EXCLUSIVE | Interview with Past Grand Master Hernando Osorio Rico (running for Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Interview with Brother Hernando Osorio Rico, Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Colombia at Cartagena de Indias and candidate running for Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation.

APMR | MWPGM what made you adhere to Freemasonry?

Hernando Osorio | Since I was young I wanted to be a Freemason. A brother of my father was a symbol of the noble man, very liberal, with progressive ideas and an example of accuracy for all of us. When I learned that he was a Freemason, I said that's what I want to be. When I finished university and I started working as a lawyer, I was invited to join the Order and I did not thought any moment to do anything else but to accept it. I was looking primarily for Fraternity, Union, Solidarity, to be part of a select group of Free men and Good Men, interested in making something good for humanity.

Who is Hernando Osorio Rico in the profane life?

Hernando Osorio | I am the seventh of ten siblings. I have sixty-one years. I am married with Gloria Giammaria and we have three children, María Josefina, Hernando and Gloria Isabel, all of them lawyers. I become a lawyer at the University of Cartagena in 1978. I graduate in Criminal Law and Criminology, and I am candidate for PhD in Criminal Law at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). I am a professor, an academic coordinator of the Ombudsman Institution and I practice as a lawyer in the professional litigation field in my own law firm, with my children, in Cartagena de Indias.

APMR | You have attended the World Conference of Regular Grand Lodges in 2011, an event organized by your Grand Lodge. What’s your view on the evolution of the Order from an administrative point of view in terms of organizational policies?

Hernando Osorio | Yes, I attended the event as the Executive Chairman of the 11th World Conference of Regular Grand Lodges. From that position I can say that our institution has evolved in recent years. The technological advancement and communication have facilitated the development. In addition, each day we have Brethren with better training in the administrative field. Thanks to this we could organize the 11th World Conference, having the support of all Brethren in our Grand Lodge and benefiting also of the counselling of Tom Jackson's, Rafael Aragon, Tulio Colacciopo, among others, which helped us from the outside. In my opinion, a good organizational policy is fundamental to the success of any institution, especially our institution. The administrative order helps us to rationalize our resources.

APMR | What will you change, in terms of management regarding the inter-institutional and institutional affairs of the IMC with secular institutions and authorities?

Hernando Osorio | Our institution is not designed for sudden changes. So I believe that the inter-institutional relations with the profane authorities must be directed towards a greater improvement so that the implementation of the Masonic principles can be applied to public policies and in those NGOs that have to do with human welfare.

APMR | Based on the previous question, what needs the IMC for the following years to keep up with the changes within the Masonic world?

Hernando Osorio | The IMC must provide a strong policy of education based on Masonic principles so that our members may have contact with this philosophy in the secular organizations and institutions in which they have access. This educational design must utilize the technological advancement obtained by humanity now and in the future. It should take advantage of the experience already gained through the Masonic Learning School, and of the Grand Lodges Schools which are working in the education field. With all these schools we must form a Masonic Education Network (MEN) to share experiences and create mainstream educational policies. On the other hand, we must enforce communication between Grand Lodges, between groups of Brethren united by common interests such as professional, business, commercial etc.

APMR | What would be the role of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation in the development of the profane Latin American society?

Hernando Osorio | Our role should be concentrated on the humanistic aspect of the development of the profane society. It would not be desirable for economic development to disregard men, women, boys and girls in all their dimensions. Our strength lies not in the economic aspect, but in the spiritual one. This is perhaps the most important thing. IMC should contribute to human development to get participatory people, integrated into their environment through communication with their peers and with the environment itself, seeking happiness.

APMR | As a possible future IMC Executive Secretary, what do you think about the need of communication?

Hernando Osorio | The modern world have benefited from communications. Distances have been reduced. Business, academic and scientific operations experienced important developments due to communication. It’s enough to remember that today is possible for a scientist to perform an operation through communications and by using a robot. Universities can now disseminate knowledge to countless people thanks to communications. Freemasonry can not avoid these benefits offered to us by this tool provided by modern man. We have to take advantage not only to strengthen the unity of the Grand Lodges and Freemasons, but also to develop our educational projects and to strengthen MEN (Masonic Education Network).

APMR | What does Hernando Osorio Rico thinks about SOPA and ACTA projects?

Hernando Osorio | Freemasons must be, above all, respectful towards the rights of others. From this perspective we can not stop others to defend their rights. However, the SOPA project (Stop On Line Piracy Act) can cause problems far worse than piracy itself to the online consumption. Most people in the world have rejected the project for considering it an unacceptable interference and, apparently, would be better to create consumer policies to generate more opportunities for access to products protected by copyright laws. Many countries have fought smuggling through an appropriate price policy so that people do not feel benefited more then if they resort to smuggling. Thus, regarding piracy of books, movies, music etc., we must generate a policy of lower prices so that people should not feel the need to resort to piracy.

APMR | What can you tell us about the agreement signed by the IMC and OAS in 2008? What about the project of the Masonic Academy?

Hernando Osorio | I think that the IMC-OSA agreement was not used to its full capacity. There are programs at Latin American level that could be conducted by IMC under this Agreement. This requires the use of a decentralization policy, with the purpose of delegating specific activities related to this agreement to Brethren in various countries of Latin America. Regarding the Masonic Academy, as I said before, it must be taken at the highest possible level. For this we need to support MEN so that the Academy to be a collective effort of all Brethren belonging to the confederated Grand Lodges. Being ambitious, in the future we could have a truly universal far distance learning university and for this we must take advantage of the experiences we have already in Chile, Spain, Mexico, among others.

APMR | If you are elected Executive Secretary of the IMC, which will be the first decision to be taken by you?

Hernando Osorio | To ask my beloved Brethren, holding this position before, IMC’s leaders and Grand Masters to help me implement our institution’s programs, each as we can, and to give IMC the administrative organization to which we all harnessed.

APMR | MWPGM and beloved Brother thank you for granting us this interview.

Hernando Osorio | Thank you dear Brothers for that you have given me the opportunity to present all these concepts through this important Masonic communication media which, with each day gained more and more space among Freemasons worldwide. This is an example of the importance of communication as a tool to disseminate ideas, to contribute to education and unity among Brethren.

I take this opportunity to send a brotherly message to all my Brethren; my biggest thought is that IMC must become a mechanism to strengthen brotherhood among all Latin American Freemasons. May that the G.∙.A.∙.O.∙.T.∙.U.∙. help us, no matter which Brother will be elected as Executive Secretary to engage in generating an environment of brotherhood and unity among all.


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