Archivo de ‘The week-recaps’



The Week – Aug.29-Sept.4

Viernes, septiembre 4th, 2009

Saturday

Uribe’s conciliatory, rational tone eases tension in Bariloche

At the Unasur Summit in Argentina, President Alvaro Uribe stressed that the military agreement with the U.S. does not threaten Colombia’s sovereignty. Uribe laid the groundwork to improve relations with Unasur nations, but added that solidarity is not enough and practical aid is needed to fight narco-terrorism, which is what the U.S. is offering.

 
Sunday

Consult suspension causes even more division inside Conservatism

Strongly opposed to the Conservative Party’s decision to suspend the September 27 internal consult is pre-candidate, Andres Felipe Arias, who called it a “cowardly” move and that must be justified; party directors say they want to wait and see if Alvaro Uribe is running for a third term before selecting a Conservative candidate.
Saturday

 
Monday

Uribe recovering from H1N1, steps taken to avoid spread

Upon being diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, President Alvaro Uribe’s concern was mainly for all who came in contact with him this weekend, at the Unasur Summit in Argentina and a town hall meeting in Puerto Carreño. The President is isolated and following doctors’ orders to the letter, while all those who were exposed are being tested.

Tuesday

Falconí and Bermúdez will try to bring countries together again

Colombia and Ecuador’s Foreign Relations Ministries will aim to meet in September to begin talks that could reestablish diplomatic relations, suspended since March of 2008. Fander Falconí of Ecuador said “we hope conversations are constructive in terms of how to improve bilateral relations”. The OAS could provide mediation, if needed.

Wednesday

Cab protest new requirements, block airport for hours

For four hours the Jose Maria Córdova Airport in Rionegro was chaos with more than 200 cabs blocking the terminal and passengers scrambling to catch their flights. Drivers are protesting new rules established by Air Tran, the company responsible for the airport’s management, like requiring I.D.’s and charging their entrance to the terminal.

Thursday

Reelection referendum scores major victory but still has a ways to go

The referendum initiative that allows President Alvaro Uribe to run for a consecutive third term was approved in Congress 85 to 5. The deal, however, is far from done. After presidential sanction, the Constitutional Court must study and endorse the bill; followed by the Inspector General, ten public debates and the National Registry.

The Week Recaps Aug.22-Aug.28

Viernes, agosto 28th, 2009

 

Saturday

Gallego suspends work in Eldorado, said airlines must adjust

Flight cancellations and delays of up to five hours forced Minister of Transportation, Andres Uriel Gallego, to suspend runway repaving in the Eldorado Airport until Sept 8th. Civil Aeronautics and Codac, the company responsible for the remodel, will study a new plan to ensure minimum impact on travelers and allow maintenance to continue. Gallego also said airlines will have to be a part of the strategy and adjust or even suspend some flights. “It has to be a joint effort”.

Sunday

Fenalco says banks cheat users, Government won’t interfere

In its annual congress, the business sector stressed that Colombia’s financial sector misinforms users by claiming the use of a debit card is free. Fenalco President, Guillermo Botero, said Colombia has one of the highest handling fees in the world, absorbed by users, and stores pay a commission.Botero requested the ‘no surcharge’ rule be eliminated so a store can separate the charges on a receipt, indicating what it costs to pay with a card. The Government said it will not interfere.

Monday

Chavez’s expansionist intentions met with firm rejection

A letter to the OAS contains Colombia’s response to the Venezuelan president’s latest insults against its people and his intention to impose his expansionist model in Colombian territory. Colombian Ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, said “the Government will repel all expansionist actions publicly ratified by Hugo Chavez (…)”.

Tuesday

Morales asks Farc to reflect and avoid being the reason for U.S. presence

Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, asked Farc to reflect on its actions and avoid being a pretext for U.S. troops to use bases in Colombia. Morales said that “U.S. military presence represents a political presence of that country to conspire against governments (…)” and insisted that accepting Colombia’s pact with the U.S. will be impossible.

Wednesday

Young rapper’s brave efforts silenced by violence

At the age of 20, rapper Hector Enrique Pacheco had already recorded a demo and started the program “United for Life”, which he presented in person to Medellín Mayor, Alonso Salazar, just four days before he was gunned down. In the gang-infested Eduardo Santos neighborhood, “Colacho” dreamed of using music to keep kids away from crime.

Thursday

Purification ritual welcomes 32 Emberas back into community

The 32 Embera-Katío Indians who deserted from Farc’s 34th front, operating in Western Antioquia, were welcomed back into their communities as brothers who’ve been “rescued from the guerrilla and now return for rehabilitation”. The ceremony was a purification ritual in accordance with the laws and culture of their ethnic group.

