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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:21 PM
Original message
Colombian ex-president to teach at Georgetown U
Source: Associated Press

Aug 11, 1:59 PM EDT
Colombian ex-president to teach at Georgetown U

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is taking his political expertise to Georgetown University in Washington, where he has been named a distinguished scholar.

The university announced Wednesday that Uribe will hold seminars and work with faculty on international issues during the 2010-11 academic year.

Carol Lancaster, dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, said in a statement that Uribe "will bring a truly unique perspective to discussions of global affairs."

Uribe, 58 and a lawyer by training, ended his two-term presidency on Aug. 7 and has been popular among many Colombians for improving security and making military gains against leftist rebels.

Read more:

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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. What did you major in?
Dictatorship, with an emphasis on killing union leaders.

A minor in cocaine smuggling.
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Mudoria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. I believe Uribe was easily elected twice and is still very popular in Colombia
Hardly a dictator.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. So popular he was elected twice with the help of the death squads.
"Mark Him on the Ballot - The One Wearing Glasses"
By Constanza Vieira

BOGOTA, May 8 , 2008 (IPS) - "With Uribe, we thought: this is the guy who is going to change the country," the 41-year-old fisherwoman told IPS. That is why her fishing and farming village of 800 people in the central Colombian region of Magdalena Medio decided overwhelmingly to vote for current President lvaro Uribe in the 2002 presidential elections, when he first ran. The woman agreed to talk to IPS on the condition that she be asked neither her name (we will call her "L.") nor the name of her village.

The main city in the fertile region of Magdalena Medio is Barrancabermeja, an oil port on the Magdalena River, which runs across Colombia from south to north before emptying into the Caribbean Sea.

What convinced the villagers to vote for Uribe? "Because the region where we live is poor, very poor, its so difficult to find work, and when I heard him say I am going to work for the poor, I am going to help them, I thought this is a good president."

When the rightwing presidents first four-year term came to an end in 2006, most of the villagers decided again to vote for him, reasoning that he just needed more time to reduce poverty. The odd thing was that in both the 2002 and 2006 elections, despite the fact that the villagers had already decided to vote for Uribe, the far-right paramilitaries, who had committed a number of murders since 1998, when they appeared in the region that was previously dominated by the leftwing guerrillas, pressured the local residents to vote for Uribe anyway.

The paramilitaries did not kill people to pressure the rest to vote for Uribe, as they did in other communities, but merely used "threats," said L. "If you don't vote for Uribe, you know what the consequences will be," the villagers were told ominously. And on election day, they breathed down voters necks: "This is the candidate youre going to vote for. Youre going to put your mark by this one. The one wearing glasses," they would say, pointing to Uribes photo on the ballot, L. recalled.



And you know how popular he is because the corporate media tells you that? Just as they told you the Iraqi soldiers were throwing premature babies out of incubators, and Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Yeah, we know.
For one, opinion polls are unreliable in Colombia. Pollsters tend to reach only middle and upper class urban residents. Poor and rural Colombians, who tend to not have access to landlines or other standard survey methods, are rarely surveyed.

On 13 March 2008, Colombias biggest-selling daily newspaper, El Tiempo, reported that Uribe had won a record 84 per cent approval rating in a Gallup poll. The poll was extensive, with one thousand Colombians in different parts of the country being interviewed. However, an examination of how such samples are conducted and tallied casts doubt on whether they supply an accurate picture of public sentiment in Colombia.

What is seldom understood about the vast majority of these polls is that the opinions are gathered through telephone interviews via landlines. This methodology is highly problematic for several reasons.

First, many Colombians do not have landlines. While cell-phone use is widespread in Colombia, simple infrastructures such as landlines are not. Not only villages and medium-sized towns, but also some major cities, lack the infrastructure to ensure even electricity on a daily basis, let alone fixed-line optical networks.

Second, interviewees can easily be identified through their landline status. This lack of anonymity inevitably counts against the expression of negative opinions of the president and government.

