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The best nonfiction stories of 2018

The best nonfiction stories of 2018

The best nonfiction stories of 2018
December 20
11:54 2018

Jesus Sanchez Melean

I am staring at the book “Death at Nuremberg” by W.E.B. Griffin sitting on my desk. I hope to be able to finish it during the holiday break. I chose this new work by the American author because it is about a fiction story that involves politics, mystery and police investigations. I got excited about the adventures that Jame Cronley, main character on the story, had to sort out to et to the “bad guys.”

However, as of today, I think “Death at Nuremberg” will continue to collect dust on my desk. I don’t know if I will find the motivation to open it during the holidays. It is not that I party too much, is just that I have Twitter at my fingertips, and with that, the access to two real stories that also combine politics, mystery and that have caught my attention. The first story takes place in Colombia.

I am talking about the mysterious death of a witness that was providing information on the bribes Brazilian company Odebrecht was paying out in Colombia. His name was Jorge Enrique Pizano and he was the auditor for the construction of the road “Ruta el Sol”, project that was being completed by Odebrecht. Jorge represented Grupo Aval, a financial corporation that granted the loans for the Brazilian company to continue working on the project. At the beginning, his death was not a big surprise. This engineer had cancer.

However, three days after his passing, the causes of his death became suspicious. His son, Alejandro Pizano, who came from Barcelona, Spain, for his father’s funeral, also died. Forensic doctors determined he had died intoxicated with cyanide after drinking from a bottle he found at his father’s desk. The sudden death of the key witness on the Odebrecht case, and 72 hours later, the death of his son by poisoning, have revived the scandal. Odebrecht had financed presidential campaigns in 2010 and 2014.

And there is more. At the beginning of November, a Colombian TV network broadcasted an interview in which Jorge assured he had given all the details of the bribes by Odebrecht to Néstor Humberto Martínez, who is now the Attorney General in Colombia. At that time, Martínez was the legal counsel for Grupo Aval, where Jorge used to work. The engineered suggested that Martínez was interfering with the investigation. After Jorge’s death, Martínez was recused and a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the Odebrecht case.

Let me tell you about the second story, that takes place in the Middle East, between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. At the beginning of October, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared. He walked in the Saudi embassy in Turkey to obtain some documents he needed to marry a lady from Turkey. His girlfriend, also a journalist, said Khashoggi never left the embassy. After one month and half of being denounced, the Saudi government had to tell the story of what had happened to the journalist.

Saudi authorities confirmed that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi intelligence agents, but always emphasized that they had worked on their own, not by instructions from the government. What they don’t say is that these hitmen flew by private plane from the kingdom and coordinated all their work with personnel at the embassy. The team work allowed the assassins to dismember the body and to dissolve him in acid, to destroy all evidence.

The big problem here is the intellectual author of the crime. Saudi authorities accused 11 people for the killing of the journalist and denied the extradition of the suspects to Turkey. They also exonerated Prince Mohamed bin Salman from all responsibilities. Many, including the United States Senate believe he was involved in the killing. The Senate received an intelligence report from CIA that points to the participation of the prince in the case.

Now you tell me if these aren’t great suspense stories. But even further than a simple police interest, which includes identifying the killers, these two stories have a greater relevance. In the case of Pizano, it reveals the existence of a criminal network that goes beyond the bribes paid by the Brazilian contractor in exchange for business. Meanwhile, the killing of Khashoggi is evidence of the raising of a regime that represses and kills all those considered as enemies.

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Edición Virtual | #330 | 17 de Enero 2019

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