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Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia
56 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
380: Protests in Colombia: Graffiti and Urban Artwork in the context of the Paro Nacional
In the context of the on-going #paronacional protests in Colombia, it's time for the Colombia Calling podcast to take a look at another angle of what is going on in the streets, on the walls and all over the underpasses in the country. In short, during the unrest, which began on 28 April 2021, urban art, protest art and graffiti have proliferated to extend and spread the message of the youths' discontent with the status quo in Colombia. This is our chance to chat to Jahir (Jay) Dimate of the Bogotá Graffiti Tour (http://bogotagraffiti.com) to discuss what is going on with reference to this genre of art, the cultural movement of graffiti and enjoy a conversation that this national strike is far from a: "left versus right debate." About the Bogotá Graffiti Tour Bogotá Graffiti Tour started in 2011 when a Aussie street artist and a Canadian graffiti writer decided they wanted to share Bogota’s unique, prolific urban art scene and help expose local artists to a wider international audience. The tour has changed a bit over the years, and it’s now considered one of the best things to do in Bogotá. The team (a group of artists and creative minds) get together just about every week to talk about graffiti, plan how to best help out artists’ projects, and to brainstorm the best ways to bring our own projects to life.
83 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
379: Protests in Colombia: The Issue of Human Rights Violations during the Paro Naciona
With the #ParoNacional still on-going in Colombia, we take on the subject of human rights and human rights law in the context of the situation here. For some background on our expert guests, read on: Maria Clara Galvis is a lawyer from the Externado University of Colombia. Professor Galvis has graduate studies in Compared Constitutional Law from the Universitá Degli Studi di Geneva. Since 2015, she has been a member of the United Nations Committee against Forced Disappearance and is currently its Vice President. Professor Galvis is also a researcher in the International Law at the Department of Constitutional Law of the Externado University of Colombia. She has been an advisor to the Procurator Delegate for Human Rights (1994-1995), the Attorney General's Office (1997-2000), the Attorney General's Office (2010-2011), assistant magistrate of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (2014-2015) and National Director of Promotion and Dissemination of Human Rights of the Ombudsman of Colombia (2016-2017). He has published academic articles and research on international human rights law, transitional justice, enforced disappearance, business, and human rights, women's rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples. See bio Veronica Hinestroza is an independent senior consultant and advisor on international human rights law. Her primary focus is on the documentation and investigations of grave human rights violations, particularly torture and ill-treatment, enforced disappearances and arbitrary killings. She is a member of the Steering Committee developing a universal protocol for human rights-compliant, lawful and effective questioning for the United Nations. She was a member of the working group to update the Istanbul Protocol - the United Nation’s Manual for the effective investigation and documentation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. During over 17 years spent promoting and supporting the development and implementation of IHRL and IHL standards at the national, regional and international levels, Verónica has worked for the World Organisation Against Torture, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (Latin America and East Timor), Impunity Watch, the World Bank, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, the Overseas Development Institute, Samusocial and the Externado de Colombia University. And the subjects we cover in the podcast: 1.How can this unrest be put into context within Latin America (Chile, Nicaragua)? 2.What is going on in Colombia and from a human rights perspective, what is the situation regarding the paro nacional? 3.Police brutality and use of excessive force? As I see it, the paro nacional finds its roots as a social problem yet the authorities are treating it as an issue of “law and order,” does this contribute to the problem of human rights abuses? 4.Why is the government selling a different narrative to foreign governments and what are they trying to do? 5.Who is responsible? We need to discuss who is in charge and who is giving the orders to state forces…is this something which is a collective or individual responsibility. There are reports of disappearances, there are killings and potentially cases of torture in addition to cases of sexual violence… 6.With the issue of the False Positives and the figure: 6402 which is heavily featured in the marches as one of the protestors’ demands, “quien dio la orden,” Colombia is experiencing a very difficult moment in terms of its international reputation. 7.What do you both see as happening now, will there be any significant progress in terms of human rights in the short or long term and what can we expect from the visit of the CIDH arriving on 7 June? Tags and Keywords: human rights colombia, human right, maria clara galvis, veronica hinestroza, paro nacional, strikes colombia, police brutality, conflict colombia
52 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
378: The Role of the Press in Covering the Paro Nacional protests in Colombia
On this week's Colombia Calling podcast, we continue on our series relating to the on-going unrest surrounding the #ParoNacional protests in Colombia. With more than a month of daily nationwide demonstrations, Adriaan Alsema of Colombia Reports follows Elizabeth Dickinson (Crisis Group), Andres Bermudez (JusticeInfo.net) and Sergio Guzman (Colombia Risk Analysis) in discussing an important angle to explain what is going on. Alsema joins us to discuss the role and responsibility of the press in covering the marches and violence, the manipulation of the news and the worrying increase of censorship taking place, not to mention violence directed at members of the media...something which is becoming increasingly the norm. UNESCO’s findings in a recent report: "Safety of Journalists Covering Protests – Preserving Freedom of the Press During Times of Civil Unrest," reveal a “wider upward trend” in the use of unlawful force by police and security forces, with more than 30 protests impeded by police and security forces last year alone. It details a wide range of abuses journalists face when covering protests, from harassment, intimidation and beatings, to being shot at with lethal or non-lethal ammunition, detention and abduction.
