Colombia

Radio Ambulante

The city of Medellin, Colombia has changed dramatically over the past few decades. But the city's past as the home to one history's most violent drug cartels still lingers.

Pablo Escobar, the notorious Colombian drug lord, remains an iconic figure 25 years after his death, despite the violence and murder he wrought. Now, tourists travel to Medellin to learn about Escobar and his infamous Medellin drug cartel.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. George Neugent is the Monroe city commissioner. Stephanie Kaple is the director of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition. Hurricane Season starts June 1 and Sundial talked to Kilngener, Neugent and Kaple about Monroe County post Irma, recovery efforts and preparedness for the upcoming season.

Paul Smith / UNHCR

CÚCUTA, COLOMBIA | Angélica Lamos’ house is one of the few places in Cúcuta where you can hear Venezuelan refugee children laughing instead of crying. The kids are squealing, in fact, playing with balloons in the courtyard as jaunty cumbia music wafts in from a corner cafe.

They’re not malnourished. They’re not sick.

Colombia on Sunday held its first presidential election since a landmark peace accord ended a 50-year-old guerrilla war. The battle to lead the country now goes to a runoff next between two ideological opposites and the race is expected to be contentious.

Right-wing candidate Ivan Duque, a former senator, took first place, and will run against leftist Gustavo Petro, a former mayor of Bogota and a one-time rebel. Of the 19 million votes cast, Duque won 39 percent — missing the 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff. Petro received 25 percent.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

CÚCUTA, COLOMBIA | It’s not easy for Jesús Mendoza to talk about all the things he’s had to sell to buy medicine – life-saving medicine.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

First of a three-part WLRN series, "Escape From Venezuela"

CÚCUTA, COLOMBIA | This is what the Venezuelan refugee crisis sounds like: the fists, knuckles and open palms of destitute – and above all hungry – Venezuelan migrants pounding on the metal gates of humanitarian relief stations here in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta.

Tim Padgett / WLRN News

The Venezuelan refugee crisis is overwhelming South American countries—especially Colombia.

 

Last Friday, the U.N. had to suspend a new food stamp program for Venezuelans in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta because the crowds were simply too large and chaotic.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

The Venezuelan refugee crisis is only worsening - and international aid raised so far to help hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans pouring into countries like Colombia is falling well short. As a result, the U.N. and other aid  groups are looking for new sources of funding.

Colombian authorities have arrested a former peace negotiator for the rebel group FARC on a warrant seeking his extradition to the U.S. on cocaine smuggling charges.

Seuxis Hernandez, also known by the alias Jesus Santrich, was taken into custody at his residence in the capital, Bogota, on an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York charging him with conspiracy to smuggle $15 million worth of cocaine into the U.S., according to an Interpol notice quoted by The Associated Press.

Fernando Vergara / AP via Miami Herald

At a warehouse near Miami International Airport, Adelys Ferro is unpacking boxes and making a checklist of donated medicines for Venezuelans.

On small peasant farms across Colombia, panela, or unrefined whole cane sugar, is grown, picked and processed entirely by hand. It constitutes the basic economy for hundreds of municipalities, and is second only to coffee in the number of people engaged in its production.

Colombia's former FARC guerrilla group is making its electoral debut as a recognized political party in congressional elections on Sunday.

The FARC became a political party in December 2016, after signing a peace deal with the Colombian government that ended 52 years of bloody civil conflict in which more than 200,000 people were killed and an estimated 8 million were displaced.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis is now a crisis in next-door Colombia. Thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their country’s economic collapse each day, and pressure is mounting to help them. The diaspora here in South Florida is making an especially strong call.

Former Venezuelan Senator and opposition leader Pablo Medina just arrived in Miami after touring the Venezuelan-Colombian border. Some 600,000 Venezuelans now reside in Colombia, and thousands more keep coming by the day.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

South Florida has petal power. Just about all the flowers that enter the U.S. come through Miami, where they're the No. 1 import.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos suspended ongoing peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) on Monday, after the leftist rebel group killed several police officers in a series of bomb attacks over the weekend. It is the second time this month, negotiations between the government and the last remaining rebel group have been put on hold.

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