Thursday, February 14, 2013

Does Bad Money Taint Good Deeds?

Father Rafael Garcia Herreros. Apologist for Escobar?
The prospect of sainthood for famed Colombian priest Rafael Garcia Herreros creates a moral dilemma for the Catholic Church. Hereros, who had a television show called 'The Minute of God,' built schools and even a whole Bogotá neighborhood for low-income people, certainly accomplished a lot of good.

The problem was where Hereros got some of the money for his good works: his best-known contributor was drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who at the same time was marketing cocaine, kidnapping and murdering politicians, massacring civilians with car bombs and in an airplane bombing, and committing endless other crimes.
Pablo Escobar - Philanthropist?
Are Hererros's good works tainted by the source of his financing? By accepting Escobar's support, did Hereros help whitewash Escobar's image?

Colombian Cardinal Rubén Salazar gave a simplistic spin to El Tiempo in an article published in today's El Tiempo.

"Don't look at it as if he'd been a friend of the narcotrafficker, but rather at the effort he made to resolve the problem of violence,"

Herrero, who died in 1992 at age 83, actually praised Escobar on his TV program and once said of a donation from Escobar: "That's a way to do good and compensate for (Escobar's) bad actions in the past. Every man has the right to do good even if he's a guilty man, we shouldn't deny him that possibility. If you're a bad man, you feel a great interior need to do good and balance the bad you may have done."

Another time, Herreros said, justifying Escobar's donation of a piece of property to him: "We are all sinners. Let's not judge sinner or non-sinner, we're all surrounded by it....we should be sincere; all wealth come from injustice, the rich man also has his background, because he didn't pay his employees well, because he didn't give them housing and education."

By saying that, Herreros seems to be saying that Escobar was no worse than a an Apple Computer, which employed underpaid workers. That's absurd.

Herrero, however, also helped persuade Escobar to release kidnappees and to finally turn himself in in 1991.

Of course, Escobar gave away lots of money, even building whole neighborhoods in Medellin and trucking in tons of Christmas presents.

Did Escobar, who felt no qualms about mass murdering civilians, do these things out of goodwill? It doesn't seem likely. Should a man of God, whose behavior is supposed to be pure, have associated with a mass murderer? To me, it just doesn't seem right.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Stuart Oswald said...

Another none sense posts from someone willing to legalise drugs of all things. A warped agenda here.

mauricio forero l said...

NO, definitely NOT.
Escobar's money was stained with crime an the misery of countless people.
This is another example of religious hypocrisy. He had no problem telling us from Monday to Friday in his MINUTO DE DIOS not to watch pornographic movies, not to do drugs or go to bars. And yet, did not have any kind of moral restraint as to the origin of Escobar's money.

mauricio forero l said...

Whats up Stuart.
Hey brother, just relax dude, It is FRIDAY, lets go to La Zona Rosa and get drunk...just chill out dude.

Miguel said...

If cocaine were legal then accepting money from the cocaine industry would be no worse than accepting it from tobacco or whiskey makers.


Ally Brown said...

Stuart is the one posting "none sense".

Mike, there's no doubt this so-called "man of god" had a warped moral compass (as many "men of god" do). Like all religious people, he dressed his personal morality up in the authoritative clothes of religion. You can justify pretty much anything with a creative interpretation of the bible.

Stuart Oswald said...

Wealth cannot be stained. Wealth is that value others place upon other's property goods or services. That deals with the majority of nonsensical rubbish here.

It's funny to here the cry's of immorality from the immoral. Something so stark and strong that it just makes me chuckle of your (so called) points.

I would raise a much stronger disagreement with the (above quoted) expression of Father Rafael Garcia Herreros, "..all wealth come from injustice, the rich man also has his background, because he didn't pay his employees well, because he didn't give them housing and education." This is more damned of the critical point chosen by Mike. The view is just simply wrong and as absurd as claiming "all property is theft".

The state is not a moral compass. Legalizing drugs would not simply over night make it moral. To think that could be the case is just simply being silly. Like I said in the past. The state legalising murder does not make it morally correct.

You can all have your La Zona Rosa, the subjugation of woman for yourselves, abuse, drugs, greed, jealousy, envy, hate and spite... No wonder you idolize certain figureheads past and present.

Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to educate feral children.

mauricio forero l said...

Stuart my brother, how old are you??? for the profile pictures I have seen, you look like in your twenties or early thirties. Con on dude, don't be so bitter about life, this world is not so BLAck and WITHE. You sound like a person with a lot of anger for been so young. I'm thinking in going to Colombia and taking you to one of thous old bars in la Candelaria and just talk. Tell me, are you English?? If so, I have to tell you, London is one of my favorite cities, we may just talk about London...Como on Stuart, put some happiness to your life.

Stuart Oswald said...

lol. Thanks but no thanks.