Discovering Bogotá: The Barrio 20 de Julio

Perhaps I have been slack of late as my forays into as yet unknown sectors of Bogotá have dropped off a little, but I am happy to say that we took full advantage of the long-weekend here to explore a little of the Barrio 20 de Julio. Named after Colombia’s cry for independence, the Barrio 20 de Julio is something of an emblematic district for Bogotanos, principally due to the market and indeed the Divino Niño Jesús found in the huge church at one end of the main plaza.

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Ten Years in Colombia

It’s more or less ten years to the day from when I stepped off the plane having decided to move my life to Colombia. It had been a rollercoaster ride up until this point, near death experiences, the life of a freelance vagabond and journeyman journalist and plenty of tall tales to share over a drink or two. I was prepared for Colombia, or so I thought, after seven years on the highways and byways of the Americas. Certainly, Colombia was not foreign to me with a work trip to the Pacific for WWF in the late 1990s

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The Power Vacuum in a Post Farc Colombia

On Saturday, the local and international press reported that the final group of FARC guerrillas, numbering around 300 combatants, from Frentes 3, 14 and 15 arrived at Agua Bonita, Caquetá, bringing to an end the massive mobilization of men and women from their clandestine camps deep in the Colombia jungles and voluntarily arriving at the 26 UN zones of concentration around the country.

FARC FARC guerrillas arrive in their zone of concentration. Image provided by El Espectador
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Colombia’s Carousel of Corruption

I wanted to call this Colombia’s merry-go-round of corruption, but I found it to be too well-meaning and therefore taking away from the seriousness of the issue. Colombia is currently in the grips of startling revelations of illegal pay-outs, under the table payments, obscure campaign contributions and all linking to some of the most “respectable” and “connected” families in the country. So, where to begin in explaining this carousel of corruption?

corruption Colombia’s Carousel of Corruption.
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