56 minutes | May 25, 2021
377: Protests in Colombia: The Public's Exasperation with the Colombian Political Class
It's an absolute pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Dickinson, Snr Analyst for Colombia at Crisis Group, back on the Colombia Calling podcast to explore more profoundly the unrest and the #paronacional in Colombia. We recorded this episode as Colombia hit an unenviable benchmark of 24 days of protests which began on April 28. What is going on, why and what can we expect in the coming months as we move into the presidential election cycle in 2022? Showing complete clarity, Dickinson has been producing some of the most insightful interpretations of events in Colombia. There's an exasperation in the country and people are clamouring for social justice and security. Of course, the pandemic has exacerbated things, but when 84% of Colombia's youth are in favour of the national strike (Paro Nacional), something is definitely awry. We discuss the violence in Cali, how the strike extends beyond the urban and into the rural, what to expect from the negotiations with the government of President Duque and where Colombia goes from here. Expect an in-depth analysis of the 2016 peace accords in Colombia and the need for leadership and political courage from the country's politicians. Dickinson explains that it will impossible for the government to address the long list of grievances in Colombia, but empathy, accountability and a comprehension of the underlying issues in this nation would be a good place to start. Tune in for an incredible conversation with one of the top analysts on Colombia.
54 minutes | May 18, 2021
376: FARC Admit Kinapping Policy in Colombia
As the the nationwide paro nacional protests continue in Colombia, it's worth taking a moment to explore an incredibly important piece of news which has been buried by their blanket coverage in the press. This week, on Episode 376 we speak to journalist and investigator Andres Bermudez (www.justiceinfo.net) about the recent admission by the FARC guerrillas that kidnapping was an official policy and not an "economic retention," as they previously had claimed. This admission by the FARC secretariat before the Special Peace Jurisdiction/ Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz or JEP, is a landmark decision taken by the former guerrillas and we're waiting to see what the JEP draws up. We explore this and more themes, including an update on the protests in Colombia with journalist Emily Hart in Medellin.
57 minutes | May 11, 2021
375: Protests in Colombia: Hear the Facts
These are troubling times in Colombia. This episode was recorded on Sunday 9 May during the 12th day of nationwide protests in Colombia. Sergio Guzman, Director of Colombia Risk Analysis joins us to provide a total overview of what has been going on here. Guzman is recently returned from Cali where a great deal of the unrest has been taking place. We hear about what the situation felt like in Cali and the overall ambiance there. Then, Guzman provides us with a look at the situation in Colombia in the lead in to the strikes, what has gone on during the strikes and the government of President Ivan Duque's reactions and finally, what we might expect from a period of dialogue in the future. This is a timely and important episode and worth listening to in order to understand the malaise in Colombia, the nation's youth who feel that there is no future for them here and the overall discontent which has been simmering for some time. Check out Colombia Risk Analysis: https://www.colombiariskanalysis.com
49 minutes | May 4, 2021
374: The "Emerging Jews" of Colombia
Joining us from Cali, Colombia is Heidi Paster Harf to explain to us a little about the phenomenon of "emerrging jews" in Colombia. To explain this, first let's put this into perspective: One of the most striking contemporary religious phenomena is the world-wide fascination with Judaism. Traditionally, few non-Jews converted to the Jewish faith, but today millions of people throughout the world are converting to Judaism and are identifying as Jews or Israelites and Colombia is no exception. This overall phenomenon constitutes a dramatic turning point in Jewish history, since traditionally non-Jews had little or no interest in joining the Jewish people. This new reality has many implications, as it is beginning to change the face of Jewish communities and at the same time sharpen the debate over the boundaries of the Jewish collectivity. So, tune in to hear about this and here in Colombia, something I had no knowledge of before reading her Harf's article and seeing her photographs in the Washington Post recently. Tags and Keywords: heidi paster harf, hiedi harf photographer, colombia calling, cali, emerging jews, emerging jews colombia, jews colombia, jews south america, richard mccoll, richard mccoll journalist, richard mccoll podcast, podcast colombia
49 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
373: Angela Sierra is Unbound in Pereira
Angela Sierra is a self-described bookish foodie chocoholic coffee lover, writing stories from and about Colombia and this where we begin on Episode 373 of the Colombia Calling podcast this week. What are the relationships between Culture, Identity and Society? And where do these fit into a country as complex as Colombia? By addressing these issues and more, we enjoy an open and flowing dialogue about cultural clashes, appropriation and how to live in this land. A little more about Angela: "I was born in Colombia, in a city called Pereira, where you get a clear view of a volcano every morning, siestas are sacred and macaws let you know when it's time to turn off your computer and enjoy the sunset. But my family moved to the US when I was still in diapers, so I didn't remember my homeland growing up. Still, I ate arepas and Pop Tarts, feared the Boogie Man and La Llorona in equal measure and got presents from Santa and El Niño Dios. We moved back to Colombia many years ago and I’ve lived here since, writing stories from and about this magical place." Download the book Unbound wherever you prefer to get your books and check out Angela's website: https://www.angelasierra.ink
55 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
372: Beyond and above Medellin's Comuna 13
On this week's Colombia Calling podcast, we have the pleasure of speaking to Damon O'Neill a Londoner based in Medellin and volunteering at the Ecoparque above Comuna 13 in the city. A former trialist for West Ham and Tottenham football clubs, O'Neill brings his football talent to the city of Medellin and trains up children from Comuna 13 in his spare time. But, there's more to this story, the idea is not only to train children in football but also to open up the area above Comuna 13 to tourists, both domestic and international. It's a natural escape with unrivalled views over the city, there's the option of excursions on horseback and visitors are able to enjoy freshwater pools in which to swim, places to eat, play volleyball and more. However, despite bringing more tourism and visitors to the area, high above the well-travelled route of the Comuna 13 graffiti and Hip Hop tour, the aim is also to allow tourists to learn more about the infamous history of the area, such as what went on at La Escombrera. Check out the Ecoparque on Instagram: @ecoparque13
56 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
371: The "On the Edge with Andrew Gold" podcast on Colombia Calling
You may or may not have heard of journalist and documentary maker Andrew Gold, such is life, but I highly recommend his podcast: "On the Edge with Andrew Gold." Gold's podcast is one of my go-to shows for when I walk the dog during these trying pandemic times and it never fails to maintain my attention and awaken my curiosity. What is little known perhaps is that Andrew Gold lived in Medellin for a while and has a "Colombia story" to share with us alongside with other anecdotes from his varied and always interesting career path. So here's a little about Andrew Gold to whet your appetite. Gold is a journalist and TV presenter who speaks 5 languages & lived in 6 countries, producing docs on bizarre and controversial subcultures. He battled an abusive exorcist, duelled with the Crazy Baby Lady and hunted UFOs. The actor Viggo Mortensen made fun of him on live Argentine TV. After a joke went wrong, he became known in Argentina as The Last English Virgin. He represented England in beer-pong (also on live TV) and lost to a 12-year-old Panamanian girl. Check out his podcast and website: https://www.andrewgoldpodcast.com
48 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Saving Colombia's Birds of Prey
It's not every day you hear of someone on a sports scholarship to a US university and then returning to Colombia to follow her passion of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing birds of prey back into the wild. Well, that's Ana María Morales' story! Morales' describes these incredible birds of prey as "raptors," and so to clarify: Raptors are birds of prey in the orders falconiformes and strigiformes. In English, that means eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, osprey, kites, and others, their main feature of a raptor is a hooked beak and long, sharp talons. We discuss her experiences with Peregrine Falcons, Hawks, the Harpy Eagle and of course, how we need to work together with farmers to understand their predicament and those of the wildlife around them. This can be a tricky topic, but through talking, open dialogue and understanding, things can be achieved. Tune in to an episode where the wildlife takes the front seat and we talk conservation, birding, birders, rescue and rehabilitation and how we can all help. Check out http://fada.org.co
55 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
369: Conflict Photography Laid Bare by Malcolm Linton
Renouned conflict photgrapher with experience in civil wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua, the genocide in Rwanda and so much more, Malcolm Linton, joins us once again on the Colombia Calling podcast to share some more of his stories from the field. His experiences in some of the most brutal conflict arenas, his desire to cover humanitarian causes and the first time he was shot....this and more on Episode 369. Why has he returned to the Colombia Calling podcast? To share his experiences and also to talk about the new photography workshop he has designed and set up for three separate dates in picturesque Mompós, Colombia. TALKING PHOTOS: Malcolm Linton’s Mompox Workshop Starting at the end of May 2021, international photojournalist Malcolm Linton will be staging a monthly photography workshop in the Colombian colonial town of Mompox in collaboration with the Hotel San Rafael and La Casa Amarilla. The workshop is for photographers — from amateurs to professionals — who want to express themselves more fully in their images. It will run for three full days, usually from Friday to Sunday, with a welcome dinner the night before it begins. The workshop will be limited to 15 people at three different rates, depending on the amount of personal tuition from Malcolm that clients wish to receive. The first two sessions (late May, early July) will be in English, and future sessions will be in English or Spanish, depending on demand. Sign up https://malcolmlinton.com (Mompox Workshop)
48 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
368: Post Pandemic Travel and Tourism in Colombia
By all accounts 2020 looked set to be a record year for international tourism to Colombia. It's obviously old news now what happened and that the service industry has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic...but what have travel agencies and hotels been doing during this time and how do they plan to create a motor for growth once again? This week we talk to Bruce McLean, a New Zealander now resident in Viterbo in Colombia's coffee region to talk about his travel agency - www.bnbcolombia.com - and how he has been preparing for post pandemic tourism in Colombia and how he sees the evolution of the industry here and as a whole. Whether you’d like to explore the Amazon; travel through the spectacular coffee zone; discover the culture of Bogota and the beauty of Barichara; enjoy whale watching and untouched nature on the Pacific Coast; Enjoy an amazing experience with turtles laying eggs in the dead of night, and others hatching the following morning; Explore the Caribbean, Tayrona Park, Cartagena, and the Rosario Islands; travel into the Tatacoa desert and walk amongst pre-Colombian stone statues and tombs in San Agustin, or maybe you’d like to see rock paintings dating back 1000’s of years and swim with pink dolphins, Colombia has it all and so much more.
51 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
367: Pychosocial Help for Humanitarian and Aid Workers
Sabrina Prioli first joined us on the Colombia Calling podcast in 2013 on Episode 23, now on Episode 367 and eight years later, we catch up with her in Zambia and chart her life and work from Colombia to Peru, South Sudan and then to her present location. For more than ten years Prioli has worked in humanitarian projects in montoring and evaluation and is keen to share with us that there is very little if any psychosocial help for aid workers spending extended periods of time in conflict zones. After a life-changing and horrific event in South Sudan which saw a local journalist executed at the hands of government forces, another colleague shot in the legs and several women subjected to multiple rapes, Prioli was in a dark place, understandably. Two years of intense therapy in Italy, a court case in Juba, South Sudan and a tenacity and with a positivity that defies reason, Prioli has started her own professional coaching. Prioli is a certified professional Co-Active coach that helping Workers and NGOs to prevent burnout and develop leadership methods, so that people can feel empowered and bring humanitarian projects closer to their goals. Tune in to hear an inspiring story of resilience and strength Check out her website: https://en.sabrinaprioli.com/coach
45 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
366: Protecting Colombia's Children
Children Change Colombia is the largest UK charity working exclusively in Colombia and we are honoured to have Executive Director Angela Maria Carreño on the show this week to explain their work on this the 30th anniversary of their founding. CCC has been working with children and their families to challenge poverty, inequality, discrimination and violence in Colombia. Of course, it's far from plain sailing in Colombia and to this day, millions of Colombian children still face poverty, violence and exclusion from the opportunities presented by a changing society. Children are at risk of forced displacement, sexual exploitation or recruitment into armed groups, they are denied education, a loving family or a place to play, CCC works to ensure that every child can claim their right to a safe and happy childhood and a fulfilling future. Please sign up for the Children Change Colombia newsletter: https://www.childrenchangecolombia.org/mailing-list-sign-up and view the website: https://www.childrenchangecolombia.org
54 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
365: Youth Activism for the Environment in Colombia
Perhaps we don't think much about youth activism for the environment and climate change in Colombia all too much...Greta Thunberg dominates the international headlines, but awareness of a movement driven by the country's youth is becoming more apparent. Cast your mind back to the 11 November demonstrations when Colombians of all sectors of society and of all age groups flooded the streets with their list of demands for the government. Amongst the throng of people, Colombia's younger generations were present and fighting their corner with regards to climate change and the environment. The atmosphere was one of hope for the future. This week we speak to Juan Jose Guzman, co director of the foundation Pacto X El Clima (www.pactoxelclima.org), an entity set up to give a voice to Latin America's youth. It's inspiring to hear of the organization and how activism in Latin America differs from that in Europe or the US. Of course, we have to also take into account the danger associated with activism of this type in the region. And finally, Guzman provides us with his perspectives for the future in Colombia.