THE WEEK Aug8-Aug13

Jueves, agosto 13th, 2009

Saturday

New Defense Minister takes office in Catam military base

Colombia’s new Minister of Defense, Gabriel Silva Luján, who until last Wednesday was the General Manager of the National Coffee Federation, took office yesterday in Bogotá. A challenge he faces is the defense of members of the Military Forces accused of human rights violations. His inaugural speech has been postponed for next week.

Sunday

Gallego says Metro should honor agreement made in January

Minister of Transportation, Andres Uriel Gallego, said yesterday in a Metroplus board meeting that Metro should honor the January 7th agreement to operate Metroplus, or put the existence of a comprehensive transportation system at risk as well as lose a year’s worth of work. Local administrators have said they are studying a Plan B.

Monday

New proofs of life bring hope to military hostages’ families

Senator Piedad Córdoba said new proof of life from eight of the 24 military hostages being held by Farc have arrived in Bogotá; now families are left to patiently wait for the videos to be released. Relatives of the hostages say they’ve placed their trust in Senator Córdoba and optimistically await the release of their loved ones.

Tuesday

Unasur refused to condemn Colombia, suggested meeting

Despite several South American nations’ inconformity over the future presence of the United States’ military in Colombia, Unasur refused to condemn Colombia in the Quito Declaration and suggested an extraordinary meeting with President Uribe instead. Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, volunteered to host as early as this month.

Wednesday

Higuita will be honored with Golden Foot in September

Colombian goalie, René Higuita, will receive the 2009 Golden Foot in Montecarlo. In Higuita’s case, the organization considers he has “revolutionized the goalie position with his cleverness and willingness to entertain”. Honorees usually enter the Walk of Fame in Monaco with a footprint, but as a goalie Higuita will leave handprints.

Thursday

Lula and Zelaya ask the U.S. to increase pressure in Honduras

Ousted Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, continued his tour across the continent after his forced exile on June 28. His latest stop was Brazil where, after a meeting with President Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ Da Silva, Zelaya announced that both are asking the U.S. to intensify economic sanctions in Honduras to facilitate his reinstatement.

THE WEEK May18-May22

Viernes, mayo 22nd, 2009

Saturday
Floor is open to nominate candidates to the National Peace Award

With the slogan “All that counts is life” several media, including EL COLOMBIANO, the UN Development Program and Fescol have opened nominations for the National Peace Award. Candidates proposed must stand out for initiatives which “from a democratic and participative standpoint work to overcome the armed conflict and/or its effects”.

Sunday
It’s been nine days since strike started and families are feeling the pain

bananos1Urabá’s economy is 75% dependent on banana farms’ activity and effects on the area’s stability are already serious; executives claim $US2, 7 million are lost for every seven days of inactivity. Although businessmen insist they are the best paid agricultural manual labor in the country, the issue of compensation remains unresolved.

Monday
Ten thousand copies of photo album will be distributed in hopes of identifying remains

The Attorney General is preparing an album with thousands of photos of clothing and accessories found during exhumations in hopes that they will be recognized by victims’ families and lead to the bodies’ identification. The corpses of 2.055 guerrilla and self-defense victims have been exhumed so far; over 1.000 have yet to be identified.

Tuesday
Sachi hands DIM over to Leonel Alvarez, who debuts as head coach

sachiUnhappy with the team’s standings, Santiago “Sachi” Escobar stepped down from his job as head coach of Independiente Medellin and gave the reins to Leonel Alvarez. “The present is not good”, he said, “(…) I am grateful for the support of the directorship (…) it’s not right to hold on to a contract when you have the team trailing”.

Wednesday
Senate votes in favor of reelection referendum, conciliation is next step

‘Uribistas’ managed to get the approval of a law inviting Colombians to participate in a referendum that seeks President Alvaro Uribe’s second reelection. The Senate voted 62-5 in favor; now the House and the Senate must reach conciliation as to when it will apply as the former approved it for the year 2014 and the latter for 2010.

Thursday
Camilo Ospina resigns to OAS and thanks President for trust placed in him

Colombia’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) and former Vice-Minister of Defense, Camilo Ospina, resigned in order to make himself eligible for the position of Attorney General of Colombia, which will be elected in August. Ospina faced scrutiny last year when the military attacked aka “Raul Reyes’ camp in Ecuador.

Friday
Defense Minister Santos bids farewell in ceremony

COLOMBIA/Outgoing Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos made recommendations to his eventual successor to not lower his guard “even a millimeter” in the fight against what he called the “terrorism beast”. In a farewell ceremony led by President Alvaro Uribe Velez at the Cadet School in Northern Bogota, Santos said “I will always wear the uniform”.
“The snake is still alive, I call it the terrorism beast”, Santos said in his farewell address. In Colombia we must “persevere until that beast or snake no longer exists”. Uribe has not named a replacement for Santos who announced his resignation on Monday after 34 months in office; he will officially leave on May 23. “Minister help me choose a successor to advance in this task”, the Head of State said to Santos during the ceremony.



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