On Tuesday, the Colombian subscription news outlet Primera Pagina published an article about Alange Energy (ALE.v) and the lawsuit against that company that has been initiated in Canada. Primera Pagina included some tidbits from my prior postings on the company.
Later in the day, another Colombian news website, CM & la noticia, said a lawyer representing Alange Energy will sue Primera Pagina, and maybe sue me, too. Here’s what is being reported at CM & la noticia (my translation):
The recognized lawyer Jaime Lombana will present a penal lawsuit tomorrow against someone who appears to be a journalist, but apparently doesn’t exist — or, at least, hasn’t been able to be identified. Representing the company Alange, lawyer Lombana will denounce criminally the journalist who writes in the digital daily Primera Pagina inexact and lying affairs against the company, repeating false affirmations from a blog by a supposed journalist whom no one has been able to identify.
Jaime Lombana and “supposed journalists” of CM & la noticia: You folks need to read this link. And this one. As you’ll see, I spoke to Alange board member Peter Volk twice in January while reporting my stories. I gave him a chance to reply to everything I said. If there was an issue of defamation, inexactitude or error, he could have said so at the time. He didn’t.
To be 100% clear, I used my real name with him. And in at least one of those interviews, he called me. If you want my number, check Peter Volk’s phone bill.
I also used my real name in all the messages I left with company offices in Toronto and with Luis Giusti, who at the time was Alange CEO.
If for some reason those guys didn’t want to tell you my name, you are free to do the same as any other reader, which is to click my “contact” link over there on the right, and write to me and ask. The same goes for inaccuracies. As you’ll see in my archives (such as here) I am quite willing to eat humble pie and correct errors as soon as I am aware of them.
But instead, you go to the press. Without giving me or Primera Pagina a chance to reply, you apparently accuse us of defamation and inexactitude (though the press report has no direct quotes). What is the definition of defamation? I don’t know Colombian journalism law, but in general, defamation is when someone unjustly damages someone else’s good reputation. I tried to be fair in my reporting and I published two separate posts full of comments from your company. So I don’t expect any legal problems.
But what about my reputation? It is based on my writing accurate news stories. You are putting into the press that I am inaccurate, without giving any examples or giving me a chance to reply. You also make the false claim that I haven’t been identified, making me out to be some mysterious marauder. So let’s see here: who is defaming whom?
PS: I hope you appreciate that I’m so much more polite than my blog-pal Otto, who also gets threatened with lawsuits now and then. Why, if he were in this position, he’d probably be calling you rude names and posting pictures of soldiers with coffee cups and owls and who knows what.
PPS: I first wrote this late last night. Those of you in Colombia or Miami may have heard me this morning on W Radio saying more or less the same thing. Guess what: It took W Radio all of a few seconds to find me. They e-mailed, I called back, we had a nice little interview. I am glad to see that W Radio is upholding standards of journalistic ethics rather than just throwing accusations around. They then talked to the Alange lawyer. Tape is here.