Third, polls such as the above claim to represent the opinions of a diverse range of Colombians from around the country, yet interviewees are frequently drawn only from the wealthier districts of Colombias four largest citiesBogot, Cali, Medelln, and Barranquilla. Unwarranted prominence is given to the views of a minute percentage of the population who have access to landlines. Since Uribes election as president, opinion polls in Colombia have focused on a handful of dominant urban centres, ignoring the countryside, where many of his most committed opponents live. As one media outlet so brazenly put it, Colombian pollsters rarely survey the whole country because they consider responses in war-afflicted rural areas unreliable.13

Lastly, it must be noted that the timing of Marchs Gallup poll was convenient as regards promoting an impression of popular support for the state. Polling took place within a forty-eight-hour period immediately preceding one of the largest anti-state rallies in Colombias recent history. The interviews were conducted between 4 and 6 March, shortly after the killing of one of the FARCs most prominent leaders, Comandante Ral Reyes, during a Colombian military incursion into Ecuadorian territorya significant victory in the eyes of the elite. Ironically, as polling ended, a quarter of a million Colombians, many of whom defied death threats, held marches and rallies around the country on 6 March in a nationwide day of protest against state and paramilitary atrocities under the Uribe administration.

When a geographically wider poll sample was taken weeks later, Uribes support fell markedly. In May 2008, one thousand citizens were polled in not four but seventeen of Colombias primary urban centres; Uribes support dropped by almost 20 per cent. This slump in approval corroborated the research of myself and others. I have repeatedly found that the further one travels away from the handful of Colombias more affluent urban centresand the closer one gets to the barrios, rural communities, villages, and territoriesgreater opposition is expressed towards the state and the current administration. The activist and economist Hctor Mondragn has consistently maintained that Colombians throughout the country have remained opposed to Uribe during his time in office. While it cannot be argued that there is mass opposition to the state, the overwhelming support for Uribe indicated in opinion polls is highly questionable.

.... the opinion polls so regularly quoted in both national and international media are suspect, being based on landline interviews ith 1000 or so inhabitants of the four largest cities. In the context of widespread paramilitary terror it would be foolish to assume respondents being honest in a telephone interview with an unknown interlocutor. That most Colombians do not own landlines is another factor making these polls unreliable, according to the author, in addition to the fact that the polling companies refuse to poll in rural areas.
The polls are conducted only in the cities and using landline telephones. This eliminates many families in the lower stratas and all people in the pueblos and out in the country. The people who are polled are the ones who have most to win with Uribe's policies and who are constantly exposed to Uribe-supporting media. The polls are only showing that a 60% of those who are polled support Uribe....not that a 60% of the polutation as a WHOLE support Uribe...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. The second time he was elected, Senators were bribed 2 vote for his right to redo their constitution
and allow him to run a second time. Didn't you know? You should have paid attention.
Uribe's 2006 Reelection "Flawed" - Supreme Court
By Constanza Vieira

BOGOTA, Jul 5, 2008 (IPS) - At the same time that Colombian President lvaro Uribe was welcoming U.S. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain in the north of the country, the Supreme Court issued a communiqu calling on the government to "respect and obey the decisions" of the courts.

It was the Supreme Court's response to Uribe's frontal attack on Jun. 26, when he announced a referendum to settle the Court's legal challenge to the constitutional reform that allowed Uribe to be reelected to a second consecutive term in 2006.

"Any undue interference fractures and unhinges the democratic rule of law in society," said the Supreme Court judges, who made no reference in their message to the referendum.

The verdict that upset Uribe had ruled that "the initiative to amend the constitution was flawed by criminal acts," and therefore the Constitutional Court would have to review the decision by which it was approved.

It also described how former Interior and Justice Minister Sabas Pretelt (now the Colombian ambassador to Rome), Social Protection Minister Diego Palacios and other officials, including Uribe himself, bribed then lawmaker Yidis Medina with offers of jobs and contracts to vote for the reelection, when it faced a tied result in committee.

