Wednesday, June 30, 2010

U.S. to Hollman Morris: Stay Out!

Just in case you needed further evidence that the Obama administration is continuing with the same policies towards Latin America as the Bush administration, prominent Colombian journalist Hollman Morris, who Big 'Al Uribe once called a "an ally of terrorism," was denied a visa by the US embassy in Bogota, this according to Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive. Morris was headed to the US after being selected as a fellow by the Neiman Foundation at Harvard.

You may remember from a post awhile back, that Morris was the target of a smear campaign by the DAS. The link was to Plan Colombia and Beyond who had the documents outlining DAS movies against not only Morris, but other opposition groups and journalists as well. Adam Isaacson wrote at the time:

Here are the files obtained by Hollman Morris, with English translations. They go beyond surveillance and wiretapping to reveal what it calls a “political warfare” campaign of dirty tricks and threats against President Uribe’s political adversaries. They date from 2005, the last year of Jorge Noguera’s tenure as DAS director.

The guy digs deep, goes where people don't want him to go and is a verifiable bad ass.  As Rothschild writes, quoting heavily from Human Rights Watch, who gave him a "Defender of Human Rights" award in 2007:

“A journalist and human rights activist, Morris has dedicated his career to uncovering the truth about atrocities committed on all sides: by right-wing paramilitaries, left-wing guerrillas, and government authorities,” said Human Rights Watch in granting him the award. “Morris has faced serious harassment and death threats for his work. . . . Human Rights Watch honors Morris for his courage and unfaltering dedication to exposing Colombia’s most egregious human rights abuses.”

But I suppose he's been just a bit too critical of the US' favorite ally to be welcome into the States, eh? Lets get this right, guy exposes DAS misdeeds, the US needs to cut off assistance to DAS, Colombia needs figure out a new way to spy on the president of Ecuador, and run smear campaigns against their opponents, and then the US denies this guy a visa? Sure sounds like the State Department is on the right side of this one! In fact, if you look at the image above, you'll see "Gestionar la suspension de la visa" as one of DAS' courses of action against Morris...Really State Department? Really? Straight outta the DAS playbook? Damn, that's just low.

(image from Plan Colombia and Beyond)

No comments:

Post a Comment