Archivo de ‘Antioquia’



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.

Authorities are unaware of gangs’ initiative to negotiate

Lunes, abril 14th, 2014

An alleged initiative by members of the ‘la Oficina de Envigado’ and ‘los Urabeños” criminal gang to engage in talks with the Government is unknown to authorities and people close to mediation processes in Medellín. The Police Department, the Mayoralty of Medellín, and the Catholic Church have all denied having any type of contact with the members of groups that for the past four years have been engaged in violent territorial disputes and are the culprits behind acts of murder, extortion, kidnapping, and micro-drug trafficking.

According to Jaime Jaramillo Panesso, commissioner in reconciliation processes, the rumor has been going around for a few months, “but the truth is that there hasn’t been clarity because, until now, the Government has reiterated that criminal organizations only have the option to turn themselves in to authorities, as they are not participants in the armed conflict and therefore can’t benefit from a demobilization process.”

The Police Department made a similar statement, and said it’s unaware of a pact among groups known as the “rifle pact”. Colombia’s Justice Minister Alfonso Gomez Mendez, ruled out the possibility of negotiating with these gangs and said “nothing in terms of their willingness to surrender has been communicated.”

The Archdiocese of Medellín also denied claims that Archbishop Ricardo Tobֶón has been communicating with members of said gangs to facilitate negotiation with the Government.

However, a number of activist groups and even the Archbishop said it would be positive to support some type of initiative that would encourage these illegal groups to abandon criminal activity, reincorporate themselves into society, and reconcile with their victims.

Reward offered for attacker

Miércoles, abril 9th, 2014

The La Estrella Mayoralty and Medellín’s Metropolitan Police are offering up to 50 million pesos for information that leads to the arrest of whoever attacked 22-year-old Alejandro Correa with acid; the victim did not survive his injuries.

Correa had been walking with a woman on Tuesday night when a man came up to them and ordered them to get down on the ground, he then instructed them to give him everything they had, according to the victim’s female companion, but Alejandro got up and the criminal threw the acid on him.

The victim’s mother, however, doesn’t believe the attack had anything to do with theft. Instead, she said he was involved with an older woman who has three children and that the attack may have been motivated by revenge.



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