Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

This week on Colombia Calling, Emily Hart is joined by María Fitzgerald – brilliant human rights journalist, writer, and Gender Editor at outlet Cambio.

Her new book, Los Nombres que Olvidamos (The Names We Forgot), collects chronically under-told and even hidden stories of Colombia’s everyday and normalised violence. It also serves as a statement against depersonalised writing, against the myopic focus of the mainstream news agenda, and as a call for better, more personal, and more humanising ways to narrate the country’s conflict (and indeed conflicts) and to foreground women’s bravery and action in the face of it.

We’ll be talking about women in conflict, social justice, and journalism via armed groups, the paro national, illegal mining, and more - as well as the female journalists who inspire us, from Svetlana Alexievich to Joan Didion.

Direct download: RCC_484.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Ricardo Cubides is the regional coordinator for the Colombian Caribbean region for the NGO CODHES - La Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento and it is an incredible honour to talk with him and tap into his knowledge of the sociopolitical issues here.

On this Episode of the Colombia Calling podcast - permitted only due to the fact that the conversation is in English - we deal with incredibly sensitive information about the chronology of armed groups in the region of the Canal del Dique, the structural racism and the on-going conflict in the region.

The Canal del Dique is a feat of engineering, built by slaves from Africa, commanded by the Spanish empire, running for 115km in length and connecting the lakes and waterways of the Magdalena river basin with the city and port of Cartagena.

Latterly, the area has been controlled by the EPL guerrillas, then the ELN and then the FARC before coming under the control of the AUC paramilitaries and now the AGC or Clan del Golfo.

We discuss the situation now and in particular alongside the ambitious Paz Total or Total Peace project promoted by the current government of President Gustavo Petro.

The Colombia News Brief is reported by journalist Emily Hart.

Support us at

Direct download: RCC_483.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Colombian distance record holder and paragliding guide, Sebastian Ospina works as a professional tandem pilot in Europe but perhaps is better known for his incredible achievements in paragliding competitions. It's a great honour for us to speak to him here on the Colombia Calling podcast.

We talk to Sebastian about his life as a paragliding expert living in Interlaken in Switzerland, how he became enamoured with the sport and some of the intricacies involved in competitive to stay alive!

Unable to fly for Colombia (explained in the conversation), Ospina was snapped up by team GB and with them won the Gold at the 2021 World Championship.

How much do you know about competitive paragliding? Did you know that there are four categories?

Precision Paragliding Landing
Acrobatic Paragliding
Cross Country
Hike & Fly

Check out some of Sebastian Ospina's titles, awards and more...

First pilot to fly over 200k straight line in Colombia
5x Winner of the Rolda Open (2013, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2013)
Winner of the British Winter Open 2019
3rd overall place XContest 2019 and 2020
Winner of the North American Paragliding Nationals 2022, Valle de Bravo
Team Gold at the World Championship 2021
6th at the World Championship 2021
Winner of the Eiger Tour challenge category 2022
6th World Cup Superfinal 2022

The Colombia News Brief is reported by journalist Emily Hart.

Support us on Patreon:

Direct download: RCC_482.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Reading an extract from his forthcoming work of non-fiction: The Mompós Project, A Tale of Love and Hotels in Colombia, journalist Richard McColl discusses the issue of witchcraft in this corner of rural Colombia.

Having set up a successful business in the town of Mompós - a town that inspired much of the writing of Gabriel García Márquez - he incurred the wrath and envy of a handful of townspeople.

The book with be available in all the usual places from November 2024 but stay informed at

Richard McColl has worked as a journalist in Colombia since 2007 and is the host of the Colombia Calling podcast and the LatinNews Podcast.

The Colombia News Brief is reported by journalist Emily Hart.

Direct download: RCC_481.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Hallo and welcome to another episode of Colombia Calling – I’m Emily Hart and this week I’ll be talking to the team at Power Leaves – who are unleashing the health and nutritional properties of the coca leaf by creating de-cocainised extracts and essences – and exporting them from Colombia across the globe - working with the country’s Nasa indigenous community.

Today on the show we have Ahmed Shehata, Co-Founder & President of Power Leaves and Carolina Mejia, VP of Regulatory Affairs for the company in Colombia – we’re going to be talking all things coca leaf – its properties and uses, how the company is navigating the regulatory frameworks to get coca extracts into markets across the world – and how Power Leaves are challenging the monopoly of the giant household name who import coca leaves to the USA and sell their drinks in more than 200 countries. I’m talking, of course about Coca Cola.

This week’s headlines reported by journalist Grace Brennan.

Direct download: RCC_480.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST