Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

La Niña is hitting us hard here in Colombia and much of the country is under threat of floods, people are losing their homes and livelihoods. Previous governments have done so little to help vulnerable communities until it is too late.

What is La Niña (not to be confused with El Niño)

La Niña and its more famous counterpart El Niño move back and forth across the Pacific Ocean every few years. The phenomenon changes the temperatures of surface waters and the state of the atmosphere, leading to severe weather conditions for many.

And so, Bogotá and much of the country are suffering from above average and extended rainfalls which threaten much of the country.

My wife, Alba Torres and I discuss this phenomenon as we sit here watching a deluge in Bogotá and think back to the last terrible floods in Mompós in 2010 when we had to sandbag our houses. Our anecdotes and experiences fuel a real concern for what might happen in coming weeks. When will the rains end?

The Colombia News Brief is brought to you by journalist Emily Hart

Direct download: RCC_451.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

In a lucky turn of events, I was contracted by National Geographic and Lindblad as a cultural specialist for Colombia on their recent expeditions from Cartagena to Panama and back.

Hugging the Caribbean coastline, our journey departed from Cartagena before taking in Santa Cruz del Islote, Isla Tintipan, Tuchin, the Bahia de Cispata, Santa Cruz de Lorica before finishing the Colombian leg with a visit to Capurgana and Sapzurro.

In Panama, we stopped by the Kuna Yala islands, Portobelo, the final resting place of Sir Francis Drake before heading up to the Panama Canal to cross from the Caribbean to the Pacific and managed to squeeze in some birdwatching in Gatun Lake.

So, on this show, I share live recordings that I took on-site in various locations along the route. I think you'll enjoy it.

The Colombia News Brief is brought to you by journalist Emily Hart.

Direct download: RCC_450.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

 On this week's Colombia Calling podcast, Adriaan Alsema, director of Colombia Reports (www.colombiareports.com) joins us to discuss the recent declarations made by president Gustavo Petro about the use of cocaine and its effects on Colombia's environment and society.

Where does a legalization of cocaine begin and why should this be discussed?

It's widely recognized that the "war on drugs" has failed, so how do we move forwards? Of course, this conversation leaves us with more questions than answers but the debate must start somewhere...

Direct download: RCC_449.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

On this week's Colombia Calling podcast (Ep448), we get the chance to speak to Ceasar, a 34 year-old Venezuelan webcam model based in Medellin.

We learn about the webcam industry, how he got into this business, the business model of webcams, the legality of it, fetishes and finally, the webcam industry's close relationship to organized crime in Colombia.

Ceasar provides us with a frank and detailed insight into his business and we learn about how he became successful as a webcam "content creator."

Direct download: RCC_448.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Channeling a late-era sound not dissimilar to Joe Strummer of the Clash, friend to the Colombia Calling podcast, singer songwriter Kevin McCaffrey joins us from the southwestern city of Cali to speak about his latest single, "Punk Rockin' Blues" and the creativity behind it.

You'll remember McCaffrey from his last appearance here when he related the time he was drugged and robbed of his life savings in Cartagena, Colombia. Out of this experience, he has been very productive, writing and releasing several singles, the latest being punk Rockin Blues. The video is now available to enjoy on Youtube and even includes Snoop Dogg lookalike! Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBU26w9r1uk

We have a jovial conversation which even goes so far as to mention Gerry Rafferty of Baker Street fame, the Clash, the Police and a great deal more. Please tune in and support McCaffrey's creativity here.

Colombia news from Emily Hart.

Direct download: RCC_447.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

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