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Saturday, November 25, 2006

He had workplace issues

Why don't they respect me?

Cartoonist Held After Siege at Miami Paper
Police Negotiator Helps End Standoff After 31/2 Hours; Gun Turns Out to Be Toy

By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 25, 2006; Page A03

MIAMI, Nov. 24 -- Dressed in camouflage and brandishing what looked like a submachine gun, the cartoonist for this city's leading Spanish-language newspaper strode into the office of the top editor Friday morning and told startled staff, "I am the new executive editor, and that is my new office."

It was not a joke.

Employees of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald clustered near the papers' building as a negotiator placated a disgruntled Nuevo Herald staffer.

The demands of El Nuevo Herald cartoonist José Varela to see the editor, with whom he had unspecified grievances over ethics and what he told police were censorship issues, set off a tense 3 1/2 -hour standoff at the offices of the Spanish newspaper and the Miami Herald, which share a six-story building on the northern outskirts of downtown. Executive Editor Humberto Castelló was not in.

"He said, 'Just bring me the editor,' " said Gus Perez, director of operations for the newspapers, who confronted Varela on the sixth floor. "He said, 'I have 30 rounds.' I said, 'I'm really asking you to point that at the floor,' and he did."

Perez said he had been told that Varela was carrying a "toy gun," and police corroborated that later, saying it resembled a MAC-11. Authorities added that Varela was also carrying a knife.

posted by Steve @ 12:51:00 AM

12:51:00 AM

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