Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia
This week I am thrilled to have anglo french citizen Marie Quinney on the show live from the southern economic hub of Cali talking to us about finding a job down in her city, working and living there and indeed her thesis on the issue of "Fatalism and Povery in Cali" while studying at the London School of Economics. 
 
We'll discuss the class system and segregation in Colombia, how she conducted her research and interviews and how her life is developing in Cali and how she came to be in this city. 
 
What is most exciting is that Marie is an academic who is determined to shirk away from the sugarcoated blogs about parties, attractive women, sun and salsa and write, from her educated perspective, about life in Colombia. Check out her ruminations here: http://honestlycali.weebly.com/
 
Also, she is leading a funding drive to enable her partner Juan Felipe to be able to go and study at Cambridge University for an MPhil in Neuroscience focusing on addicition. Get involved people! http://www.gofundme.com/ly22b4
Direct download: RCC-2015-03-23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36pm EST

In the light of recent events and announcements made by both the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian Government regarding the on-going peace process, we have taken the time to discuss the significance of Transitional Justice here in Colombia. 
 
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced the suspension of all military bombing raids on FARC rebel camps last week. This was the most recent declaration that has gone a long way to securing an atmosphere of trust between the two sides. Remember, just a week ago, the announcement was that of FARC guerrillas working alongide official military in aiding the eradication of landmines in Colombia. These are major steps forward and so we discuss the repercussions and importance of the peace dialogues and the real meaning of transitional justice. 
 
Also on another note, something which has been dominating the headlines has been the government's complete capitulation to the yellow taxi unions in Bogota by outlawing the private online taxi service of Uber and UberX. We talk about what this means for the city's beleaguered consumers and our right of choice in the matter. 
 
Don't forget! March 17 is our to chance to protest on what is no being called a: "No Taxi Day" to promote the right to choice and to fair competition. 
Direct download: RCC-2015-03-16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm EST

Rather than cornering a travel blogger to wax lyrical on the tropical fruit available in Colombia, this week we speak to Briton Francesca Tarrent, a keen observer of Colombia. We talk about Francesca's recent journeys around Colombia which have taken her to the haunting and harrowing ruins of Armero, where, 30 years ago this year a massive landslide brought about by a volcanic eruption killing almost 20,000 people from a population of 29,000. 
 
After Armero, Francesca visited the former country mansion of someone you might have heard of, Pablo Escobar, the former global godfather of international cocaine trafficking. His finca, Hacienda Napoles, located near to Puerto Triunfo was once an opulent structure where he housed tropical animals and entertained his visitors. Only this week, the main building collapsed putting paid to the possibility of an authentic museum to illustrate the havoc wreaked by Escobar. 
 
And finally, our conversation turns to that of the elitist nature of Colombian society with a discussion about recent events involving a character named Nicolas Gaviria which has dominated debate with the hashtag #ustednosabequiensoyyo (do you know who I am?) in the Colombian national press. For more information about this story, read on  http://www.richardmccoll.com/ustednosabequiensoyyo/
Direct download: RCC-2015-03-09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19pm EST

Recording this show made me want to give everything up, pack it all in and spend my savings on a 4x4 and go on an adventure. Although, any adventure I take would pale in comparison to that achieved and being undertaken by dutch couple Karin-Marijke and Coen. 
 
Karin-Marijke, Coen and their Toyota Land Cruiser BJ45 have been on the road in Asia and South America since 2003. They are often characterized as the slowest overlanders in the world but for them it’s all about staying in places and connecting with people. Can you imagine my excitement to be able to sit down and chew the fat with Karin at a coffee house in Bogota and hear about their adventures in Iran and in Colombia and beyond before they headed off along a little known route to Puerto Carreno at the far end of the Colombian Llanos bordering Venezuela! 
 
Read more about their incredible lives here on their website: http://www.landcruisingadventure.com/ and tune in to the show to hear a first account of life on the road. 
Direct download: RCC-2015-03-02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

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