Category Archives: Entertainment

Colombian television nostalgia [videos]

First, I must apologize for the lack of updates on this blog. I’ve been quite busy at work, but I’m back. I’ll bring you a lot of what Colombian blogosphere said about paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso’s deposition last week in a post for Global Voices Online on Thursday.

So, I want you to relax and enjoy these classic videos from the old Colombian television. Before 1998, all Colombian free-to-air television was state-run, which granted several hours a week to private companies on two national networks. Two of those companies became television networks in July 1998. Nevertheless, some YouTube users, such as televidentecolombiano, juanrincon3006 and comando670, among others, have digitalized some of their dusty collection of TV recordings in VHS and Betamax tapes. The result is these interesting videos, which bring Colombians a lot of memories of good ol’ television.

Noticiero Promec was a 1980s primetime news show. In this clip, we have some special moments of Colombian history, such as the Palace of Justice siege in 1985 or the murder of Liberal presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán in 1989. Ah, of course, the presenter is the well-known, beloved and hated Jota Mario Valencia, currently in a morning show on pro-Uribe RCN TV.

This is a compilation of some old Colombian TV production and programming companies logos and curtains (the most recent are from around 1990), including quite old Caracol TV (currently a network) logos with a snail (Caracol stands for Cadena Radial Colombiana, “Colombian Radio Network”, but “caracol” is Spanish for “snail”).

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Beautiful newsreader runs for mayor of Cartagena

Finally this weekend it was confirmed: 39-year-old newsreader Claudia Hoyos is running for mayor of Cartagena on October 2007 local elections. Hoyos hosts a “political gossip” section on CM& newscast (broadcast on weeknights at 21:30 on state-run Canal Uno; the above video shows last Friday telecast). She made the news several weeks ago, when it was rumoured that she was having an affair with top politicial Germán Vargas Lleras (grandson of former Colombian president Carlos Lleras Restrepo, who ruled the country between 1966 and 1970) and leader of the Radical Change party.

I posted this morning an article on equinoXio digital magazine where I say that, while I don’t want to tarnish her qualities and skills as a journalist, I feel that, though she could easily win at the polls because of her fame and her image, she has not enough experience at public charges to aspire to such an important position. Cartagena is a very troubled city. It has a small zone “to show”, where important events such as Miss Colombia or this week’s Inter American Press Association meeting, where Bill Gates showed up (and said some corny things such as “I wish when I was growing up there were been the internet […] I would have been smarter”), are held. At this zone, wealthy people can enjoy themselves, while at the other side of the town, at Nelson Mandela neighbourhood, other people… most of them black people, starve and have no access to public services. Sometimes the government tries to “hide” them or prevent them to get close to the Historical Centre, by picking them up into trucks and taking them to “special” places, so foreigners think Colombia is like Monaco”. Corruption is another big issue in this Caribbean city.

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Yet another premature baby, Yair Klein, García Márquez [video]


Another premature baby was born in Colombia. This time was in Bucaramanga, where the little Santiago Abimelec came to this world after a 24-week pregnancy. He measures 31 cm and weighs 790 g. Last week, in Barranquilla, Milagros was born with 2 less weeks. Is this a trend? The doctors said that this was because of an amniotic fluid infection. As the correspondent says at the end of the report, some of these premature births could be avoided if mothers go to medical checks regular and exhaustively.

Last night, Caracol Televisión featured an interview with Yair Klein, an Israeli mercenary who trained Colombian paramilitaries and drug-traffickers in late 80s. Klein, who was convicted in 2002 by a Colombian local court, was never captured. Klein claims he was brought to the country by the police in order to train its members and said that he regrets to leave the country, and that he would be back in order to destroy FARC guerrillas. He also criticized the demobilization of the paramilitaries, saying it was “stupid”. Yeah, that’s our man (right, of course, take your bloody hands here)!!!

Ah, by the way, it’s Gabriel García Márquez‘s 80th birthday. A lot of praise has been the commonplace in most of the main media and the blogosphere. That’s why Bilioso is tired of this overexposure:

If I see that plate-faced old fellow once again on TV, I’m gonna blow my head with a fritter. Why Colombia can’t understand that, like [Álvaro] Mutis, García Márquez was made in Mexico? The only thing he did was to be born and drink booze with his chums in Barranquilla, that’s all. Instead overdimensioning that shameful old guy, we should give José María Vargas Vila and León de Greiff’s literature a chance, ’cause these guys are good, very good, and don’t go inventing sucking characters having frog children with different women. That’s serious and useful literature.

Of course, Víctor Solano has a slightly different view of the issue. When García Márquez was one of the owners of Cambio magazine, he never showed up there, since he lived (and lives) in Mexico. Solano says:

I must say […] I prefer García Márquez as a narrator because of her plausible prose in spite of its magic elevations, than Gabo as a journalist because of his political militancy. There are some reports, compiled in anthologies as Por la Libre, where his commitment with his ‘historical truth’, gives some flavour to his text in my opinion, but it also takes away some pieces of reliability. That’s a paradox where his fiction turns out quite credible to me and his militant journalism seems suspicious to me instead…