News Review

Lunch with war criminals

Polishing off a steak almuerzo in one of the Candelaria’s expensive French restaurants, I spot a goblinly, bug-eyed, short and very well fed man, sitting a few tables to my right. As I exit past him, we lock eyes and I feel an icy heat spread across my thoracic vertebrae.

Two days later I see him again, in a cafe on Parkway; just to the north west of the centre. Again, the following day; this time with his daughter and a couple of aged-rockers wearing plastic looking leather jackets. Read more…

FARC fake farewell to arms?

When a president is as unpopular as Colombia’s Santos, no one believes a word he says.

And when a country has been at war with guerrillas for 50 years, they don’t believe them either.

Yesterday was officially the end of the FARC as an armed insurgency. The UN took control of 7,000 weapons and the guns fell silent.
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Colombia can’t cope with competition

I hailed a yellow cab on Calle 19 with 5, by BD Bacata, the 67-storey glass stalagmite Portafolio calls ‘the most modern complex in Latin America’.

Bacata hopes to transform the urine smelling streets of Bogota’s Dickensian, historic Santafe, Candaleria, and Matires barrios; generating 1,000 new jobs and creating a new business hub with 117 offices and a high-end 300 bed hotel.  Read more…

Colombia’s ‘$5 million dollar’ election sell-off

As Colombians prepare to go to the polls in the regional and local elections on 25 October, analyst Leon Valencia has revealed candidates are investing as much as 5 million dollars to fix the outcome.

Few deny vote-buying is endemic in Colombia. Politicians stand accused of spending public money to corrupt an electoral process that authorities ultimately fail to police.

But while President Santos’ government has labelled these elections, “the most transparent in history”, Mr Valencia, director of think tank, “Peace and Reconciliation”, has warned “huge walleted” politicians are buying their way to power.  Read more…

Don’t blame Colombians for FARC war

Kevin Howlett argues that while peace can only be achieved through negotiation, Colombians shouldn’t be castigated for wanting their president to shock and awe the guerrillas. Whether Colombians believe in peace or not, it is not they, but only the FARC, who can stop this nihilist war. The blame lies at the feet of the FARC (yes, and other actors too), not their victims.   Read more…

No car day is pointless populism

Once upon a time a previous Bogota mayor won, through a referendum, the right to call an annual “no car day” in the city. The idea was to encourage people to stop and think about the effect their daily commute had on the environment. No bad thing.

Current mayor, Gustavo Petro, today held the second no car day of the year. And he wants another one before he finishes his mandate in December.

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