Claims of bribery to approve re-election bill

In April 2008, Yidis Medina, a former congresswoman from the pro-government Colombian Conservative Party, claimed that members of President Uribe's administration had offered her to appoint local officials in her home province, in exchange for voting in favor of the 2004 reelection bill. According to Medina, the government had not fulfilled that promise, prompting her declaration. The Attorney General of Colombia ordered her arrest, after which she turned herself over to authorities and testified to the Supreme Court as part of the investigation. The opposition Alternative Democratic Pole party asked for President Uribe to be investigated for bribery.<95> After the declarations made by Medina, the Supreme Court of Colombia sent copies of the process to other judicial authorities, who have the jurisdiction to investigate several former and current cabinet members and other high officials. The Accusations Commission of the Colombian Congress will study the matter and decide if there are enough merits to officially investigate President Uribe. <96><97>
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. It is easy to "win" when you hire hitmen to kill and threaten your opposition. (nt)
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. I don't know about the dictator part. But his daddy surely taught him a thing or two about the coke
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. i'm more shocked that the university actually seems proud of this shit...
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 04:48 PM by Blue_Tires
this job could have gone to a real professor instead of some high-profile star who will spend more time at the beltway insiders country club than on campus...
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gbscar Donating Member (283 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That's not exactly a rare occurrence though, since political "celebrities" often get such posts...
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 05:35 PM by gbscar
...and while I am, personally, more disgusted by Uribe than the opposite (despite not necessarily agreeing with how some people describe a situation that is -and will remain- reasonably complex no matter what), I don't think there's a lack of teaching opportunities for any former President regardless of what critics and dissidents may want to argue about it.

From a less cynical perspective...even world leaders whose morality is highly suspect can provide, in a university environment, both positive and negative influences that students with enough critical thinking skills should be able to dissect by themselves. I do wonder if Uribe will be capable of tolerating sustained criticism in an academic environment where he doesn't have the ability to intimidate his counterparts. That would be interesting to find out.

And hey, I wouldn't be surprised if even the likes of GWB landed a similar gig (in fact, I don't even know if he's already had the opportunity).
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. "faculty"? As in, help train the next generation of murderers.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Georgetown? Not the School of the Americas?


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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. ditto
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COLGATE4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm sure that DU's anti-Uribe brigade will
soon disabuse the intellectually challenged and politically naive decision makers at a fourth-tier institution such as Georgetown for not recognizing what is 'obvious' to them about Uribe. Actually, I'm not sure how Georgetown has even managed to make it this far without that invaluable input.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Mass grave threatens Uribe's legacy
Deep in the jungles of Colombia, a recently discovered mass grave is casting a shadow over the legacy of Alvaro Uribe, the country's outgoing president.

People in La Macarena say the military is responsible for the bodies buried there - up to 2,000 of them, according to human rights groups.

The Colombian military has been accused previously of killing thousands of poor young men and women to increase their body count during the conflict with the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo reports.
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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. It's almost certain that GT students and faculty professors

will be protesting uribe being on campus with signs such as you included in OP.

What I would like to see is award-winning Colombian journalist Hollman Morris attending some of alvarito's classes and asking some really tough questions. (uribito in the past accused Morris of being a terrorist. Morris is now a Nieman Foundation scholar at Harvard.

Hillary's State Department last month at first denied him a visa, but relented after intense pressure was put on her boss' administration.)

Morris: "Your are detaining me illegally. I'm a journalist and I demand to be set free."

First soldier: "What detention? We're only escorting you Mr. seor journalist ...

Second soldier: ... while we verifiy that you are you and not someone else."

Third soldier: "Why don't we just zap him and disguise him as Mono Jojoy?"

(Mono Jojoy = top FARC guerrilla leader.)

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. It's such a joy seeing political cartoons like the one you've posted get published SOMEWHERE
in the world.

Our own corporate media will NEVER breathe a word of the truth which has been the great tragedy of Colombia so long.

Of course, that kind of journalism comes at a great price, since it most clearly could get the author/creator killed the moment it hits the streets. That's why people like Hollman have to have multiple bodyguards, bulletproof cars, and even his children, as well.

Sure hope we will be hearing of people turning out to protest Uribe's presence. Nothing could be more fitting.
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