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Hernando Calvo Ospina

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Hernando Ospina


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Bacardi, The Cuban exile movement, Salsa!: Havana Heat - Bro, El terrorismo de estado, Rhum Bacardi

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Hernando Calvo Ospina (June 6, 1961, Cali, Colombia) is a Colombian journalist and writer. He lives in France.


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Life and work

Hernando Calvo Ospina Si apoyar el ejemplo de Cuba es ser terrorista yo soy

In September 1985 while he was studying journalism at the Central University of Quito, Ecuador, Hernando Calvo Ospina was detained and "disappeared". It was reported to the Constitutional Court of that country and Amnesty International that he initially spent three days handcuffed and foot cuffed as well as blind-folded. During that time he was not permitted to sleep, he was not fed and they scarcely gave him water. Through his kidnappers he learnt that he had been captured during a joint operative of the Colombia-Ecuadorian military intelligence. He was being accused of belonging to the Colombian guerrilla. He was transferred to the SIC (Police Crime Investigation Service) in the boot of a car, still hand and foot cuffed and blindfolded. He was brutally tortured, beaten and given electric shocks for five days. He was fed some bread and left-overs from the Officers Social Club canteen. After they established he had no relation with any subversive organization, on 4 October he was sent to prison, where he spent around three months without trial. Facing a massive international pressure, the government had to release him even though they put him on a plane to fly directly to Lima, Peru, on 28 December 1985, where he lived for 2 months, under the protection of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The government of Alan García considered him persona non grata and demanded him to leave the country. He arrived in Paris under the protection of the French government on 15 March 1985.

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He survived in France cleaning offices before taking up again his profession as a journalist.

He has been a volleyball referee and coach and also a passionate dancer and collector of salsa music.

He has written several books; all translated into different languages (see the Bibliography).

He is a permanent contributor to the left-wing French monthly Le Monde diplomatique, he has taken part in documentaries for TV channels, the British BBC, the French-German ARTE and the German ARD.

He has shared lectures with personalities such as Fidel Castro Ruz and the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frias. Among the politicians he has interviewed is the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

As a journalist he has also interviewed several Colombian Guerrilla leaders such as Raul Reyes (†) from FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombian) and Manuel Perez Martinez (†) head of ELN (National Liberation Army).

In order to write his book Don Pablo Escobar, he spent several days with members of the so-called Medellín Cartel. When he was doing Peru, the possible paths he interviewed various army generals and members and supporters of the Shining Path Organization. In Miami and New York he interviewed the leaders of Cuban organizations that have been identified as responsible of terrorist crimes. These interviews were published in The Cuban Exile Movement.

In January 2005 the documentary The Secret of the Bat: Bacardi between Rum and Revolution where Calvo Ospina took part received the Bronze World Medal at the New York Film Festival. It is based on his book "Bacardi, the Hidden War".

On 5 February 2009 he gave a speech about "The Private Army Societies in Colombia" during the Study Workshops on "The Privatization of Violence" organized by the Centre of Research of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan (CREC), which is the High Studies College for French Army Officers.

He is a researcher and reporter of the terrorism of state in Colombia as well as the American policy, mainly against Latin America. He discovered in 2009 that he was in a No Fly List of the USA authorities when the plane he had boarded received the prohibition to overfly the American aerospace "due to national security reasons".

He does not hide his liking for the Cuban Revolution neither for the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela nor for the process of changes that President Evo Morales is developing in Bolivia. He insists there must be a negotiable political solution for the internal conflict in Colombia.

Rerouting of Air France 438

According to Ospina, who was traveling on an assignment for Le Monde diplomatique, his Air France flight from Paris to Mexico City on 18 April 2009 was not allowed to fly over United States territory and was rerouted to the Caribbean island of Martinique. The flight crew was informed that U.S. authorities did not allow, to fly over U.S. airspace. The No Fly List maintained by the U.S. government does not allow people on it to even cross U.S. airspace.

In Mexico City, Calvo Ospina was allegedly detained briefly and questioned. He then proceeded to Nicaragua for his assignment. A possible reason for the rerouting is Calvo Ospina's journalism, sharply critical of U.S. foreign policy. According to the flight crew, the rerouting was without precedent for Air France.


Hernando Calvo Ospina Wikipedia