The Murder of Reputation in XXI Century

By Carlos Sánchez Berzaín



The strategy of persecution from dictatorships of the XXI Century Socialism against those who are identified as "political enemies", those individuals who the government wants “out of the way” (political leaders, journalists, citizens), or whose fortune the government has an interests in (businessmen, media owners), is based on the control of the Judicial System by laws dictated specifically for each case. 

The Dictator identifies the individual, then he/she proceeds to directly accuse him/her, or have the individual be accused of serious crimes; they publicly display the prey as a common criminal, and prosecutors and judges do the rest, converting the character -usually remarkably successful- in a criminal, either by sending him/her to jail or forcing him/her into exile. 

This State policy has been an essential element, which can be a standalone tool when they have no way of orchestrating a legal prosecution: the systematic use of slander, of false accusations made ​​maliciously to cause harm, the imputation of crimes known to be false, the indictment of infamous crimes on the victim, disrepute, disgrace, together with meanness or vileness of verbal and written defamation.

 What is referred to as"murder of honor", "the execution of reputation", "the murder of reputation", "character assassination", is nothing new, but it is an essential weapon of the dictators of the XXI Century Socialism, who manage it from their position of power in the name of the Country they control, through the media, international relations, forums and the Internet. 

They've confiscated, purchased and saturated communication, mounting, more than one transnational broadcasting network implemented in weekly mandatory emissions. They have created "digital action commands": government specialized offices and "independent services" to inundate the Internet with infamy, photo-hopped photographs, falsified data, accounts or documents with false sources. The have stable Twitter staff and participants in social networks in order to affect and impact the news as part of their political operation services. 

The goal is to influence the national and international public opinion to turn the victim into a criminal. Now-a-days they do not shoot or kill physically, as was the case in the first decades of the Castro dictatorship; Their purpose is to kill the “honor” and “reputation” of the individual so as to disable him/her in his own country (from which they usually have to escape), eliminate their relationships, preventing his/her professional work development, trade or business, subjecting to continuous and permanent suspicion, in order to convict him/her without even any Judicial Process. 

It is the perfect unpunished action of violation of the fundamental right of "presumption of innocence" achieving the presumption of guilt. If all of this is accompanied by court records organized by their prosecutors and judges, the case is perfect because it has "proof" and can continue chasing the victim, placing him/her under international search by Interpol and extradition request. There are too many cases of victims of these actions by the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia  ... 

Journalists charged with defamation and crimes against the State because they are doing their work and exercising freedom of the press; businessmen accused of economic crimes to steal their communication media and their enterprises; democratic authorities accused of deaths perpetrated by the accusers as to later overthrow them; politicians accused of corruption by investigating government corruption; civic leaders accused of terrorism for defending civil rights against state terrorism; attorneys accused of crimes for exercising the right to defense; leaders charged with conspiracy for making complaints ..... It is also an efficient means of intimidation because nobody wants to be in the situation of those individuals chosen by XXI Century Socialism to have their reputation assassinated. 


* Lawyer and political scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.