Archivo de enero, 2013

Carlos Vives invites ‘paisas’ to write a reggaetton

Jueves, enero 31st, 2013

As EL COLOMBIANO’s director-in-charge and to celebrate the newspaper’s 101st anniversary, singer/songwriter Carlos Vives is inviting ‘paisas’ to write the lyrics to a song about love, filled with the traditional values that distinguish the people of Antioquia. Vives was asked to be EL COLOMBIANO’s ‘director for a day’ in honor of the upcoming birthday.

Residents of Medellín or any other town in Antioquia, ages 15 and up, are eligible to participate in the contest. Lyrics must be about love and may not have any sexual content or be offensive to women in any way. People are encouraged to remember that the winning lyrics are meant to be a reggaetton, produced and recorded by Carlos Vives and his studio, Gaira Música Local.

The deadline to submit an entry is Sunday, February 3rd at midnight. Carlos Vives will select the winning lyrics himself and the winner will be announced in a special anniversary edition of EL COLOMBIANO scheduled for publication on February 6th.

Talks in Havana resume amidst tension

Jueves, enero 31st, 2013

The transition into the next stage of peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and Farc has been tense thanks to antagonizing statements made recently by both parties, respectively.

While the guerrilla group insists on asking for a bilateral ceasefire and still believes a Constitutional Assembly is the way to end the armed conflict in Colombia, the Government was equally emphatic in saying there will not be a bilateral ceasefire until an agreement to end the process has been signed

The Government said the guerrilla needs to demonstrate true willingness to achieve peace so it may determine whether it’s even worth it to continue talks.

Hostages rescued in Cauca

Jueves, enero 31st, 2013

Sources from the Army’s Sixth Division confirmed the rescue of two engineers and a topographer who were kidnapped on Wednesday, January 30th in Piamonte, Cauca by three armed men claiming to be members of the Farc guerrilla.

Authorities used two helicopters in an operation backed by the Colombian Air Force and the National Police.

The three men work for the Gran Tierra oil company and had been on their way to El Jardín when they were intercepted and forced into an SUV that took them into a mountainous area.

Ban on male passengers extended six months

Miércoles, enero 30th, 2013

Government officials of the Aburrá Valley made the unanimous decision to extend the ban on male motorcycle passengers for another six months as well as increase the restriction by two hours. It will now be in effect daily between 8:00 a.m. and midnight.

Nine out of ten municipalities in the Aburrá Valley saw a reduction in crimes perpetrated by suspects on motorcycles; in eight, homicides also went down. The measure would have expired on January 30th and was in effect since November 30th of 2011.

The Commander of the Metropolitan Police, General Hose Angel Mendoza, was happy with the decision and is confident it will favor the perception of security in the city.

Meanwhile the Mayor of Copacabana, Hector Monsalve, said he is working on expanding the transportation system in the rural area, where moto-taxi services have been highly affected by the ban.

Farc says it will keep kidnapping police officers and soldiers

Miércoles, enero 30th, 2013

In a statement released from Cuba, the Farc guerrilla announced it will continue to kidnap members of the military forces and police officers.  “We reserve the right to capture members of the public forces as prisoners. They are called prisoners of war and this phenomenon occurs in any conflict anywhere in the world,” the statement said.

Farc negotiators, who are currently involved in peace talks with the Colombian Government in Havana, Cuba,  also urged the Government to agree to exchange these so-called ‘prisoners of war’ and committed to refraining from kidnapping for profit.

Colombia’s Minister of Defense, Juan Carlos Pinzón, said he is holding Farc responsible for the lives of two police officers abducted in Valle del Cauca.

Reficar renovations will give Colombia the most modern refinery in Latin America

Martes, enero 29th, 2013

Renovations to the Cartagena Refinery (Reficar) plant will place Colombia at the top of the list of the most modern refineries in Latin America. According to the company’s estimates, in just a few years the company could go from producing 25,000 bpd to 40,000 by integrating the old facility with the newly expanded one.

Crude oil would also improve in quality going from 1,200 sulfur parts per million, to less than 30. Diesel fuel production is also expected to increase in both quality and quantity, from 28.000 bpd to 110,000, of which 75 percent would be for exports.

A specific date for all the projects to be finished by has yet to be announced, but the company expects to have more specific information in about two weeks.

Police believe Officer Díaz was kidnapped

Lunes, enero 28th, 2013

Authorities continue to search for police officer, 24-year-old Jairo Díaz Vergara, who disappeared on Sunday in the El Codito area of Usaquén, in northern Bogotá. More than 100 officers were involved in a thorough sweep of the area, which includes six hectares of woods.

Authorities and relatives believe one of two things could have happened to the young officer, who has been with the Police for four years and just two weeks ago joined the team policing this particular area notorious for criminal gang activity: one is that he may have fallen over a cliff and the other is that he was kidnapped.

For General Luis Eduardo Martínez, the fact that the officer’s bulletproof vest was found in the woods makes it more likely that Díaz was kidnapped and stripped of his vest. A reward of 20 million pesos is being offered for information leading to Diaz’ safe return.

Santos reiterates Government’s position and rejects Farc attacks

Lunes, enero 28th, 2013

From Santiago de Chile, where he is attending the CELAC Summit, President Juan Manuel Santos said the Government will not let its guard down and will continue to condemn all terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Farc guerrilla.

Mr. Santos adamantly rejected the kidnapping of two police officers in Valle del Cauca and said that ever since the unilateral truce came to an end, Farc has resumed terrorist acts, “as predicted.” The President said he hopes the guerrilla hears pleas from the international community asking them to stop attacking civilians and officers protecting the nation.

“The Government’s decision has been clear: we will not let our guard down on any front and much less in the military front until we reach agreements (…)”, Mr. Santos said.

After addressing the press at the conclusion of the Summit, Colombia’s President planned to meet with Cuban President, Raul Castro, to discuss issues that include Clombia’s peace talks with Farc.

Three under arrest for deadly fire in Brazil

Lunes, enero 28th, 2013

Brazilian police arrested three suspects linked to a tragic fire that killed 231 people in the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa María last Sunday. The fire was caused by an explosive artifact set off by one of the band members performing at the time.

Aside from the fact that explosives of this kind are not permitted indoors, the club had only one exit, which bouncers allegedly blocked to keep people from leaving without paying. The fire spread quickly, however, and panicked guests tried frantically to escape, causing a stampede that killed many as well.

Authorities said the club’s license had expired in August of last year. One of the club’s owners was arrested along with two band members; there is a warrant out for the arrest of yet another club owner who was injured in the fire and remains hospitalized.

Colombia takes on new regional roles

Lunes, enero 28th, 2013

The CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit in Chile made it clear that the world’s eyes are on Latin America, and particularly on Colombia. Not only did all participating Latin American and European countries back peace talks between the Colombian Government and Farc, but Ambassador Nestor Osorio was also chosen to serve as President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which President Santos hailed as “an honor”.

enero 2013
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