Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

Nationwide strikes began in Colombia on November 21, originally called by unions protesting against proposed pension and labour reforms, then the discontent grew to include protests against the killing of 18 minors in Caqueta - bombed by the airforce attacking a dissident FARC camp -, the killings of members of an indigenous community in Cauca and the possibility of legalizing fracking in Colombia, the legalization of hunting sharks for their fins.

It doesn't end there, people are protesting corruption, teachers and students are protesting the lack of funds for education, police brutality and on the list goes...

So, it appears that the unrest sweeping through Latin America has reached Colombia, where the simmering of discontent, present for decades, has been brought to the surface by 15 months of the inoperative government of President Ivan Duque.

So, with Adriaan Alsema, the director of Colombia Reports, we discuss some of the reasons behind the protests and some of the events and scandals which have taken place and why.

Tune in to this episode to understand the current unrest in Colombia.

Direct download: RCC_301.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

In a critique of the pornographic webcam industry, Maud Madlyn and Andres Montes Zuluaga go where many have never even considered going, they sign up to become webcam models in order to better understand the dynamics behind this business to open a debate around sexual violence and gender violence in Colombia.

The figures which accompany the rape, abuse and murder of women and girls in Colombia is startling if not horrific and so these two actors from the Defiant Reality - Theatre for Change entity, decided to explore this side of things in order that we may discuss it further and hopefully together try and re sensitize ourselves once again to this issue.

By taking on the world of webcams, a huge business in Medellin and Cali, Maud Madyly provides us with an insight into the violence simmering beneath the surface in these chatrooms and how the whole process works.

What Madlyn and Montes Zuluaga have put together is a documentary, which is performed live on stage, with live interactions streaming from their own webscams and the chatrooms of their viewers. If it seems unreal, it's because the idea is incredibly progressive and creative.

Tune in to hear about the darker side of the webcam world in Colombia, from a man and a woman, who decided to explore it for themselves, as the observed.

Direct download: RCC_300.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Charles Massey from Ottawa joins us once again (hear his Bollywood in Barranquilla Ep215) to entertain the colombia calling podcast listeners with a Kishore Kumar bollywood song, sung live for us here in Bogota.

But, while we discuss Massey's life since he moved back to Canada after his time as a teacher in Barranquilla, we get to know our interviewee a little more and are even privy to an exclusive reading of one of his poems.

Reflecting on his experiences in Colombia and Barranquilla, Massey is able to share a little more about how his time here, one year ago, has changed his outlook on life and perhaps in what he is seeking from life.

Tune in for a personal but fun look at one man's desire to share and understand cultures.

Direct download: RCC_299.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Hailing from Texas, Dylan Baddour cut his teeth in journalism before heading down south to Colombia. Here, he reports on issues talking place in Colombia and the fall out from the humanitarian tragedy currently on-going in Venezuela.

Perhaps my favourite piece written by Baddour is about former FARC guerrillas, who are trying to make a life of it beyond the reintegration camps run by the government.

"Another battle, key to the chance of maintaining peace after more than 50 years of civil war, is being waged deep in the Colombian countryside, where former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas are struggling to build new lives after decades of conflict." (

So, we explore this story and others by Baddour, hear of the journalistic process and amount of patience required to earn respect and gain confidence of former guerrillas and how there's plenty of waiting around.

Tune in for a master class in editorial judgment, journalism and candour with a rising star in the reporting world. Check out Baddour's website at:

Direct download: RCC_298.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST