Archivo de octubre, 2012

Many support talks, but few feel they will be successful

Martes, octubre 30th, 2012

According to the most recent Gallup Poll, 72 percent of Colombians approve of the peace process initiated by President Juan Manuel Santos with the Farc guerrilla. While most people feel the Government should not negotiate with Farc and the Eln at the same time, they do believe talks with the Eln need to happen.

The survey revealed that 65 percent believe dialogue is the right method to find a solution to the armed conflict. Only 33 percent expressed support for a military solution.

Despite people’s support for talks, however, only 39 percent feels they will actually end successfully, making it clear that no amount of optimism can cure the distrust people feel towards insurgent groups that have deceived and attacked the population on so many occasions.

The President’s approval rate also went up, from 51 to 57 percent.

Murder on the rise in Antioquia’s Northeast

Lunes, octubre 29th, 2012

Between January 16th and October 16th of this year, the Personería (People’s Defender) in Segovia, Antioquia has counted 143 people murdered. Unfortunately, the actual number of victims is higher considering that at least ten more people have been killed over the past few weeks. Remedios has a similar situation with 114 murders reported this year and 250 cases of forced displacement while in El Bagre there have been 38 murders, 17 of them in just the past month.

While numbers released by local authorities in each town differ slightly from the ones revealed by Antioquia’s Police Department, the truth remains that murder and extortion have grown at an alarming rate in these communities. Police intelligence agents believe problems in the region are the result of open confrontations between Farc, the Eln, and criminal gangs like los Urabeños and Heroes del Nordeste.

El Bagre’s ombudsman, Jose Gabriel Navarro, explained that police presence was increased in the area but “you can’t tell”; he expressed his disapproval of the “indolent and restrained actions of the Armed Forces because they are not doing what they are supposed to do.”

Experts weigh in on bullfighting debate

Lunes, octubre 29th, 2012

The future of Medellín’s Bullfighting Festival will begin to take shape on Friday when Council starts debating the bill aimed at eliminating pain, suffering and death of a bull during the fight.

For Victor Diusabá, one of the country’s most respected bullfighting commentators, the festival is an age-old cultural expression (…) a ritual. Its essence is the fight between man and a unique animal such as the fighting bull using artistic, aesthetic and ethical elements (…)”

But animal rights activist, Natalia Parra, insists on the need to protect bulls against pain and suffering, freeing them from what she refers to as a “tribute to death”.

Antioquia will attempt to defend title at the Games

Lunes, octubre 29th, 2012

Four years ago nobody dreamed Antioquia would rack up ten gold medals in canoeing, but the team did it with an unforgettable performance at the National Games.

This year a few issues are standing in the way of more optimistic predictions and even the most hopeful aren’t expecting more than eight gold medals. One of the main problems is that the team lost four of its male athletes and there was a lack of resources during training season, but it all got straightened out in May.

On the bright side, athletes like Edwin Amaya and Tatiana Muñoz, who contributed to the gold medal count four years ago, are also present this year; new athletes like Mateo Pérez and Handerson Holguin also show promise.

Unipol will boost surveillance in Medellín

Jueves, octubre 25th, 2012

Major General Rodolfo Palomino introduced the new National Police Intervention Unit (Unipol), which will increase police presence by 200 officers and 20 vehicles in addition to an unmanned device that will help fight criminal activity from the air.

The quadcopter can climb to 3,500 meters and fly for anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours depending on the mission assigned to it. The device has proved successful in Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena and Cúcuta. “It has a camera that will allow us to prevent theft, muggings and keep a sharper eye on areas where we are interested in knowing more”, Palomino indicated.

Families in Action will attempt to reach thousands more

Miércoles, octubre 24th, 2012

When talking about the Government’s goal to increase the number of families that benefit from the “Families in Action program” by 300, 000 families, President Juan Manuel Santos said “every effort is being made” to improve the service offered to the community. In recent days lines have gotten longer as families attempt to register for government assistance.

The National Government hopes to reach out to at least 29,000 families in Buenaventura alone, in the department of Valle. The director of the Department for Social Prosperity, Bruce MacMaster, said there are currently 2,300,000 families benefiting from the ‘Families in Action’ program.

Jackson Martínez makes history with Porto

Miércoles, octubre 24th, 2012

Chocó-native Jackson Martínez made history yesterday by scoring two goals in Porto’s game against Dinamo Kiev in Europe’s Champions League; the game ended in a 3-2 victory for Porto.

In addition, the first goal scored by the striker was made with an assist from fellow countryman James Rodríguez, which makes it a 100% Colombian accomplishment.

A Colombian soccer player had not achieved anything similar in the League since Faustino Asprilla’s hat-trick for Newcastle against Barcelona more than a decade ago.

RIA sets out to reforest Medellín

Miércoles, octubre 24th, 2012

In public and private areas of its five subdivisions, or corregimientos, the Municipality is planning to reforest 135 hectares with native and exotic species; it will also perform maintenance on 360 additional hectares as part of the ‘More forests for Medellín’ program.

Activities are led by Antioquia’s Industrial Reforester (RIA in Spanish) and the goal is to make it a cultural transformation as well as an environmental one by educating the community on how to preserve and care for their surroundings.

Sunday will be about soccer and music

Jueves, octubre 18th, 2012

On Sunday fans can head to the Atanasio Girardot stadium to watch Atlético Nacional battle Equidad, of course, but also for entertainment in honor of Fan Day.

J. Balvin, one of Colombia’s top reggaetton performers, will be putting on a show to help fans celebrate and cheer their team on. Nacional also has contests planned and will give away a car.

Negotiators open talks in Norway

Jueves, octubre 18th, 2012

Negotiators from the Colombian government and Farc launched the nation’s third attempt a peace process in Norway.

Both sides had a chance to intervene, making it obvious that there are still huge differences to overcome and that the process will be complex, to say the least. Talks will continue in Cuba next month.

octubre 2012
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