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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:58 PM
Original message
State Department Denies Visa to Leading Colombian Journalist and Nieman Fellow
State Department Denies Visa to Leading Colombian Journalist and Nieman Fellow
By Matthew Rothschild, June 29, 2010

His name is Hollman Morris, a highly acclaimed investigative reporter and TV journalist in Colombia. Among many prestigious awards, Morris received a Defender of Human Rights award from Human Rights Watch 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 Colombias most egregious human rights abuses.

On October 30, 2007, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns met with Morris and congratulated him personally for winning this award. Burns expressed great admiration for his valiant work, the State Department said.

That was then.

Now the State Department wont deign to let him into the United States.

On June 16, the U.S. embassy in Bogot denied his visa, Morris reports.

Visa records are confidential, says a State Department spokesperson, who refused to comment further on this case.

The Nieman Foundation at Harvard had selected Morris as one of its International Nieman Fellows for the next academic year in Cambridge, Mass.

More:
http://progressive.org/mc062910.html
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Colombian journalist and Nieman Fellow Hollman Morris denied visa
Colombian journalist and Nieman Fellow Hollman Morris denied visa

Renowned Colombian journalist Hollman Morris' U.S. visa application was rejected on June 16, The Progressive is reporting. The story did not say why the U.S. Embassy in Bogot denied his visa.

Morris needs a visa because he has been selected as one of the Harvard Nieman Foundation's International Nieman Fellows.

We were surprised by the decision and are committed to do everything we can to get Hollman here in the fall, Bob Giles, Nieman Foundation curator, is quoted as saying in the article.

Morris directs the award-winning TV program Contravia, which presents a critical view of Colombia's armed conflict.

More:
http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/?q=en/node/7655
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. rabs, either you or Dreyfus or both mentioned this Colombian journalist earlier.
I remember very clearly looking for an image of his face, and locking on it.

This seems inconceivable to me the U.S. Embassy would dare turn this well-known journalist DOWN for his visa, especially considering Harvard has invited him to go there.



google translation:
Hollman Morris is director of journalism program Contrava . It also makes independent
documentaries , a correspondent for Radio France International , a contributor to
several international TV networks.

Google translation of El Espectador article:

May 14, 2010 - 7:22 a.m.
Hollman Morris off the air its program Contrava
By: Editorial Policy / Elespectador.com

The journalist Hollman Morris said his program off the air Contrava starting this Thursday.

"Today at 10:50 pm we said goodbye ; Contrava goes off the air , " Morris announced on Twitter about 8:00 Thursday night.

Then, shortly before the start of the program which aired on Channel One , Morris published on the web "in minutes @ Contravia farewell , 10:50 pm , the series most awarded independent journalism in Colombia, leaving the air. "

However, the communicator was a warning: "because we continue to @ Contravia memory . "

It was unclear why the program went off the air Hollman Morris . Funding for the most part it came from a number of European NGOs .

14 Mayo 2010 - 7:22 am
Hollman Morris sac del aire su programa Contrava
Por: Redaccin Poltica / Elespectador.com
Este jueves fue la ltima emisin.
http://www.elespectador.com/articulo-203196-hollman-mor...
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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Hollman Morris has been threatened with assassination


several times under the uribista regime. Uribe once accused him of being a FARC collaborator. It is a wonder he has survived.

Found the Neiman announcement of his acceptance to the program interesting. It indicates WHY Hillary's State Department has denied the visa.

Hillary can't have no nosy (and very good) journalist poking into Colombian human rights abuses, hostage negotiations with the FARC and why they have often failed, international criminal court procedures in Colombia and the Rome Statute (has to do with the International Criminal Court).

Morris's findings could embarrass poor Hil.

(Announcement)

Hollman Morris Rincon (Colombia): independent journalist and Contravia TV series director, will study human rights issues, focusing on conflict negotiation strategies, international criminal court procedures and the Rome Statute. He is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Latin American Nieman Fellow.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Found more, from Colombia Reports: Hollman Morris denied US visa .
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 03:55 AM by Judi Lynn
Hollman Morris denied US visa .
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 16:13 Hannah Stone

Prominent Colombian journalist Hollman Morris was denied a visa to the U.S., reports The Progressive. In April, documents came to light which apparently revealed security agency DAS's plot against Morris, including a plan to "request suspension of visa."

Morris' visa was denied on June 16, according to The Progressive. He applied for the visa in order to take up his place as International Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.

Morris, an outspoken critic of the Colombian government, was a target of DAS's surveillance of a range of individuals and organisations considered to be opponents of President Alvaro Uribe's government, including opposition politicians, human rights workers, and Supreme Court judges.

In April, Morris was given files by the prosecutor general which allegedly belong to the DAS. The files include Morris' photograph and address, and instructions such as "Initiate a smear campaign at the international level, through the following activities ... inclusion in FARC video," and "Request the suspension of visa." Cipcol, a U.S. organization which published the files online, interprets this statement to mean Morris' U.S. visa.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/10572-hol...
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Could be just standard operating procedure for installing another puppet in another US client state
--the U.S. State Department trying to protect the 'legacy' of their boy Uribe and his hand-picked successor, Santos, who was Defense Minister during the murders of many thousands of Colombians by the Colombian military and its closely tied rightwing paramilitary death squads. Clinton has much reason to want to suppress the bloody hell that Uribe and Santos have inflicted in Colombia. The narrative she wants is that, 'tut-tut, there may have been some bad things that happened under Uribe, but forget about those, it's a new day for 'free trade for the rich,' democracy, democracy, DEMOCRACY, election, election, ELECTION, Santos, Santos, SANTOS, whee-ee-ee-ee-ee!'

