Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

Buenaventura is one of the major ports on the continent, accounting for nearly 60% of all Colombian sea imports and exports. However, due to its strategic position, the city's economy has been hampered by gang-related activity fighting over control of the port, making it among the most impoverished cities in Colombia with an unemployment rate of roughly 88% for a population of around 400 thousand.

And now, Buenaventura is in the news once again in Colombia, and for all the wrong reasons.

Following on from her first appearance on the Colombia Calling podcast on Ep334 (The Problem with the Coastal Cities of Colombia's Pacific). US academic Shauna Gillooly graciously agreed to return to provide us with a background as to what is going on in Buenaventura.

Tune in to hear about an overlooked and under reported news story from Colombia in which powerful economic interests lead to the displacement and suffering of traditional communities.

Direct download: RCC_364.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Eddie White Jr has courted some controversy here in Colombia, not least with his casual observation and caricatures of "the girls of Medellin." We sit down for a conversation about his art, the long term goal of producing a book and indeed, to hear his side of the story surrounding "that" Medellin image.

In what is a friendly and frank conversation, we learn of White's love for Colombia and his admiration of the people here. His desire is to promote the country and show the wonders and exoticism here through his observational pop art.

Hear artist Eddie White Jr's story and check out his artwork on Instagram.

Direct download: RCC_363.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

It will come as no surprise to many that mining is one of the most polluting and destructive industries in the world and in South America this extractive industry has been a root cause for so many different but cross-cutting problems. It’s vital we support frontline communities to defend their land, water and culture; biodiversity, and the global climate and so on this episode of the Colombia Calling podcast, we discuss these issues in relation to Colombia with Tom Gatehouse, writer and researcher for the Latin America Bureau.

Gatehouse is currently writing, "The Heart of Our Earth: Community Resistance to Mining in Latin America," which is due to be published in the Spring of 2022.

Mining has grown exponentially in Latin America in the last three decades. Massive new mining projects have had major socioenvironmental effects, including pollution, appropriation and contamination of water supplies, division and co-optation of communities, and in some cases their forced relocation.

Communities are learning how to resist and some have successfully challenged government and company claims that large-scale mining projects can be safe, sustainable, and socially beneficial.

Tune in to this informative episode.

Direct download: RCC_362.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

The Sudaca craft beer company is a business idea born out of an experience in the city of Leeds in Britain when one of the team worked and learned the brewing trade there before returning home to Bogotá. Now, this team has introduced a selection of quality craft beers to the Colombian capital.

It was a great pleasure to be contacted by Rafael Vargas of the Cerveceria Sudaca, located in Bogotá's hip art district of San Felipe, known for off-beat galleries, graffiti and now craft beer, to talk about their work, their brew and the future.

And, showing the kind of classy guys they are at the Sudaca, Vargas sent over some bottles of the IPA and Stout that they produce at the brewery. So, let's say that this episode has been sponsored by Sudaca, check them out

Direct download: RCC_361.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT