marzo 7th, 2014
The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, reiterated that his country does “not need mediation” to get out of the crisis it’s facing and asked for an end to the “conspiracies” by the United States government to “reconquer” Latin America.
“I have a responsibility towards everything that’s happening in my country, that’s why I am the President. I accept that responsibility,” Maduro said. What Venezuela needs, he explained, is cooperation.
Last week the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, said his country was working closely with others in the region to facilitate some kind of mediation in the Venezuelan crisis. Meanwhile, the Permanent Council of the OAS resumed its debate on the matter behind closed doors after discussing it in small groups for three hours earlier in the day.
During an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Maduro said he is “absolutely” convinced that the United States wants to ‘reconquer’ Latin America and claimed there is evidence leaked by Wikileaks or Ed Snowden that proves the U.S. wanted to ‘destroy’ the late Hugo Chávez.
marzo 7th, 2014
More than 30 Corantioquia employees are searching for their coworker, 30-year-old Ricardo Orozco, who was reported missing on Monday after leaving his home in the neighborhood of Belén. “We got together and distributed search areas,” one coworker said, “We are showing people his picture in case they’ve seen him.”
Authorities have been unable to find any signs of where Orozco may be, which led coworkers to gather information that may help; a few witnesses reported sightings in Medellín’s downtown.
marzo 7th, 2014
Until April 7th, two of Bogotá’s Transmilenio routes will have cars designated for women only during the busiest times of the day.
The route that will serve as a pilot for this initiative is the one between Américas and the Las Aguas station, and will have a police officer and an employee inside the car who to assist in explaining the restriction to passengers.
Women are not obligated to use the car specially designated for them and people with disabilities as well as women traveling with their male children are welcome to use it freely. Appropriate signage is at the stations to help guide women to the right cars.
At the same time, employees will be conducting surveys to find out what the public thinks about the measure.
marzo 5th, 2014
The Subway chain hopes to open 100 new restaurants in Colombia in 2014, which would bring the total up to 300 all over the country. The first is expected to open sometime in March but which location that will be has yet to be announced; there are currently restaurants under construction in Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Cali.
With the expansion, using the franchise model of business, Subway hopes to increase sales by 200-250 percent in 2014, similar to the growth achieved in 2o13.
The company considers Colombia to be the third market with most potential inLatin America behind Brazil and Mexico, and estimates that Colombia, in 10 to 15 years, will be among the top ten countries with the most Subway stores in the world.
marzo 5th, 2014
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the Superior Council of Fiscal Policy (Confis, for its Spanish acronym) approved an unprecedented amount, 26,2 billion pesos, meant to be invested in the Prosperity Expressways and fourth generation concessions in Antioquia.
The President explained that the sum, which will fund ten projects, is the highest ever approved in the Council’s history. The road between Remedios and Caucasia will shorten the trip by 189 minutes; the Primavera-Bolombolo route will be shortened by 70 minutes and the trip between Medellín and Santafé de Antioquia will be 47 minutes faster.
With this investment, the President said, Antioquia will grow at least two points beyond what it normally grows. “This means more employment and more opportunities.”
marzo 4th, 2014
On Sunday, March 9th Medellín’s Metro service will be free of cost for all passengers between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in an effort to facilitate transportations for voters. The measure will apply to all trains and bus lines 1 and 2 as well as feeder routes 3 and 6, and Metrocable.
Aside from providing assistance to witnesses and people working at polling places, the company also explained that it’s trying to “encourage democratic participation” on Sunday when the time comes to elect a new Congress.
marzo 4th, 2014
The National Coffee Growers Federation revealed that coffee production in Colombia for February was 874,000 60-kilo bags, which is a 40 percent increase compared to the same month in 2013.
So far this year production has already gone above 1,8 million bags, which is a 25 percent increase when compared to the same time period last year, when it was 1,5 million.
Coffee production for the past 12 months, between March of 2013 and February of 2014, is above 11,3 million bags, which translates into an increase of 38 percent compared to the 8,1 million bags produced in the previous 12 months.
The spike in production is also reflected in exports, which increased 36 percent with 976,000 60-kilo bags to satisfy growing demand for high quality Colombian coffee around the world.
marzo 3rd, 2014
The deputy Attorney General of Colombia, Jorge Fernando Perdomo, confirmed new charges against retired Colonel Robinson Gonzalez del Rio, believed to be the leader of a weapons trafficking organization supplying criminal gangs, such as the one known as ‘los Urabeños’.
González is currently in custody for his involvement in a contract scandal within the Colombian Military. Authorities arrested 12 other people in eight Colombian cities, including four active and four retired members of the Military, a former police officer and four civilians.
An investigation that developed over the course of two years revealed that the group would either steal weapons from the Military, refurbish deteriorated weapons, or obtain artifacts like grenades and machine guns to later distribute them on the black market. If found guilty, the suspects could face up to 20 years in prison.
febrero 28th, 2014
Colombia has surpassed Argentina and positioned itself as the third most important economy in Latin America for 2013, according to London-based macroeconomic research company Capital Economics. The firm estimated that Colombia’s GDP last year was 347,000 million dollars, while Argentina’s was 337,000 million.
Colombia is now considered the third strongest economy in the region, behind only Brazil and Mexico.
febrero 28th, 2014
The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, said his country is working closely with Colombia and other countries to arrange for some type of mediation in Venezuela; he also said it’s not inappropriate for the U.S. to consider possible sanctions against Venezuela.
“We are working very closely with Colombia and other countries to see how we could produce some type of mediation, because it’s been demonstrated that it will be difficult for the parts to agree to something on their own,” Mr. Kerry said after meeting with Colombia’s Foreign Relations Minister, Maria Angela Holguín.
Mr. Kerry explained that the U.S. has repeatedly shown interest in developing a more constructive relationship with Venezuela but the country has decided, “time and time again, to go in a different direction and often tries to blame the United States for its own lack of governance and inattention to both its economy and establishing dialogue with its own citizens.”
Venezuela, the Secretary of State said, has “created a fictional scenario in which it’s easy to blame us, despite the fact that we have done nothing intrusive, nor have we made any effort or attempted to do anything but try to have a normal relationship.”
The permanent council of the OAS (Organization of American States) is planning to meet soon to determine whether a meeting between Foreign Relations ministers of the continent should be summoned, as was suggested by the Panamanian Government. Maduro’s government, however, has rejected the idea and said it feels Unasur is a more appropriate forum and would prefer mediation by Uruguayan President, Jose Mujica, who also offered assistance.
Protests against the Government in Venezuela have already caused eight deaths, not to mention hundreds of injured and detained.