47 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
364: SOS Buenaventura, Colombia's Pacific port in the News
Buenaventura is one of the major ports on the continent, accounting for nearly 60% of all Colombian sea imports and exports. However, due to its strategic position, the city's economy has been hampered by gang-related activity fighting over control of the port, making it among the most impoverished cities in Colombia with an unemployment rate of roughly 88% for a population of around 400 thousand. And now, Buenaventura is in the news once again in Colombia, and for all the wrong reasons. Following on from her first appearance on the Colombia Calling podcast on Ep334 (The Problem with the Coastal Cities of Colombia's Pacific). US academic Shauna Gillooly graciously agreed to return to provide us with a background as to what is going on in Buenaventura. Tune in to hear about an overlooked and under reported news story from Colombia in which powerful economic interests lead to the displacement and suffering of traditional communities.
46 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
363: Drawing Colombia with artist Eddie White jr
Eddie White Jr has courted some controversy here in Colombia, not least with his casual observation and caricatures of "the girls of Medellin." We sit down for a conversation about his art, the long term goal of producing a book and indeed, to hear his side of the story surrounding "that" Medellin image. In what is a friendly and frank conversation, we learn of White's love for Colombia and his admiration of the people here. His desire is to promote the country and show the wonders and exoticism here through his observational pop art. Hear artist Eddie White Jr's story and check out his artwork on Instagram.
47 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
362: Socio Environmental Effects of Mining in South America
It will come as no surprise to many that mining is one of the most polluting and destructive industries in the world and in South America this extractive industry has been a root cause for so many different but cross-cutting problems. It’s vital we support frontline communities to defend their land, water and culture; biodiversity, and the global climate and so on this episode of the Colombia Calling podcast, we discuss these issues in relation to Colombia with Tom Gatehouse, writer and researcher for the Latin America Bureau. Gatehouse is currently writing, "The Heart of Our Earth: Community Resistance to Mining in Latin America," which is due to be published in the Spring of 2022. Mining has grown exponentially in Latin America in the last three decades. Massive new mining projects have had major socioenvironmental effects, including pollution, appropriation and contamination of water supplies, division and co-optation of communities, and in some cases their forced relocation. Communities are learning how to resist and some have successfully challenged government and company claims that large-scale mining projects can be safe, sustainable, and socially beneficial. Tune in to this informative episode.
41 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
361: Sudaca Craft Beer in Bogotá, Colombia
The Sudaca craft beer company is a business idea born out of an experience in the city of Leeds in Britain when one of the team worked and learned the brewing trade there before returning home to Bogotá. Now, this team has introduced a selection of quality craft beers to the Colombian capital. It was a great pleasure to be contacted by Rafael Vargas of the Cerveceria Sudaca, located in Bogotá's hip art district of San Felipe, known for off-beat galleries, graffiti and now craft beer, to talk about their work, their brew and the future. And, showing the kind of classy guys they are at the Sudaca, Vargas sent over some bottles of the IPA and Stout that they produce at the brewery. So, let's say that this episode has been sponsored by Sudaca, check them out www.sudaca.com
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