That stubborn “balloon effect” The abduction of Rodrigo Granda
Jan 132005

If you wish to visit Colombia as a representative of a foreign non-profit
or non-governmental organization (for instance, to speak at a conference),
it’s not easy. You have to jump through a lot of href="http://www.colombiaemb.org/opencms/opencms/consuladodc/visas/temporal.html"
target="_blank">hoops.

In addition to filling out a form and providing three passport pictures:

  • Your passport has to be at least 6 months old (and you have to provide
    photocopies of all used pages).
  • You have to provide a notarized copy of your criminal record.
  • You need an invitation letter from the organization that invited you,
    complete with a list of everyone you plan to interview on your trip.
  • You need proof, translated into Spanish, that your organization has existed
    as a legal entity for more than five years.
  • You need to prove your own financial solvency.
  • You need to prove that you have experience in your field.
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you must pay US$175.

Then you have to wait three weeks for approval (or disapproval) of your visa.

But there’s a faster, easier way to go. When the official in the immigration
line asks what you do for a living, don’t say “I work for an NGO.” Say that
you’re a bounty hunter!

As Vice President Francisco Santos href="http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/10631537.htm" target="_blank">made
clear yesterday, Colombia’s doors will swing wide open for anybody willing
to hunt down guerrilla leaders, just like those who were paid to track down
FARC member Rodrigo Granda in Venezuela last month. “Hopefully all the bounty
hunters of the world will come here to capture these bandits. The money is here
for them and the rewards are good and can be handed out anywhere in the world.”

So there you have it: International NGO equals distrust and red tape. International
bounty hunter equals red-carpet treatment. The choice is yours!

One Response to “Welcome bounty hunters!”

  1. jcg Says:

    A pretty rash remark with more rhetoric content than true reality though….still, it deserves to receive criticism.

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