Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

The Primera Linea, as the front line of the youths in Colombia's protests during the paro nacional strike is known, have been labelled as terrorists and vandals by the police and President Ivan Duque. In what is a first for the Colombia Calling podcast, we host a bilingual episode where three members of the Primera Linea share with us the reasons as to why they are striking, what they are demanding of the government and the hopeful outcomes to these protests.

On this occasion, we are able to question them on the violence and the destruction of public and private property, how do they respond to accusations of damaging the economy and more and in turn they also share stories of friends killed, facing up to riot police tanks and more.

Tune in to an important episode and a continuation of our series on the Paro Nacional protests in Colombia and thank you to Michael and MCI in the US for translating the interventions of the three individuals that share their stories with us.

Direct download: RCC_386.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

It's a great pleasure to have a true expert in their field on the Colombia Calling podcast and discussing one of the lesser known cultures in Colombia, that of the Raizal people of San Andres and Providencia. To most Colombians these Caribbean islands represent only a vacation escape but the truth is that there is so much more.

Sharika D. Crawford is associate professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and she joins us to talk about her extensive research on slave routes to the Caribbean from Africa, the culture and society of San Andres and Providencia and the issues facing these islands.

We also discuss her book: The Last Turtlemen of the Caribbean. Crawford describes the colonial Caribbean as an Atlantic commons where all could compete to control the region’s diverse peoples, lands, and waters and exploit the region’s raw materials. Focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Crawford traces and connects the expansion and decline of turtle hunting to matters of race, labor, political and economic change, and the natural environment. Like the turtles they chased, the boundary-flouting laborers exposed the limits of states’ sovereignty for a time but ultimately they lost their livelihoods, having played a significant role in legislation delimiting maritime boundaries. Still, former turtlemen have found their deep knowledge valued today in efforts to protect sea turtles and recover the region’s ecological sustainability.

Direct download: RCC_385.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Many listeners have asked after the Colombia Calling news journalist and this week it's a pleasure to have the one and only Emily Hart with us here in Mompós to discuss her life and journalism here in Colombia.

Hart is a journalist and researcher from the UK with a strong background in politics and human rights and has been reporting on some fascinating topics here in Colombia. Her bylines have been featured in the Times, the Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, Sky News and Pitchfork.

On Episode 384 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we have the opportunity to get to know Hart better, talk about her life as a journalist, the writing process, the hunt for articles and how she reported on the demolition of Pablo Escobar's building in Medellin, the ancient rock art in Chiribiquete, illegal armed groups enforcing a Covid-19 lockdown in Colombia and the "rainforest electro" music which is sweeping this region of the Americas.

Tune in to hear more and follow Hart on twitter: @emily_h_h

Direct download: RCC_384.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Many years ago we aired a podcast entitled: "How Corrupt is Colombia?" (Ep172) and unfortunately, the question is still all too timely today. In fact the issue of corruption here is perhaps more pertinent than ever in 2021 in a post Odebrecht era in Colombia, with the Char family in Barranquilla still making overtures about potentially launching a campaign for the presidential elections in 2022 and a seemingly endless slew of accusations levied at politicians on every side of the political spectrum.

On Episode 383 of the Colombia Calling podcast, Will Freeman, Ph.D. candidate in Politics at Princeton University shares his knowledge on the subject of corruption in Colombia and the region.

Freeman's research focuses on understanding how developing democracies strengthen the rule of law and fight corruption. His forthcoming dissertation is a study of the development of anti-corruption efforts in Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru and he spent much of his time doing fieldwork and investigations on the subject in Barranquilla, Colombia.

With Freeman, we discuss Odebrecht, the Char family, the Cartel de la Toga and further elements of regional corruption.

Tune in and also follow Freeman on Twitter: @WillGFreeman

Direct download: RCC_383.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST