Posts Tagged ‘Global Newsroom’

President Santos isn’t planning to meet with Farc

Jueves, enero 23rd, 2014

From Davos (Switzerland) where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he has no plans to meet with the Farc guerrilla in Cuba. The statement came after the President of Uruguay, José Alberto Mujica, said he was planning to meet with Farc and President Santos in Havana.

Mr. Santos said that if he meets with Mr. Mujica it will be during the Celac (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit, which is held in Cuba, but insisted that this is the only reason he will be traveling to the island, and not to meet with Farc representatives at the negotiation table.

“Never before, since the confrontation began 50 years ago, has a peace agreement been so close,” Mr. Mujica said, referring to the endeavor as a superior goal that deserves all possible support. In July of Last year, Mujica met with Farc negotiators in Havana; later in September, he met with President Santos at the UN Assembly in New York.

Hugo Chávez dies in Caracas

Martes, marzo 5th, 2013

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, died this afternoon in Caracas of respiratory complications caused by the cancer treatment he had been receiving for the past year and a half. He underwent surgery in Cuba on December 11th and never fully recovered from complications that resulted.

Chávez did not live long enough to be sworn in for his third term as President, which would have expanded his socialist regime over two decades.

Venezuela’s Vice-President, Nicolás Maduro, addressed the country accompanied by Information and Communications Minister, Ernesto Villegas. “He has passed…after a difficult fight against disease for almost two years,” Maduro said with a cracking voice and a tear-streaked face.

Up until now, Venezuelans had only received vague and incomplete reports on the disease that eventually took the President’s life and his supposed recovery; over the course of the past year and a half, Chávez underwent four surgeries in Cuba, the specific type of cancer he was suffering from has never been revealed.

Shock and outrage over murder of two children

Martes, febrero 19th, 2013

An entire community was shaken by the unfathomable murder of two innocent children whose only crime was to sneak onto a vehicle to hitch a ride.

Two boys, just 11 years old, knew it was dangerous to walk along certain streets in Comuna 13, their hard-working single mothers had certainly warned them enough. Sometimes, however, it’s easier to just forget and go play with friends.

Recently one of the boys’ mothers had even “bought him a cell phone and got cable TV so he’d stay home more and she could check on him more often,” a relative of one of the boys said.

On Saturday afternoon the boys, usually inseparable, ran off to play and no one heard from them until around 6:00 p.m. when a third child showed up with a horrendous tale. The boys had allegedly been taken by men wearing boots who started beating them and told the third boy to “get lost”.

The boy said they had all climbed into a delivery car without the driver’s knowledge and hitched a ride to a sparsely populated area, they got out and the car drove off, the boys stayed behind to play. Several men showed up and started to beat the older boys, the younger one was let go and came back with the story.

The boys’ relatives contacted authorities immediately; police went to the area to check but found only signs that the boys had been there. The boys’ bodies were found the next day in the afternoon, both were found in an abandoned ranch in Aguas Frías, the boys had been stripped down to their undergarments and were stuffed in sacs, they had multiple wounds to the head and torso.

“They were just children. All they did was play soccer and run errands, they never had any trouble with anyone,” one of the children’s relatives said.

Yesterday, both children’s mothers had to head to work despite the terrible loss they just suffered. The women know that losing a day’s pay just isn’t an option and that the products they sell from carts on the street are perishable, and to miss a day is to let them go to waste.   The families are trying to gather donations to pay for their sons’ funeral services.

Central Bank lowers interest rates

Lunes, enero 28th, 2013

With an interest rate reduction from 4,25 to 4,0 percent, Colombia’s Central Bank will both boost the economy, which experts say isn’t growing to its full potential, and encourage Colombians to accumulate more debt.

“Each person and bank must take on the task of assessing if they are able to take on more debt and how to use available credit options”, said bank chief, Jose Dario Uribe.

Uribe also said that the decision was made considering that, on average,  the economies of Colombia’s commercial partners have grown as much as expected. The Board of Directors also decided to extend daily dollar purchases thru May and expects to accumulate 3,000 million dollars, with daily purchases of no less then 30 million dollars.

‘El País’ apologizes for Chávez photograph fiasco

Jueves, enero 24th, 2013

Spain’s El Pais was forced to apologize to readers after publishing a photograph of a man it claimed was Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, on its front page; the picture turned out to be a fake. The mishap shows just how far the media has gone to get the ‘scoop’, disregarding the importance of verifying sources.

Fidel Cano Correa, journalist and director of the Colombian newspaper, El Espectador, believes a mistake of this magnitude makes it necessary to reflect on journalism and the value of information as well as the civil responsibility that each publication entails.

“This situation is a good lesson for all reporters. It alerts us to all the caution we must have towards information. In this case, there was a lack of many obvious controls. Sometimes we are light in our confrontation,” Cano said.

“The excess of information makes it harder to verify,” Cano said, adding that readers are also constantly scrutinizing the information they receive and “errors are found in seconds.”

El Pais, Cano said, should have been more suspicious than usual of the photograph, but they “skipped many logical filters”. However, he believes the paper will emerge stronger. “El País will have an important reflection. Their brand is strong enough to recover prestige and strengthen the reporting team.”

Georgio’s testimony will shed some light on other cases

Miércoles, febrero 8th, 2012

Italian Georgio Sale, who was arrested last Friday, can probably shed some light on a few cases for Colombia’s Attorney General and the Accusations Committee of the House of Representatives. His testimony will likely help determine if they have a case against former magistrate, Jose Alfredo Escobar, and other government officials.

Sale was convicted and served five years in prison in Italy for money laundering and faces similar charges in Colombia. Despite the fact that a warrant for his arrest had been out since 2006, Sale risked returning to the country in an attempt to recover goods that were confiscated because they were tied to the activities of former paramilitary chief, Salvatore Mancuso, who was extradited to the United States.

If you’re looking for quality of life, try Medellín

Viernes, noviembre 6th, 2009

A study conducted by the Private Competitiveness Council established that Medellín has the highest quality of life in Colombia and concluded that its residents are the most satisfied with public services, security and education, among other aspects.




The Mayor of Medellin, Alonso Salazar, said “it gives me great happiness that Medellin has been offered this recognition (…)  I feel it’s well deserved for the work we have done in developing human capital, education, parks, libraries and partnerships with the private sector”.

Salazar added that this title serves as an invitation to investors to settle down in Medellín if they’re looking to serve Colombia and South America, because one of the variables companies look for is adequate standards of living for their employees and executives.

Dramatic inmate transfer

Viernes, noviembre 6th, 2009

A group of 103 inmates was transferred from the Bellavista National Prison to other facilities around the country. Families waited outside the prison in a state of anxiety and uncertainty until four buses drove off with their relatives on board, but it was hard to see inside because even on the bus the inmates were heavily guarded by Public Forces; only a few were able to take a peek and wave goodbye.


In a written statement the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners Foundation rejected the inscrutability with which prison authorities and the Police handled the issue of inmate transfers; the organization had to resort to fragmented and unofficial sources confirm the information.

Users pay tolls electronically

Viernes, noviembre 6th, 2009

On Tuesday the electronic toll payment system will be activated, it’s the first in the country and will initially be used only by the toll booths run by Devimed: three on the Medellín-Bogotá Expressway and one on the Las Palmas road. Users will no longer have to pay cash or even stop at the booths.


With the new much faster service it’s expected 950 vehicles will be passing through the stations per hour, putting an end to lines and waiting. The first 2000 users to register can do so for free.

Mines kill 3 in Dabeiba

Viernes, noviembre 6th, 2009

Two wounded children ages 10 and 12 spent the night next to the bodies of their dead parents and a cousin after the family fell victim to two antipersonnel mines in the village of Cuchillón, three hours from Dabeiba.

The family had been heading home from the village school around 7:00 p.m. when they hit the mines, all three adults died and one of the children was forced to run for help. Spokespersons from the Red Cross in Antioquia said this is one of the most serious incidents involving mines this year.

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