Quico says: Hats off to José de Córdoba and Jay Solomon: their front-page investigative piece on the real extent of the Chávez-FARC nexus revealed by Raúl Reyes's laptops caused enough of a stir to actually move the bond market today, which has to be the ultimate measure of journalistic impact.
After studying over 100 documents from the laptops, they conclude that the Chávez-FARC relationship is broader and deeper than was previously known, and extended to micro-level operational cooperation over things like weapons procurement and training. The piece anonymously quotes a US official saying that "there is complete agreement in the intelligence community that these documents are what they purport to be." It's probably a good idea to read the whole thing.
A couple of things caught my eye here.
First off, the venue. Page A1 of the Wall Street Journal is widely considered the most intensively edited, fact-checked and coveted piece of journalistic real estate in the English language. Investigative pieces for the WSJ front page are especially serious business: often months in the making and obsessively checked and re-checked for accuracy. Think what you will of their lunatic OpEd page, but when it comes to investigative stuff, especially on the front page, these people don't fool around.
The second thing is a lovely little detail that goes by almost unnoticed in the piece: how does FARC go about publishing its comuniqués denying they cooperate with the Venezuelan government? They post them on the Venezuelan government's Ministry of Information's Website, bien sûr!