Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SF event: My report-back from Colombia

If you're in the Bay Area, come hear me speak about my time in Colombia!

Paramilitaries, Privilege, and Papaya: Two years as a human rights observer in Colombia

Tuesday, May 4 @ 6-8pm
Make-Out Room
3225 22nd St (at Mission)
Light snacks served

An evening with Moira Birss, who just returned from two years working with the Fellowship of Reconciliation Colombia Program as an human rights observer in San Jose de Apartado and Bogota, Colombia to support communities and organizations that nonviolently resist war and displacement in the context of Colombia's decades-long conflict.

For more information, contact FOR: 510.763.1403,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Speaking of snitches, it looks like Uribe's one, too

April 21 note: A version of this post was published on Alternet under the title "Chilling": Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's Spying Program Targeted Judges and Journalists. Check it out!

In my latest article I described Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's efforts to engage Colombians in a civilian spy network. Solid evidence from the Attorney General's office now demonstrates what many - myself included - suspected: Uribe was doing plenty of spying of his own.

During the trial of five current and former functionaries of the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS, the intelligence agency that reports directly to the president) accused of illegally spying on journalists, Supreme Court justices, and human rights defenders, an investigator from the Attorney General's office presented detailed evidence that the illegal surveillance of the Supreme Court  was directed from no less than the Casa de Nariño (Colombia's White House).

Among the evidence presented by the investigator on Saturday was a folder labeled "President Uribe," used to collect documents of "special interest" to the president, as well as transcriptions of private meetings and sessions of the high court that were secretly recorded by the intelligence agency. Evidence also included witness' descriptions of secret meetings in which DAS functionaries were delegated tasks for spying on the justices. The witnesses named several high-level presidential advisors who participated in many of these meetings.