Latin American Media Respond to Death of Osama bin Laden

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“There’s been a complete change of mood in this country— a feeling of relief, a new climate,” according to Silvia Pisani, Washington D.C. correspondent for La Nación, a newspaper based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was one of many comments by Latin American media today in the wake of the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed.

“For years his pronouncements had lost the phantasmagoric power they once had, and had ceased convulsing the Internet," according to Luciana Coelho, United Kingdom Correspondent for the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo. "But Bin Laden is, or was, an icon. More than the man’s power, what mattered were the ideas he embodied. His figure was what tied together Al Qaeda’s fragmented network in the same way a strong brand name can unite a global franchise.”

Meanwhile, Spain’s El País, which dubs itself the global newspaper in Spanish, and circulates throughout Latin America, published a column in which Berna González Harbour parsed the meaning of Barack Obama’s words, “Justice has been done.” What President Obama invoked, Gonzalez Harbour wrote, was not a legalistic notion of justice, but a more ancient human code legitimizing punitive acts. In sum, Osama Bin Laden “was treated with his own medicine.”