Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

It's an absolute pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Dickinson, Snr Analyst for Colombia at Crisis Group, back on the Colombia Calling podcast to explore more profoundly the unrest and the #paronacional in Colombia.

We recorded this episode as Colombia hit an unenviable benchmark of 24 days of protests which began on April 28. What is going on, why and what can we expect in the coming months as we move into the presidential election cycle in 2022?

Showing complete clarity, Dickinson has been producing some of the most insightful interpretations of events in Colombia. There's an exasperation in the country and people are clamouring for social justice and security. Of course, the pandemic has exacerbated things, but when 84% of Colombia's youth are in favour of the national strike (Paro Nacional), something is definitely awry.

We discuss the violence in Cali, how the strike extends beyond the urban and into the rural, what to expect from the negotiations with the government of President Duque and where Colombia goes from here.

Expect an in-depth analysis of the 2016 peace accords in Colombia and the need for leadership and political courage from the country's politicians. Dickinson explains that it will impossible for the government to address the long list of grievances in Colombia, but empathy, accountability and a comprehension of the underlying issues in this nation would be a good place to start.

Tune in for an incredible conversation with one of the top analysts on Colombia.

Direct download: RCC_377.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

As the the nationwide paro nacional protests continue in Colombia, it's worth taking a moment to explore an incredibly important piece of news which has been buried by their blanket coverage in the press.

This week, on Episode 376 we speak to journalist and investigator Andres Bermudez ( about the recent admission by the FARC guerrillas that kidnapping was an official policy and not an "economic retention," as they previously had claimed.

This admission by the FARC secretariat before the Special Peace Jurisdiction/ Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz or JEP, is a landmark decision taken by the former guerrillas and we're waiting to see what the JEP draws up.

We explore this and more themes, including an update on the protests in Colombia with journalist Emily Hart in Medellin.

Direct download: RCC_376.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

These are troubling times in Colombia. This episode was recorded on Sunday 9 May during the 12th day of nationwide protests in Colombia. Sergio Guzman, Director of Colombia Risk Analysis joins us to provide a total overview of what has been going on here.

Guzman is recently returned from Cali where a great deal of the unrest has been taking place. We hear about what the situation felt like in Cali and the overall ambiance there. Then, Guzman provides us with a look at the situation in Colombia in the lead in to the strikes, what has gone on during the strikes and the government of President Ivan Duque's reactions and finally, what we might expect from a period of dialogue in the future.

This is a timely and important episode and worth listening to in order to understand the malaise in Colombia, the nation's youth who feel that there is no future for them here and the overall discontent which has been simmering for some time.

Check out Colombia Risk Analysis:

Direct download: RCC_375.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Joining us from Cali, Colombia is Heidi Paster Harf to explain to us a little about the phenomenon of "emerrging jews" in Colombia. To explain this, first let's put this into perspective: One of the most striking contemporary religious phenomena is the world-wide fascination with Judaism.

Traditionally, few non-Jews converted to the Jewish faith, but today millions of people throughout the world are converting to Judaism and are identifying as Jews or Israelites and Colombia is no exception.

This overall phenomenon constitutes a dramatic turning point in Jewish history, since traditionally non-Jews had little or no interest in joining the Jewish people. This new reality has many implications, as it is beginning to change the face of Jewish communities and at the same time sharpen the debate over the boundaries of the Jewish collectivity.

So, tune in to hear about this and here in Colombia, something I had no knowledge of before reading her Harf's article and seeing her photographs in the Washington Post recently.

Tags and Keywords: heidi paster harf, hiedi harf photographer, colombia calling, cali, emerging jews, emerging jews colombia, jews colombia, jews south america, richard mccoll, richard mccoll journalist, richard mccoll podcast, podcast colombia

Direct download: RCC_374.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT