No, these are not UFOs, they are helicopters flying quite low over Bogotá sky all day long… (Photo: Carlos Raúl van der Weyden Velásquez, Creative Commons BY-SA licence)
On Sunday, U. S. President George W. Bush arrived to Bogotá, for a 7-hour to Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Colombian media covered this trip, mostly relying on the SNE official photos and broadcastings. In these two videos you can see the highlights for the press conference held on Sunday afternoon, as well as all the things Bogotá people had to get through, specially the people who live downtown, because of the visit. You can see also the boring special on the Presidency website.
But what Colombian media, specially TV, hardly mentioned during the visit, and only reported during the 7 p.m. newscast, were the clashes between police and demonstrators just 30 blocks North the presidential palace (ignored by Uribe), where leftist Alternative Democratic Pole called for a meeting which turned out a huge riot. Blogger and journalist Víctor Solano was there and took some “clandestine” pictures, as a “historical record”. He also uploaded a video.
More pictures available at Indymedia Colombia. Some businesses, most of them closed, were damaged and looted, allegedly by some protesters, and several people were arrested. Policemen were quite repressive with graphic journalists. On the contrary, “nice” Colombians love Bush, right?
Other people had their say. Pro-Bush Joe tells his Sunday in Bogotá:
The airport is pretty much shut down this afternoon and the normal opening of the streets to pedestrians and bicycles is canceled today so we’re just huddling down in the apartment with delivery pizza. The cnn ticker occasionally flashes that colombian police are battling protesters, but the local news isn’t saying anything about that, who knows what that means.
Lots of police sirens in the distance, I hope they are just leading the president to safety.
About the protests, Joe says:
So the protests were about 70 blocks away from here, and if there were only 1500 people out of a city of 6,000,000 people, it’s really not a big turnout. I don’t know what they are protesting, cnn showed a grafiti of “yankee go home”, and it sounds like if the democratic congress gets it’s way, the US will cut aid and leave. Which is a shame since conditions are so much better here since the “plan colombia” was started by Clinton, without US help Los FARC will be back again with the support of Chavez in Venezuela.
Hossam el-Hamalawy just says “Bush blesses Colombia dirty war” and from Cartagena, Filipogs complains about the way this visit altered his Sunday. Fisch was concerned about the security measures and Andrés Felipe makes fun of the [actual] episode when President Uribe tells his son (Tomás, the other is Jerónimo, both also known as “Tom and Jerry”) to take his hands out his pockets, in order to greet the “boss” properly.
- Preparing for Bush, 126-year-old grandpa, Noguera free? [videos]
- International Women’s Day, anti-Bush riots, Afghan soldiers, some briefs [videos]