Archivo de ‘Antioquia’

Medellín makes it to one-digit unemployment, but barely

Viernes, agosto 1st, 2014

Medellín and the Metropolitan Area are now on the list of cities with the lowest unemployment rates in the country, with 9,9 percent for the second quarter of 2014. While Medellín’s rate is still far from the national unemployment rate, which was 9 percent between April and June,  it still dropped below 10 percent sooner than expected. Last year it didn’t reach that level until the third quarter.

The number of employed people in the Aburrá Valley rose to 1,785,000, an increase of 76,000. The sectors mainly responsible for the increase are construction, real estate, and retail.

CDO has no money, but Space will be demolished

Viernes, agosto 1st, 2014

Towers 1 thru 4 of the Space apartment complex will come down and Medellin’s Mayoralty will be responsible for the demolition, a decision made after receiving notification that the construction company lacks the funds to carry it out. The 700 million-peso operation will be added to the 3,000 million Lérida CDO already owes the Mayoralty for responding to the emergency on October 12th, 2013, when tower 6 collapsed killing 12 and leaving hundreds homeless.

Dagrd director Carlos Alberto Gil said “we will move forward, because it’s a matter of risk. When the assets are all sold and the liquidation is worked out, the Mayoralty will be first in line on the list of those who must be paid back.”

The company that will demolish the buildings hasn’t been selected yet, but Atila Demolitions, which handled the process with tower 5, is a possibility. Experts said this will be an easier process because there are no longer neighbors to worry about. With tower 5, it was important to ensure that all remaining towers were left standing.

Study says Space towers should all come down

Martes, junio 10th, 2014

The Risk Management Council for Medellín announced that the restoration of the Space apartment complex towers is unviable, and all of them should be demolished;  the Police Department was asked to confirm a prior order to demolish all remaining buildings after tower 6 collapsed in October of 2013, killing 13 and leaving hundreds homeless.

The decision is based on a study conducted by the Los Andes University, which evaluated the buildings’ condition and concluded that the construction company’s proposal doesn’t offer sufficient elements to guarantee safety in the case of an eventual restoration process.

This announcement is not a formal order for demolition, but a recommendation to the authorities, who have the final say.

In January of 2014, demolition of all remaining buildings had been ordered, but the CDO construction company took legal action to reverse the decision.

Franco feels El Castillo censored his work

Miércoles, mayo 14th, 2014

Jorge Franco was looking forward to launching his novel The Outside World (El Mundo de Afuera) at the El Castillo Museum in Medellín, but he received a call notifying him that the event had been cancelled and the venue moved to the PanAmerican Theater. Franco believes the museum board “censored my novel and cancelled its presentation. Their blindness and stupidity won’t allow them to differentiate between the reality of fiction and they feel my novel is morally wrong because it portrays the characters’ human side. For Franco, the museum was the ideal place to launch his novel, which tells the story of Diego Echavarría Misas, his wife Benedikta, and their daughter Isolda, in a fictional story that deals with love and also violence in Medellín in the 70′s. He explained that it’s important to understand that the book is fictional and while it’s based on a reality, it must be read as a novel.

As far the museum’s side of the story, director Martha Ligia Jaramillo responded to the author’s accusations and said, “we are not we ware not banning or interfering with the book launch. There are other places where it can be held. We disagree with the image he presents of Don Diego and Isolda, he presents them completely different from what they really were like. When he asked us if he could present at the Museum we said he could, as long as he respected the family’s image and he said he did. We asked him for a copy of his book. After the board members read it, they made their decision, (…) he can publish anything he wants, but we have the right to do whatever we want in our establishment,” Jaramillo said.

There will be a cavalcade, but a smaller one

Martes, mayo 13th, 2014

After a meeting between representatives from Medellín’s departments of Citizen Culture and the Environment, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Asdesilla it was decided that an effort will be made to have a parade on horseback, but on a significantly smaller scale given the difficulties posed by new guidelines established by the City Council. The parade is an age-old tradition in the yearly Flower Festival.

According to Asdesilla president, Luis Fernando Duque, “citizens have a right to have the parade, we are going to do what we can to organize a smaller event this year. We’ll try to find an alternative to present an event that, while not massive like the prior ones which have gathered some 6 thousand horses, could involve between one and two thousand.”

Animal rights activists say the parade  makes no sense and can’t understand why the administration would insist on scheduling the private event.

Homeowner resumes protest

Martes, mayo 6th, 2014

Sandra Gutierrez, one of the homeowners forced to evacuate her unit in Colores de Calasania due to structural risks, had chained herself to her apartment’s balcony as a form of protest. She unchained herself after being promised a meeting with the manager of the Lerida CDO Construction company, Pablo Villegas. But the meeting never happened, and so the homeowner decided to resume her protest and chained herself to another post, this one in the Alpujarra business center.

“My displacement and my pain mattered so little to him he couldn’t even bring himself to talk to me. I demand respect and reparation (…)”, Sandra Gutierrez wrote on a poster she placed in front of her. She refuses to move, regardless of the weather, and says she will remain chained to the spot until somebody from the construction company meets with her face to face.

Video shows overcrowding in El Pedregal

Miércoles, abril 30th, 2014

Medellín’s Personería published a video in which it reveals the overcrowding at the El Pedregal prison in San Antonio de Prado. The video, taken in several locations throughout the jail., shows up to five inmates sharing a cell built to house just one. In another location, which according to the video’s narration is meant to serve as a visiting area, dozens of inmates are shown laying on the floor, one next to the other.

The video was recorded this week and sent to the Personería in an effort to shed light on the situation.

“Despite reports the overcrowding continues, they are areas where the inmates should be housed temporarily and we have them there permanently and under inadequate sanitary conditions,” said Rodrigo Ardila, Medellín’s Personero.

Ardila also said El Pedgregal is facing similar circumstances to the ones reported in the Bellavista prison; the National Penitentiary Institute was asked to take urgent measures and deal with the situation.

Police changes name of ‘los Urabeños’

Viernes, abril 25th, 2014

The director of the National Police, General Rodolfo Palomino, said the criminal gang known until now as ‘los Urabeños’ will from now on be referred to as the “Usuga David Clan”. This came in response to a request made by President Santos, who asked authorities to change the name they used to refer to the gang because it stigmatizes the hardworking, honorable people of the Urabá region.

Peñalosa fires campaign workers who fought with Police

Lunes, abril 21st, 2014
Presidential candidate for the Green Alliance, Enrique Peñalosa, dismissed several members of his campaign committee who engaged in a physical confrontation with police officers at a Metro station in Medellín. “We regret and reject the deplorable violent acts that occurred in Medellín (…)” Peñalosa said.
A Youtube video uploaded on Sunday shows members of the Green Alliance campaign and authorities involved in a physical altercation on the stairs of the Metro station. The fight allegedly broke out after authorities asked the campaign workers to refrain from handing out political propaganda.
‘We want Colombia to be a country at peace which is why we reject any act of intolerance regardless of the motive,” Peñalosa concluded on his Twitter account.

CDO homeowners ask VP Garzón for help

Miércoles, abril 16th, 2014

Homeowners of Lérida CDO properties that were evacuated for safety reasons sent a letter to Colombia’s Vice President Angelino Garzón, asking for more attention from the National Government in regards to the negotiation process with the construction company.

Santiago Uribe, spokesperson for the victims and Resilience Chief of Medellín, said the most pressing concern is that the construction company wants to negotiate with each one of the families individually and refuses to do so with the group.

Uribe also said the victims are concerned with the possibility of banks reactivating mortgages, after the grace period they had been given is over.

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