Toole Wins Colombian Lottery

(Salento, Colombia) Transparent journalist Melvin Toole, who has been held captive in Colombian jungles since 2003, has reportedly won over 3,800,000,000 pesos (COP) in the Colombian Lottery. Toole has been working as a non-commissioned camp cook somewhere near the town of Mitu, having been abducted by an unidentified  revolutionary group after crashing his 1939 Henway Multi-Prop during a volcanic eruption on October 3.

ToolewFARCColombia

Toole, third from left, with FARC in Putumayo near the Ecuadoran frontier in 2006.

Despite valiant attempts to convince the guerrillas that he was Che Guevara’s first cousin or, in one desperate case, to pass himself off as the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin, Toole was pressed into culinary service, chained to the cookstove.

Now it appears the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia will release its prisoner who has agreed to split the cash 50-50.

“Señor Toole has contributed a great deal of cash to our effort,” said a spokesman for FARC. “It’s too bad we are leaning hard across the peace table. That’s a lot of loot. Let’s hope we don’t have to return the money.”

FARC, which began as a guerrilla force intent on peasant land reform and redistribution of wealth, has in recent years become no more than a narco-terrorist group, wreaking havoc with the population and destroying the mountain and jungle environment with extensive cocaine processing plants. Millions of displaced campesinos now live in city slums due to violence perpetrated by FARC and Colombian right-wing militias, who have now surrendered their arsenals as part of the peace process.

The War on Drugs, sponsored by the United States has done little to eradicate coca since it is a high yield cash crop which is often the difference between a peasant family keeping its land or losing it to taxes or seizure by the militias employed by large land owners.

Toole will be released quickly since he must claim the prize in person in Bogota sans captors who are not invited to the ceremony. The winnings amount to about $2.3 million dollars. Attempts over the years to raise ransom money failed repeatedly although several friends have now come forward “offering Toole religious counseling, organic coffee or a ride into town”.

Known in Colorado as a combination Carlos Gardel-Mickey Mantle, the lean, sunburned journalist told reporters via the phone that he was damn lucky to win the money and that he had grown tired of gourmet cooking for beans and rice militants in the Amazon. He is scheduled to be airlifted out of Puerto Inrida on Friday.

One FARC soldier remembers the meals fondly.

“We will miss him,” said Sadie Martinez, a 18-year-old FARC recruit who befriended Toole over the years. “His fried three-toed sloth in corn glaze and mashed potatoes were, if you’ll pardon the expression, to die for, while his Guapi heart of palm goat pie was unbelievable, especially when one considers kitchen capacity and availability of exotic spices.

After paying off his hosts Toole plans to return to Colona and resume his duties as dog catcher by mid-May.

In another odd twist Syrian President Basher al-Assad has come forward to claim the Colorado Lottery which has risen to 1.4 million dollars. By virtue of economic sanctions imposed on Assad and his family he will not be able to collect at this time. Instead the money will be used for relief efforts in the war-torn country.

The FBI is currently investigating an alleged paper trail so as to determine who purchased the lottery ticket for Assad.

-Kashmir Horseshoe

 

Filed Under: Fractured Opinion

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