But I think there's more to it than just the dreadful cosmetics of U.S. clientelism. I think that the Obama administration, especially CIA Director Leon Panetta, are party to some deal protecting Bush Jr. and his handlers (Cheney, Rumsfeld and others) from investigation and prosecution for their many terrible crimes. Maybe this was part of the price Obama paid to enter the White House. In any case, these criminals' massive crimes extend around the world and the bloodshed and mayhem in Colombia was a particular pet project of theirs. Is banning this well-known, and highly regarded, journalist--a man who lives with the constant threat of death by the Uribe/Santos forces--a means of keeping Bush Junta crimes in Colombia swept under the carpet? (Another means has been extradition to the U.S. federal prison system of those who may have tales to tell--prosecution of them here for drug crimes, to get them away from the prosecutors in Colombia who have been investigating more serious crimes--death squads, terror, and official connections to the carnage).

It's bad enough that the murders of thousands of union leaders, human rights workers, community organizers, political leftists, peasant farmers and others, and the displacement of 4 to 5 MILLION peasant farmers--in fact, a reign of terror in Colombia--has been paid for by you and me, with $7 BILLION of our tax dollars (and counting), and that the U.S. military is now basically occupying Colombia with the intention of militarily dominated the region. What may be even worse is that some of these horrors in Colombia--such as the massacre in La Macarena, nearby to a U.S. military base, the bombing of the FARC guerrilla hostage negotiator's camp just inside Ecuador's border, the wiretapping of the President of Ecuador, and who knows what else, may have included U.S. military, U.S. military 'contractor' and embassy crimes.

That provision in the recent, secretly negotiated U.S./Colombia military agreement for total diplomatic immunity for all U.S. military personnel and all U.S. 'contractors' in Colombia really stands out to me as a red flag. It was negotiated by the Bushwhack ambassador to Colombia (still in place), Wm Brownfield, with Uribe, and caused enormous consternation among Latin American leaders on several issues, including the U.S. use of SEVEN military bases in Colombia and ALL civilian infrastructure. The matter is being reviewed by the Colombian Supreme Court. It contains egregious violations of Colombia's sovereignty. But the total diplomatic immunity for U.S. soldiers and 'contractors'--no matter what they do in Colombia, or have done--takes the cake. Why was this needed? Why was it secretly negotiated? What was/is this about? It strikes me as highly suspicious.

There may be two things that Clinton fears from this journalist--dirt on Uribe/Santos; and dirt on the Bush Junta.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Sad when the country's doors are always open to the people publicly known as connected
to narcotrafficking paramilitaries, but closed to hard-working, honest journalists like Hollman Morris.

So now she's involving the ocuntry in covering up the content of the history Santos' last 8 years with Uribe. That's a dirty path to take. The "shining city on the hill" extolled by Ronald Reagan will only really shine after the U.S. finally has clean hands, and a standard of policy regarding its neighbors worthy of a civilized country.

The gift of freedom from legal responsibility for all actions by U.S. personel is absolutely sinister. Of course it means torture, etc. against Colombian citizens. They will be getting their hands very dirty. Already, in previous years U.S. soldiers have walked away from rape against Colombian girls and returned home with no legal repercussions, as well as being caught in illgegal gun sales. You may remember the odd case several years ago of a U.S. officer's wife also sending cocaine home in a stamdard package!

These events already happened years ago, before this latest indulgence.

How does the news get to the people when we know there are courageous people working who are willing to face death to get out the truth, and the world's largest country is PUBLICLY throwing roadblocks in their way, not to mention what is happening unofficially, back where he's being given regular death threats, and having to take extraordinary measures just to keep on going.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Colombian journalist celebrated for his courageous dedication to truth, democracy
Colombian journalist celebrated for his courageous dedication to truth, democracy


Colombian journalist Hollman Morris, who has been selected as one of the 2011 Nieman Fellows at Harvard, and his television program Contrava were honored June 28 at the Universidad Javeriana for demonstrating courage in the fight for truth, peace, and democracy, according to the Center for Investigation and Popular Education (CINEP), one of the organizations responsible for the homage.

Through the program Contrava (loosely translated as "against traffic," or "the wrong way"), Morris has criticized Colombia's armed conflict, fighting on behalf of the victims and voiceless, according to an editorial in El Tiempo.

Contrava's investigative work has revealed links between paramilitary leaders and Colombian officials, resulting in the imprisonment of 30 Congress members, according to a feature story about Morris in the Columbia Journalism review.

As such, Morris, who recently was denied a visa to come to the United States as a Nieman Fellow, has been the target of death threats and a campaign to discredit him, forcing him to go into exile several times.

Even President Uribe has accused Morris of having ties to the guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), prompting various journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch to come out in defense of the journalist, who has won numerous awards for his work.

"These days the word of those who resist adversity is of particular value, for that reason, we reject the accusations against the honor and decency of Hollman," said Luisa Fernanda Vallejo, president of the Association of Colombian Colleges and University Programs of Communication, at the celebration, reported CINEP.

During the homage, CINEP quotes Morris as saying, "To be going 'the wrong way' means giving a voice to the weakest people, to those who have never had a voice."

More:
http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/?q=en/node/7675
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