A Conversation with the Chatarrero

We stopped him in his van, walking as we were down to the neighbourhood bakery. Can you be at our address in 40 minutes? What have you got to sell? Plenty, I said, and a heavy iron object too. He seemed interested and promised to stop by. The Chatarrero would arrive an hour late, all the while I was chatting to the Sentry. It made me reflect on the Chaterrero and his fundamental place in the economic food chain of Bogotá. I suppose the Chatarrero would be what we called a rag-and-bone man in London back in

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The Sentry

You could see that he was bored. It was clear that anything was going to be more interesting than what he was currently doing. So, I struck up a conversation with the Military Policeman at that moment on sentry duty three buildings down from the residence of the Colombian Minister of Defense in Rosales.

a military helicopter flies overhead

a military helicopter flies overhead


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Bogotá Stereotype No5: Gomelo Students

As you wander along Bogotá’s San Francisco River (otherwise known as the Eje Ambiental) perhaps admiring the bathing facilities designed by Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona for the city’s superabundance of street-dwelling indigents, or you’re enjoying a stroll through the Plaza de los Esmeralderos or perhaps crossing the Carrera Septima at the tunnel in front of the Javeriana University…you will no doubt be swamped in a dizzying array of Gomelo University Students.

Could Rogelio Salmona have imagined this? (source) Could
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Morales, Bolivar, ground zero as to why Colombia is not at peace

A great deal has been written about regarding the Colombian Government’s peace dialogues with the FARC guerrillas. I have spoken at length about this moment and indeed written a good many news articles about the topic and while I wholeheartedly embrace these immense steps that Colombia is taking towards becoming a country without a conflict with the FARC, there are fully justified doubts and worries which continue to ripple across the nation. The town of Morales and its surrounding regions are central to my concerns about the present and future problems and challenges facing Colombia. Perhaps more

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