Tourism, abortion, inflation and ‘para-political’ scandal

Welcome to The Colombia Blog Herald, a new experiment I’m willing to take since now. I’ll try to feature some news and blog posts from Colombia, a war-torn, passionate and sometimes forgotten beautiful country in South America. Let’s start:

Undoubtedly, this post from The Guardian‘s Simon Jenkins is going to be the talk of the Colombian media this weekend, as j. claims in his well known blog. Jenkins says:

Beset by media reports of warlordism, kidnapping and narco crime, they seemed trapped in the image stakes somewhere between Somalia and Afghanistan. There is only one guide to Colombia in my bookshop (from the sainted Lonely Planet) against a dozen to neighbouring Costa Rica and Brazil. But then how to sell a country whose most famous son, Gabriel García Márquez, depicts its political default mode as massacre? Do you boast that Colombians kidnap better, and twin Medellín with Moss Side, or plead: why visit Kabul when you can visit Cali?


Yeah, and that’s why Bogotá is depicted as a jungle town in this American movie with Brangelina… Colombia is so passionate that

something was clearly lost in translation. Passion to English speakers suggests a market already saturated by the Thais. In a wider sense, passion is one quality that outsiders might feel Colombians have to excess. They could have gone the whole Byronic hog and presented Colombia as mad, bad and dangerous to visit. Start with the druggies and hippies and, like India, hope the rest will follow.

At the end, Jenkins invites English people to visit Colombia.

It seems the UN is pressuring Colombia to legalize more abortion. Last year, Constitutional Court partially lifted the ban, allowing it on special cases. When the first legal abortion was practiced, it caused outrage on right-wing sectors, as the Church, which excommunicated the magistrates who voted in favour of lifting the ban, all the mothers (even the teenagers raped by their relatives, for example) who decide to abort and the doctors who practiced the operation.

According to Bloomberg’s Andrea Jaramillo, “Colombia’s monthly inflation rate rose more than expected in January, led by food and recreation prices”. And, as I watched Caracol Noticias this morning, is going to be even worse, because weather is going to be quite hot on the day and quite cold at nights.

Let’s finish with some politics. In the middle of the ‘para-political’ scandal, around 60 personalities were called by the Supreme Court to depositions about the links between paramilitaries and politicians. Some of them are called in order to confirm the statements made for some important Congresspeople who declared on December… By the way, Yolanda Izquierdo, leader of the People’s Housing Organization (Organización Popular de Vivienda) in the department of Cordoba, and Fredy Espinel, both advocates for victims of the paramilitaries, were murdered this week. A HRW statement says:

These murders are clearly intended to intimidate victims and witnesses and prevent them telling the truth about paramilitary abuses. Victims will find it harder than ever to trust the safeguards set up by the government to facilitate their participation in the demobilization process.

That’s all for today. I’ll try to make it better next time. If you read Spanish, maybe you can read this article of mine on the alleged put to sale of Colombia’s only mainstream daily newspaper, which I clearly support so we Colombians can get better information with less biased sources.

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