Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

So, Colombia just had the first round of their presidential elections on May 27 and the right-wing Ivan Duque won by a significant margin but not by enough to take him straight to the presidency. In second place was the former M19 guerrilla and Mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro who will now face Duque on June 17 in the second round. 

On this Episode 231 of Colombia Calling, your host Richard McColl will provide you with a summary of what took place and how the voting happened in the first round and what to expect for the second round and the three weeks until then. Tune in to learn more about Colombia's fascinating political spectrum.

Direct download: RCC_231.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EST

Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range rises more than 18,000 feet from the Caribbean Sea — a height that makes them the tallest coastal mountains in the world. The national park that houses them is also the world's most irreplaceable protected area for the conservation of threatened species and is home to ancient communities and archeological wonders. So, it is with my great pleasure to invite Santiago Giraldo back on Colombia Calling after an absence of a few years. 

Giraldo is the Director for Latin America for the Global Heritage Fund and the Director of Prosierra, a Colombian environmental NGO. You'll remember we discussed the Lost City or the Ciudad Perdida and the 24,000 annual visitors to this sacred site, well, we catch up on what has been going on and explore some of the conservation projects underway in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Direct download: RCC_230.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am EST

In the light of recent events such as FARC politician Ivan Marquez returning to his jungle hideout in Caqueta and Jesus Santrich under arrest for allegedly cocaine trafficking to the US, I discuss the topics in the news about Colombia this week and it doesn't make for comfortable reading. 

This is an episode put together to bring my international listeners up to speed with what is going on in Colombia, what international hawks are saying about the increasingly fragile-looking peace deal, President Santos' failure to act, the on-going crisis with the ELN, the FARC dissidents and indeed the issues surrounding Marin, Marquez and Santrich....all of this and we are less than 20 days from the presidential elections which appears to be head to head Ivan Duque vs Gustavo Petro.

Direct download: RCC_229.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm EST

Long-time listener Adam Navarro-Lowery contacted Colombia Calling some weeks ago, full of enthusiasm for his upcoming first visit to Colombia...and yet, Adam is half Colombian and with extensive family links to Tolima and Santander. We sit down to discuss his family tree, look over sepia photographs from a yesteryear Colombia and trace his roots. 

In an open and frank discussion, Adam - a native of Dearborn, Michigan - tells us of his reason to join the US military (spoiler alert: the Medellin cartel is involved), his desire at age 39 to trace his roots and learn about his family, and his findings on a trip to Ambalema and Honda in the department of Tolima just beyond Bogotá along the river Magdalena.

Direct download: RCC_228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EST

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