuando comienzan los de los demàs
      Que otros antes de uds me hayan difamado no les da en automàtico la potestad de hacerlo.
      Por otro lado, si quieren seguir afirmando falsedades sin mayor sustento que otros libèlos difamatorios, adelante,no perderè tiempo en demandarlos sientanse *libres*… pero ratifican que ni razonable ni legalmente estàn dispuestos,abiertos o ajustados a una informaciòn veraz.
      Si alguien tiene dudas o pruebas de mi actuar les ruego,les exigo les conmino a que me denuncien,basta de afirmar sin sustento.!

      J.J.Rendòn

  • Alberto Poveda

    I agree with you Lully, for the expresion free.

  • Cordial saludo a todos. Una sugerencia para JJRendón:
    Dile a Tomáz que publique el texto en su blog para que podamos entrar a debatir el tema. Muchos lo están pidiendo y no encuentran el texto. Sería más saludable para todos.
    ¡Un abrazo sensible!

  • What i want is to ask Tomaz for authorization, right here, to publish an uncut version of the article – with due credits. He is, as its author, the only and one with the authority to give or deny such an authorization. To think otherwise is to give Mr. Juan José Rendón an autorithy and power he wants but does not deserve.

    And i think it’s a great time to publicly ask something i’ve been thinking; how is it this lad, so worried about his good image, hasn’t sued nor threatened, as he did with Tomaz, some media which have talked with no restrain about the questionable tactics and nonethical strategies the aforementioned “publicity advisor” uses?

    He might as well sued them, and such editors, knowing well their own rights, have dismissed the childish outbursts of Rendón, or, being true to his own less than honorable strategies he is adept to and to his psychologycal profile, he knows he can´t mess with the big names in the industry and rather prefers to discharge his fears and frustrations on those he perceives as lesser and defenseless.

    I ask you, readers and bloggers, if what it is being said about Mr. Rendón in the following links is that different from what Tomaz said, who, by the way, uses some of these as his own sources:

    http://bit.ly/bcI09V
    http://bit.ly/dzyXJp
    http://bit.ly/axcZKB
    http://bit.ly/aiEHeM
    http://bit.ly/cdSngP
    http://bit.ly/c2wdvc
    http://bit.ly/aIkQn0
    http://bit.ly/9yB0Aq
    http://bit.ly/b50mpn
    http://bit.ly/9xCmjO
    http://bit.ly/dmBLYt

    Those who get to know me perfectly know i am not the kind of person to fight dirty nor start low gossip; Mr. J.J. Rendón himself got proof during the last days, when he learned that not by his name nor reputation he could make me dwindle in the opinion i have of him, opinion i openly expressed in Twitter; So, from here i ask you, Juán José Rendón, have you already proceeded by means of the law against the aforementioned media or bloggers, people who speak of you in a way more direct manner than Tomaz does about your filthy, unethical and sometimes unlawful tactics? If you have, how’s it been? If not, why not, if their contents and tome are even less diplomatic tahn Tomaz’s?

    I have a very simple theory: Tomaz’s blog and the Claroscuro magazine doesn´t have, for Mr. Rendón, the same political and economical weight and support than some of the listed media, and as such, Mr. Rendón doesn´t have the balls to go mess with someone he knows is gonna kick his ass off, while Tomaz is perceived by the so-called “Black Publicity King” as a defenseless man and that´s why he’s a more suitable victim to his outrage.

  • Since there are excuses…

    http://bit.ly/bGg0p1

  • Sergio Gallego

    Què tipo tan repugnante ese JJ RENDON, es que con semejantes amistades que mantiene no se puede esperar nada peor.

    Respaldo a Tomàz y los medios alternativos.

  • Lully, lo siento pero NO.

    No es J.J.Rendón el que tiene que autorizarlo, porque en primera instancia nunca ha tenido el poder para desautorizarlo. Es Tomaz el que debe decidirse a publicarlo de nuevo. Ya tiene opiniones jurídicas incluso (y en mi humilde opinión, que alguna cosa me ha tocado a las malas aprender de derechos de autor, insisto en que J.J. Rendón está MIANDO FUERA DE LA COCA).

    Tomaz, publíquelo y ya. Usted es dueño de sus palabras y de sus caricaturas y nadie más.

    Está claro que además Rendón no tiene interés en dar un debate que sabe perdido de antemano, porque si insiste en su posición tendría que demandar también a todos los que dicen lo que dicen en los enlaces que yo mismo puse, y que son apenas una selección de las malas opiniones que se encuentran de esa mala influencia tanto en Internet como en muchos medios impresos.

  • […] del mundo la noticia tuvo resonancia (por ejemplo, Global Voices habló de esto en Español, Inglés e Italiano), desatando una avalancha de opiniones que reclamaban el derecho a expresarse libremente […]

  • Bravo Lully!!
    DOWN WITH the NARCO-PARAMILITARIAN THREAT!!
    DOWN!

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