Corona Virus has spared Colombia’s government, for now

An empty capital city 

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, please, all of you heed the warnings, self isolate, social distance, do whatever it takes to remain healthy and to not become another number in the increasingly worrying pandemic which has spread across the globe. 

And so, this week we have brought you a special solo segment show, Ep317, of the Colombia Calling podcast which not only explores and explains the Corona Virus in Colombia and the government’s admirable early response to it, but also the events taking place at the same time in this country that threatened decapitate the ruling political class. 

Cra 7 and Calle 72 in Bogotá is empty, ordinarily this junction in the financial sector of the city is buzzing.

And so, we are well into the lockdown here in Colombia, our older son’s school cancelled classes over a week ago and ever since, they diligently send us homework. I do have to say that homeschooling is tough, but quite rewarding, however, ask me again in 18 days time! 

It has been quite heartbreaking to explain to our little boy that on his fifth birthday, 9 April, there’ll be no big party with friends, just our family of four and Monty the Weim. Fortunately, whilst others were stockpiling toilet roll, I was out buying some birthday presents. All is not lost. 

Our almost three month old son, will forever be referred to as a baby of the year of the pandemic. He remains completely oblivious to everything going on around him and I envy this. 

A homeless man walks down the centre of the Carrera 7

We feel somewhat fortunate to have a dog, ten years old and faithfully with us, as this allows one of us every few hours to take him out for a walk and therefore escape from the apartment and stretch our legs. Of course, the street scenes in a city bereft of people are quite peculiar, just see above. At least once a day I will walk down to the financial sector and take a look around and maybe snap a shot or two. Even this novelty is growing a little spent now. 

Episode 317 of the Colombia Calling podcast with Adriaan Alsema of Colombia Reports  

If you have been keeping one eye on the news in Colombia, then you will be aware of what is being called Ñeñe politica. Weaker government have fallen with lesser scandals and this is why it is so important that this story not be buried once we have got through the pandemic. 

Before the Corona virus reached Colombia, President Duque and his political patron, former president Alvaro Uribe, were in danger of drowning in the scandal engulfing them. To keep it brief, and Adriaan Alsema of Colombia Reports will explain this further in the podcast, there is the very real possibility that Duque may have won the presidential contest in 2018 with a campaign of vote-buying in various parts of the Colombia.

Wiretaps have revealed that the late Jose Guillermo Hernandez (Ñeñe Hernandez) – pictured with President Duque in the top image and with Sen. Uribe in the second image – the alleged money launderer of drug trafficker Marquitos Figueroa, was the go-between for narco-trafficking bosses and the political elite. Both Duque and Uribe have denied the links but the ample photographic evidence tells no lies and neither do the contents of the telephone wire-taps. 

So, in the first part of the show we discuss “Ñeñe gate,” and then move on to the very troubling onset of Covid19 in Colombia. Alsema gives us a run-down of what the government has done so far, an idea of whether it may effective and what we should expect as we launch into what could be, a very long period of quarantine. 

Remember those less fortunate

Maria Roa is out there come rain or shine, selling her toothbreaker candies to make ends meet

Social distancing, isolation and home-working are activities which can be carried out by the wealthier classes and the middle class….there are better jobs, more income, bigger houses with multiple bedrooms and a home office, internet connection, banking facilities, savings, credit and plenty of childcare. It’s easy for us to tell the population with scant or no government help that they have to stay at home and go hungry. So please, if you can, continue to pay employees at your business or who come to your home, if you are making a supermarket run to stock up on food, spare some change for people like Maria and others. 

Let’s try and help one another. 

Once again, thank you kindly for your continued support, the Colombia Calling podcast will broadcast each week, hopefully without fail. Please continue to tune in, spread the word and share the show far and wide, and I genuinely feel that Ep317 is important. 

Thank you again and please stay safe. 


About Richard

Anglo-Canadian resident in Colombia. Journalist, Writer, Hotelier, Expedition Guide
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