Hmong CIA Veterans of the Secret War story by KC ORTIZ

February 20 2010 . 03:07pm

In the early 1960’s the CIA recruited and led the Hmong people of Laos to fight the communist forces during the Vietnam War in what is known as "The Secret War". Known as some of the world’s best guerilla fighters, the Hmong loyally served as an efficient counter attack to communist forces on America’s behalf. In 1975 the US withdrew from the region, leaving the Hmong behind in communist controlled territory to fend for themselves. Many attempted to flee to refuge in Thailand, thousands were killed by Lao and Vietnamese forces during that journey. Some returned to their villages where they suffered retaliations such as death and prison, and even others escaped to the remote mountains and jungle in fear of that same fate. Today, some 5000 Hmong veterans of the CIA’s secret war and their descendants remain hiding in those same mountains. Life today is harder then ever before as they live a life forever on the move, under constant attack by the Lao and Vietnamese armies. They defend themselves with antiquated guns and those taken from dead enemy soldiers. Neither man, woman, nor child is spared in the government’s genocidal attack against them. The military attacks are far from their only worry however. Living a life on the run prevents the Hmong from farming or domesticating animals, ensuring that every day is a battle just to survive as food is scarce. They must forage the jungle for the roots and tree bark that they survive off of. While most of the world has long forgotten about the Hmong, the Lao government has not. In December 2009 the Thai government forcibly deported 4000 Hmong refugees back to Laos at the government’s request. This latest move is one that worries the jungle Hmong the most. Now, there is no hope of escape or refuge and the seemingly never ending battle truly has no end in sight. Their cries for help to the world’s leaders have once again been overshadowed by international politics and they are left to play the unwilling pawns.

See more photos and info at:

kcortizphoto.com & photoshelter.com/c/kcortiz

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WEARESUPERVISION x LIFTED RESEARCH GROUP x POSE MSK TSL

January 21 2010 . 03:11am

LRG brought me out to their offices in Irvine and presented me with their main lobby as a blank canvas (a 22 x 27 ft. white wall).
Here’s are a video and a couple pics from the project.
Photos/video by Mike Glory

POSE

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WEARESUPERVISION x LIFTED RESEARCH GROUP x POSE MSK TSL

January 21 2010 . 03:08am

LRG brought me out to their offices in Irvine and presented me with their main lobby as a blank canvas (a 22 x 27 ft. white wall).
Here’s are a video and acouple pics from the project.
Photos by Mike Glory

POSE

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Photos from Bangkok by KC Ortiz

December 21 2009 . 03:29pm

I’m sending you some preview photos from a story I am working on about Burmese migrants and refugees in Thailand. They flee Burma to escape the military junta’s grasp, but unfortunately life isnt much better for them once they arrive in Thailand. While they are much less likely to fall victim to ethnic violence, they are often times treated like slaves, working for little or no money, undergoing many human rights violations and are constantly under threat of deportation back to Burma, as most of them have no option but to enter Thailand illegaly, where they will be persecuted again. Life is very hard for the Burmese people who only seek to have a normal, stable, and productive life. Whether they are under threat in their native Burma (Myanamar) or have fled to another country, they seem to always be up against a wall and remian one of the world’s most persecuted peoples.   

KC Ortiz

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IRONLAK production at Primary Flight | Art Basel 2009 by KC ORTIZ

December 06 2009 . 09:14pm

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