Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This video is an insight into the slums of Bogota and the lives of the people who live there.

Carrier pigeon apprehended by authorities

Photo: Colombia Reports

A trained carrier pigeon was apprehended by authorities on the outskirts of the Cómbita prison in the north-west department of Boyacá. The bird had an external card for a cellular phone attached to its back.
W Radio reported that Boyacá Police Chief Juan Carlos Polanía said that due to heavy rains in the region, the pigeon had become soaked and was unable to fly. The bird was found sheltering in a tree by prison guards patrolling the area. It was then intercepted and failed to complete its mission.
Polanía said the incident should be of concern to authorities, as it provides an ingenious way for prisoners to continue committing crimes from inside prison without detection. He added that authorities were not equipped to combat this new means of communication.
The nearby prison houses some of Colombia's Most Wanted, including leaders of criminal gangs, guerrillas and drug traffickers.
According to El Espectador, carrier pigeons are also used to transport illegal drugs such as cocaine and marijuana.
Authorities did not comment on whether the pigeon will remain in police custody.

I though this was pretty amazing. I can't believe they actually train pigeons to go on missions. I would love to know what mission this pigeon was on but they don't say in the story. The desperate measure some people take are crazy. I guess it is a pretty smart way of communicating if you are in prison because as mentioned in the article "authorities are not equipped to combat this new means of communication."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Floods and landslides cause chaos in Bogotá

Public life in large parts of Bogotá was severely disrupted after heavy rainfall made the Fucha river flood and caused numerous landslides. Whole areas are disconnected from the rest of the world and local authorities declared a yellow alert to face the problems.
In 12 of the capital´s zone, authorities called emergency because of landslides. Most affected were Bosa, Fontibón, Kennedy and Tunjuelito.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, last night 3 inches of water per minute fell from the sky, too much for the city sours and rivers to deal with. Hundreds of houses reportedly were destroyed.
Authorities expect worse problems if it keeps raining and the water of the Fucha does not have the oppurtunity to lower. Several buildings are feared to collapse because the water is destroying their fundaments.
There are no reports of injuries.


Hopefully the situation improves in Bogota with the weather. It is very unfortunate that houses were destroyed because of the rain. I wonder what kind of houses or buildings are being destroyed and what kind of standards they are built from.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Colombia not Columbia


I thought this video was funny and informational. It pokes fun of the people who think Colombia is so dangerous and shows what most people see when they visit Colombia. The thing you have to remember is that most of the problems in this country are not happening to the general population but to the indigenous areas of Colombia.

Colombia designs 'strategic leap' to combat FARC
Photo: Colombia Reports

Colombia's Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos Tuesday announced a "strategic leap" to further diminish the military capacity of the FARC.
The plan consists of a joint offensive by the several branches of the armed forces in areas where the FARC has strong military presence.
"The beast is wounded and we have to keep the initiative to give it the final blow, to take it to a point of no return," Santos said.
According to the Minister, the armed forces will first determine on what locations the guerrillas are at their strongestand begin a massive and long lasting offensive in those areas, using troops from all over the country.
"We will combine this with intelligence work to identify and hit the high value targets that are there," the Minister added.
Santos also says Colombia will strengthen its military presence on its borders to prevent guerrillas taking refuge in neighboring countries.
"We will also fight the political and legal war of these groups that, while being beaten in the military field, choose to infiltrate civil society with militias and presence in universities and NGOs," Santos said.
It is good to see that action by the Colombian government is being made to fight the drug war in Colombia. They are coming together to try and end the drug problem but it is going to take more than just spraying the crops. I hope this effort will ultimately cause some improvement to the ongoing situation with the FARC.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dollar vs. Colombian Peso
One dollar is now COL $2561.21

Monday, March 30, 2009

BBC News:
Incest accusations shock Colombia
A Colombian man has appeared in court accused of raping his daughter over many years and fathering several children with her.
Arcebio Alvarez, dubbed the "monster of Mariquita" by the local media, allegedly abused his daughter, now in her 30s, since she was nine years old.
The case has shocked Colombia, and the 59-year-old needed police and army protection for his court appearance.
Mr Alvarez denies incest and rape, saying his daughter was adopted.
"We agreed to have a romantic relationship because we really loved each other. But she was not my own child," he told the court in the central Tolima province.
Sometimes I would ask him [why we were doing it] and he would say it was God's will
Arcedio Alvarez's daughter
It is not clear whether his claim is true, or whether it would affect the charges he faces, but the woman says she always saw him as her father.
"I always respected him as my father and he is my father," she said.
"He never spoke about [incest], about why we were doing it. Sometimes I would ask him and he would say it was God's will."
The woman told police how her mother died when she was five years old, leaving her in the care of Mr Alvarez.
She says she was raped repeatedly and became pregnant 14 times. Eight of her children, aged between one and 19, survived.
The woman and her children are now under state protection.
Child welfare campaigners have called for a life sentence if he is convicted, saying there are hundreds of thousands of child sexual abuse cases in Colombia not being prosecuted.
The case has also prompted a movement to change Colombian law, says the BBC's Jeremy McDermott in Colombia, to ensure that those found guilty of raping children go to prison for life.
I posted this article from BBC News because it gave a more in depth description on the story about the man raping his daughter that I previously posted. I am glad that the case has prompted a movement to change Colombian law when it comes to raping children. This is a sad story and I hope that justice is ultimately served.