16 November 2021. El Espectador
The strength of independent journalism will always be necessary; there is no day propitious for servility and no right time for falsehood. And in certain regimes such as the current one – in which a president disobeys judges, consciences tend to become colloidal and it is a privilege to die a natural death – it is even more urgent to have clear and unbribable voices, those that do not bend under any pressure and denounce what must be revealed, without giving their soul to the devil in office.
The forthcoming arrival of Cambio magazine has unleashed different emotions: fear, in those who have something to hide; solidarity, in democrats; and hope, in the orphans of that weekly beacon that had devolved into junk journalism. The return of Cambio is a written cry against scepticism and defeat, against pocket dictatorships and starched power; a signed proclamation for freedom of thought and expression; a rebellion against silence and the obeisance imposed by the pincers of power.
Such a project could not be born from lukewarm, kneeling hands. It had to be born of intellectually strong people, trained to the rhythm of courage, fortitude and defiance. People who knew how to think with integrity, to investigate without smearing their task with submission, and to write with truth as their banner and knowledge as their scaffolding.
They say that “my God creates them and they come together”; in good time for a Colombia that does not give up – and we already know who it is bad for – Patricia Lara, Daniel Coronell and Federico Gómez Lara came together.
Patricia was baptised – recently and with good reason – La Quijota. She is one of the bravest, most structured and anti-resignation women I have ever met. She does not ask questions in vain or fish in troubled waters. She goes where she goes, with critical intelligence, seriousness and without compromising moorings; she does not compromise her firmness, her credibility or her word. She has the luxury of being herself, she was trained to be a light and not a shadow, not to give up in the face of difficult causes and not to be swept away by any whirlwind. She does not limit herself to looking at reality, nor does she limit herself to asking why things happen: when reality hurts, mistreats or discriminates, when the country commits suicide in the midst of denial, when war seems to be winning the game, she does everything possible to ensure that citizens have the tools they need to avoid the debacle.
For his part, Daniel Coronell has saved us more than once from obscurantism. He denounces with inexhaustible courage what so many try to silence. He knows – because he has investigated it with judgement and tenacity – that his assertions have the truth on his side, and so nothing intimidates him, nothing stops him. He has faced the most dangerous and powerful enemies, the experts in buying and selling consciences and testimonies, the owners of chequebooks with more funds than principles. I believe that Daniel’s whole life has been a challenge, an exercise in rigour and evidence that makes the experts in recycling tyranny, cheating and corruption uncomfortable. My respects, professor.
And Federico Gómez Lara, a fusion of responsibility, youth and maturity, a lucid and precise journalist. I like him because he writes without ties and with his cards on the table.
The arrival of Cambio is an honour for our journalism. It is the editorial response to one of those messages of urgency that democracy sends when it feels that it is being suffocated and that this suffocation costs lives, impoverishes bodies and souls, and fractures freedom.