On Friday, Quinto Día, the publication that has used him as a source on at least 13 occasions under a range of different titles, published his second column titled “On the Banks of the Potomac.”
In the current-affairs column signed by “J. Luers” the author weighs in on U.S. politics, the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair and provides a novel explanation for why he was once identified as an FBI agent. He says FBI stands for Frente de Buenos Informantes or, roughly, the Good Informants Front.
Quinto Día has been quoting “Luers” since at least 2013, but he caught international attention in April when he was cited by the paper and state-run VTV television as a “White House spokesman” denying reports that National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello was being investigated for drug trafficking. Pro-government congressmen hailed the news.
After the White House denied he worked there, however, it set off a search by local media to see if he existed at all.
Quinto Día eventually said that it had misidentified their source but insisted that Jim Luers was real. The newspaper has not responded to several interview requests by phone and email.
In his column, J. Luers said it’s all a big misunderstanding. That he never told Quinto Día that he worked for U.S. government agencies, but had sources who do.
In Friday’s column, he said that the recent meeting between State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon and Cabello in Haiti proves that the Venezuelan leader isn’t under investigation — just like his sources had confirmed to him.
Meanwhile, someone who shares the columnist’s email address, but who occasionaly refers to himself as “Luer” (without the “s”), has been emailing the Miami Herald since June 9 insisting that he does exist.
On Friday, when asked about the spelling of his last name, he wrote: “I’m not James, or Jey or Joy…This is tiresome.”
He also claims to live in Maryland, work in Washington and be a Latin American of German descent. He said the recent media notoriety had earned him the Quinto Día column, an upcoming column in the United States and a radio show.
The Miami Herald has attempted repeatedly to establish phone contact with Luers, but he says he will only concede to a face-to-face meeting at Reagan National Airport in Washington or, perhaps, Miami.
Asked about how he made the leap from source to columnist, Luers dodged.
“However I sign [my columns] or identify myself I don’t think it matter much,” he wrote. “What my readers admire is the veracity of the content and the confirmation of everything I have said.”
Later, after a series of testy email exchanges, he sent a final missive.
“I don’t do drugs, I don’t traffic drugs, I’m not a cuckold and I’m not connected to paramilitary groups or criminal organizations — I’m simply Jim Luers,” he wrote. “And now I leave you because I’m off to a conference with people or agents who are intellectually superior to you.”