Hollman Morris, an independent journalist in Colombia and producer of Contravía, who was selected this year to be a Nieman fellow at Harvard, was denied his student visa.
The AP reports a consular official at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá told the Nieman foundation curator that Hollman “was ruled permanently ineligible for a visa under the ‘Terrorist activities’ section of the USA Patriot Act.
Hollman has openly criticized outgoing President Alvaro Uribe and has used his show to expose ties between illegal far-right militias and high-ranking Colombian officials. In return, President Uribe has accused Hollman of collaborating with FARC rebels, going as far as calling him “an accomplice of terrorism.”
Hollman has been in the U.S. several times in the past few years. He was a speaker at the 2006 NAHJ convention in Ft. Lauderdale. And in 2007, he was in the U.S. to receive the Human Rights Defender Award, given by the non-profit international organization Human Rights Watch.
Today, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists sent a letter urging the U.S. State Department to reverse its decision and issue Hollman the visa.