Hasta Siempre Colombia, Dr Paola Cubillos speaks to Colombia Calling.
Was Dr Paola Cubillos naive when she and her husband decided to gamble everything and return with their three children from Canada to Colombia? It was 2016 and the peace accord with the FARC guerrillas was all but signed, things appeared to be changing for Colombia and they wanted to be part of it.
The peace accord was signed not long after they arrived to live and work in Cali in southwestern Colombia. Then, the "No vote" was victorious in the referendum on the accords, there were the demonstrations in October 2019, Covid-19 in 2020 and then the strikes, protests and violence in the country in April and May 2021, and Cali, where they were living, was a particular flashpoint.
That was it. The family departed almost five years to the day that they arrived. On this, the fifth anniversary of the signing of the peace accords, we sit down with Dr Cubillos to discuss, from a Colombian's perspective, how the experiment of returning home was unsuccessful.
Tune in to Episode 395 of the Colombia Calling podcast for this and news from journalist Emily Hart.
More episodes from "Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia"
398: Isabel Cristina Zuleta and Beto Coral are Activists for Colombia
1:05:48On Episode 398 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we address a sadly overlooked topic and that of the human rights and environmental defenders in Colombia. It is a great honour to host Isabel Cristina Zuleta, praised by Amnesty International for her work with Ríos Vívos - Antioquia Movement, in defense of the territory, and of the affected communities in the area of influence of the Hidroituango project, and Beto Coral, a Colombian activist in exile in the US for having named former president Alvaro Uribe as the head of the Aguilas Negras paramilitary group. Coral's father was part of the squad involved in hunting down Pablo Escobar and was later murdered by a corrupt policeman. We hear their thoughts on the 2022 presidential elections in Colombia, how they became activists, what they campaign for and the threats on their lives. News as always from journalist Emily Hart
397: Briceño, Antioquia: An Uncomfortable Peace
1:01:35Alexander Diamond joins the Colombia Calling podcast from Briceño, Antioquia to tell us about his research which has kept him in the rural Colombian town for 24 months so far. Briceño is a so-called "peace laboratory," designated as a principal site for coca crop substitution after the signing of the peace accords between the government of President Santos and the FARC guerrillas in 2016. Now, the location of a tug of war power struggle between dissident guerrillas and paramilitaries, for this area that has suffered so much, the future is in the balance. Diamond shares the findings from his PhD research and some insights into the documentary he is making entitled: An Uncomfortable Peace.We discuss the violence, the neighbouring dam in the town of Ituango and more, check out his website www.alexkdiamond.com
396: Leishmaniasis in the context of the Colombian Armed conflict
57:27On Episode 396 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we get to discuss the disease of leishmaniasis in the context of the Colombian armed conflict and post conflict period with post doctoral fellow Lina Beatriz Pinto-Garcia. Pinto Garcia's ethnographic monograph explores how the Colombian armed conflict and a vector-borne disease called cutaneous leishmaniasis are inextricably connected and mutually constitutive. The stigmatization of the illness as “the guerrilla disease” or the "subversive disease," is reinforced by the state’s restriction on access to antileishmanial medicines, a measure that is commonly interpreted as a warfare strategy to affect insurgent groups. Situated at the intersection between STS (Science and Technology Studies) and critical medical anthropology, her work draws on multi-sited field research conducted during the peace implementation period after the agreement reached by the Colombian government and FARC, the oldest and largest guerrilla organization in Latin America. It engages not only with the stigmatization of leishmaniasis patients as guerrilla members and the exclusionary access to antileishmanial drugs but also with other closely related aspects that constitute the war-shaped experience of leishmaniasis in Colombia. This work illuminates how leishmaniasis has been socially, discursively, and materially constructed as a disease of the war, and how the armed conflict is entangled with the realm of public health, medicine, and especially pharmaceutical drugs. The problems associated with coca cultivation and leishmaniasis cannot be dissociated from cross-border events such as forced disappearance and the massive migration of Venezuelans who arrive in Colombia looking for survival alternatives, including coca production. Tune in and hear about the Diseased Landscapes project https://www.insis.ox.ac.uk/diseased-l...
395: Hasta Siempre Colombia, or So Long Colombia
59:20Hasta Siempre Colombia, Dr Paola Cubillos speaks to Colombia Calling. Was Dr Paola Cubillos naive when she and her husband decided to gamble everything and return with their three children from Canada to Colombia? It was 2016 and the peace accord with the FARC guerrillas was all but signed, things appeared to be changing for Colombia and they wanted to be part of it. The peace accord was signed not long after they arrived to live and work in Cali in southwestern Colombia. Then, the "No vote" was victorious in the referendum on the accords, there were the demonstrations in October 2019, Covid-19 in 2020 and then the strikes, protests and violence in the country in April and May 2021, and Cali, where they were living, was a particular flashpoint. That was it. The family departed almost five years to the day that they arrived. On this, the fifth anniversary of the signing of the peace accords, we sit down with Dr Cubillos to discuss, from a Colombian's perspective, how the experiment of returning home was unsuccessful. Tune in to Episode 395 of the Colombia Calling podcast for this and news from journalist Emily Hart.
394: Four Weeks down Colombia's Magdalena River
54:49An exhilarating travelogue for a new generation about a journey along Colombia’s Magdalena River, exploring life by the banks of a majestic river now at risk, and how a country recovers from conflict. An American writer of Argentine, Syrian, and Iraqi Jewish descent, Jordan Salama tells the story of the Río Magdalena, nearly one thousand miles long, the heart of Colombia. This is Gabriel García Márquez’s territory—rumor has it Macondo was partly inspired by the port town of Mompox—as much as that of the Middle Eastern immigrants who run fabric stores by its banks. Following the river from its source high in the Andes to its mouth on the Caribbean coast, journeying by boat, bus, and improvised motobalinera, Salama writes against stereotype and toward the rich lives of those he meets. Among them are a canoe builder, biologists who study invasive hippopotamuses, a Queens transplant managing a failing hotel, a jeweler practicing the art of silver filigree, and a traveling librarian whose donkeys, Alfa and Beto, haul books to rural children Tune in for an enjoyable conversation with the author and buy his book! https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/676218/every-day-the-river-changes-by-jordan-salama/
393: Adventures in freelance journalism in Colombia
54:32Exactly 40 episodes ago in December 2020, freelance journalist in Colombia, Joshua Collins (@InvisiblesMuros) made his first appearance on the Colombia Calling podcast talking about the border region at Cucuta and with neighbouring Venezuela. So much has happened since then and we've collaborated on projects from Cucuta for the New Humanitarian and the Globe and Mail reporting on the tragedy of the Venezuelan migrants crossing into Colombia and making the journey South all the way to Chile in search of work. Collins has been busy, such is the life of a freelancer, and he gives us the lowdown this week on his adventures and travel to the region of Catatumbo, one of Colombia's most important coca growing regions. Here he discovers various things but you'll have to tune in to hear more. We also discuss the protests in Cali, police brutality in Colombia, disappearances and finally his new project with other journalists: Pirate Wire Serices https://piratewireservices.substack.com/
392: Adriaan Alsema of Colombia Reports is being sued
1:02:26Adriaan Alsema of Colombia Reports says it was satire and the injured party from RCN Colombia claims that it was slander. You can decide for yourselves over the duration of this podcast which takes in the subject of Adriaan Alsema's legal difficulties in recent weeks and an overall look at the increase in harassment of journalists in Colombia. Can a journalist in Colombia discuss corporate activity in criminal activity, asks Alsema of Colombia Reports? No stranger to controversy, Alsema takes this opportunity to present his side of various stories since the Colombian press has not wanted to cover it, preferring to only make reference to Diana P Camacho of RCN news. Tune in
391: La Casa de Mama Icha: a new Colombian documentary regarding place, belonging and identity
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390: Appreciating the Peripheries of Medellin, Colombia
1:04:44A great deal is made of the urban regeneration of Medellin's infamous Comuna 13, and for good reason, but now that there's a "been there, seen this, done that," attitude towards this success story, with tourists arriving in their droves to view the graffiti, ride on the escalators and marvel at the strength of a community in the face of such adversity, is it time to extend this policy of regeneration and hope beyond the frontiers of but one nighbourhood? Exploring the issues which arise around such a concentrated focus has led to an intrepid group of Colombians and Europeans resident in Medellin to explore this imbalance. After 130 interviews, six months of investigation and consultations, the result is a new exhibition entitled: ContraMiradas - Narrativas de la Periferia Urbana. Austrian urbanist, Manuel Oberlader, resident in Medellin, put together a team to address this contextual issue which may define the city and started exploring outer-lying and lesser know districts of Medellin and nearby Bello, Antioquia. What resulted has been an empowerment of said districts and their populations, such as those of La Cruz, Santo Domingo and Granizal. Locals from these barrios were taught photography, filmmaking and more and their stories are those which are now on display in the EPM Biblioteca in Medellin. Our newscast journalist Emily Hart was also involved in the setup of this exhibition and therefore she joins myself and Oberlader in discussing the essence of the displays and what the team behind Contra Miradas was trying to achieve. Come and visit as the exhbition runs from 17 August -30 October 2021. Many of you are resident in Medellin or often passing through the city, please stop in and visit the exhibition to support this initiative. Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/contramiradas
389: Being a Migrant isn't a Crime -the harrowing tales of Darien Gap crossings
50:10There's a humanitarian crisis taking place at Panama's southern border and in northern Colombia where thousands of migrants ranging from countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and as far-flung as Congo, Syria and Nepal are lining up to cross the Darien Gap in the hope of some day reaching the United States of America. On this week's Colombia Calling podcast, we have the honour of talking to Raul Lopez, project coordinator and Doctor Fabiola Pintado, both of Doctors Without Borders (Medicos sin Fronteras, Medecins sans Frontieres) at their location on the frontline in the town of Bajo Chiquito in Panama. Lopez and Pintado speak to us about the awful state of the migrants emerging from the jungle after the 7-10 day trek of 60 miles through one of the world's most dangerous jungles. Women are raped, people are murdered, robbed, children washed away in turbulent rivers, people collapse from exhaustion are forced into being drugs mules and more. This is harrowing story of human suffering and is one which deserves to be widely heard. Tune in and hear about an underreported tragedy at the Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama and the work of the MSF.