RealNews

Finally, a Life Out of the Mountains

Laos’s Hmong Emerge From Years of Hiding From Government. Pa Sy Herr wandered the mountain jungles of Laos for a quarter-century, barefoot, his hair waist-length, dodging government soldiers, because he and his family feared being killed. Until four years ago, he had never seen a television, a car or a telephone. Today, his thick black hair is shorn, his shirt clean and white. He carries a cell phone and a briefcase, though he speaks only his native Hmong language. On a recent evening, he was chuckling at the antics of Charlie Chaplin on a video CD, relaxing in the lobby of a 30-room hotel here that his brother, Fong Herr, an American citizen, opened in September. The brothers are members of the Hmong ethnic group, a minority in Laos. During the Vietnam War, the CIA recruited about 35,000 of them to form a secret army against the Pathet Lao communists to help rescue downed American pilots, hold off North Vietnamese troops and disrupt supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail. In 1975, when the war ended, the Pathet Lao took over the country and killed thousands of Hmong and sent others to reeducation camps. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.