Ending a civil war: Colombia cracks the code?

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THE WORLD is mired in insurgencies, with the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, the persistence of Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine, and the continuing attacks of Boko Haram and Al Shabab in Africa. But at least one seemingly intractable guerrilla war — Latin America’s longest — may be coming to an end. Colombia is poised to reach a negotiated end after 50 years of fighting against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Marxist-Leninist insurgent group known by the acronym FARC. Laudable on their own terms, these talks also shed light on the social changes and negotiating strategies it might take to end other civil wars around the world.

Twenty months of negotiations in Cuba have yielded fruit: provisional agreements by rebels to give up the cultivation of drugs, in exchange for land reform and the opportunity for FARC to convert into a nonviolent political party. One crucial innovation was the unprecedented move to invite five delegations of FARC’s victims to the negotiation table, where they had a chance to confront the militants about their crimes. These interactions help promote truth and reconciliation, and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos’ negotiating team should be commended for incorporating them into the peace process. “At the beginning of the negotiations, [FARC representatives] said they were victims, and that there were no victims created by them,” recalled Luis Carlos Villegas, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States. “Now they have changed. They sat face to face with people who said, ‘You kidnapped my daughter,’ ‘You killed my mother,’ and then had a conversation.” FARC members must acknowledge the harm they inflicted. And when victims feel a sense of closure and accountability, they can more easily accept the painful compromises — such as reduced sentences or even amnesty for FARC members — that are necessary to end the conflict.

Such talks aren’t always possible. The Colombian guerrillas likely wouldn’t be at the negotiating table if not for the relentless military campaign of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, whose father was killed by FARC. When Uribe took power in 2002, FARC was believed to have more than 20,000 rural fighters. Today, its ranks have dwindled to fewer than 8,000. FARC is willing to end the war because it’s losing.

Also helpful is Colombia’s recent economic growth. The country now attracts some of the world’s highest levels of foreign direct investment. Government spending on education and universal health care has boosted the quality of life. It’s a government radically different than the one FARC was founded to overthrow half a century ago.

Lastly, the United States deserves some credit. A multibillion-dollar US aid package known as Plan Colombia helped the Colombian government combat organized crime and drug lords tied to FARC. In fact, Colombia has been so successful that it is training other countries, including Mexico, in these areas. In a world full of war-torn countries with governments on the verge of failure, Colombia may at last have found the magic recipe to bring about peace.

Source: The Boston Globe -Editorial 9/18/2014

How to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors

By Christopher Dawson and Jennifer Grubb, CNN
updated 10:21 AM EST, Mon November 11, 2013
A woman mourns her dead son at a chapel in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 9, 2013.
A woman mourns her dead son at a chapel in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 9, 2013.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Relief organizations are accessing needs, but there are ways to help now
  • Typhoon Haiyan left utter devastation and thousands of casualties in the Philippines
  • Recovery will be long for victims of this deadly storm

(CNN) — The stories coming out of the Philippines are unimaginable. Rushing water and wind tearing children away from their parents’ arms. A death toll that may reach 10,000. A city of 200,000 in which no buildings appear to have survived intact.

One of the most intense typhoons on record, Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) left catastrophic destruction behind.

If you’re looking for someone missing in the Philippines, or if you have information about someone there, Google.org has launched the Typhoon Yolanda Person Finder. A Google crisis map has also been added to detail evacuation centers and areas designated for relief.

Charities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world are responding to this disaster. Many are detailed below with how they’re providing aid and how you can help them make a difference.

Emergency support

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has deployed rescue and relief teams to evaluate the damage in the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. You can donate to the Philippine Red Cross by selecting the Supertyphoon Yolanda campaign on their donation page. TheInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC) and Red Cross networks from around the world are supporting the Philippine Red Cross. Many have created specific funds for this disaster, including the American Red CrossCanadian Red Cross and the British Red Cross.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is working with local authorities, the Filipino Jewish community and their global partners to assist in providing for survivors’ immediate needs. You can support their efforts online or by phone at 1-212-687-6200.

CARE‘s emergency response teams are coordinating with local partners in the Philippines to provide food, water, shelter and health care for those in need. Their teams in Vietnam are preparing for the potential need there as Typhoon Haiyan continues its devastation. You can support CARE’s efforts on their website, or by phone at 1-800-521-2273 within the United States or +1-404-681-2252 outside the U.S.

Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S., is on the ground helping with water purification, shelter materials and essential living supplies. You can donate to the organization’s efforts online or you can call 1-877-435-7277. You can also type in your phone number on the website and a representative will call you back to take your donation.

Convoy of Hope‘s Global Disaster Response Team has shipping containers full of food and supplies on the way to the Philippines. The organization is preparing more supplies to be sent like canned goods, hygiene kits and water filtration units. You can visit Convoy of Hope’s website to donate funds to their efforts or call 1-417-823-8998.

Mercy Corps is preparing to deliver food, water, temporary shelter and other basic supplies to devastated areas throughout the Philippines. You can support the organization by donating through their websitePayPal, or by calling 1-888-747-7440.

Oxfam America aid teams are on the ground in northern Cebu, northern and eastern Samar and Leyte, in the Eastern Visayas region in the Philippines. They’re working to provide immediate access to water and sanitation materials. You can support this effort by donating online to their Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Recovery Fund, or by phone at 1-800-776-9326.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency‘s (ADRA) emergency response team is working in Manila and in the province of Bohol to provide food, emergency relief and medical aid to those in need. They have launched an emergency appeal that you can supportonline or by phone at 1-800-424-2372.

Food and water

The World Food Programme was already providing emergency food assistance in the Philippines following the October earthquake. With these emergency food stocks stretched thin, they’re now mobilizing additional supplies and are flying in 40 tons of fortified biscuits in the coming days. Additional food supplies are needed. You can help these efforts by donating online or by calling 1-202-747-0722 domestically or +39-06-65131 for international calls.

Samaritan’s Purse has sent disaster relief specialists, including water and nutrition experts, to the Philippines to deliver immediate aid. They have launched the Philippines Emergency Relief fund for this disaster, which you can support online or by phone at 1-828-262-1980.

World Vision is responding in the Philippines by first providing emergency food and clean water. They will also work to create child-friendly spaces and help families rebuild from this disaster. They have launched a Philippines Disaster Response Fund that you can support online or by calling 1-888-511-6443.

Action Against Hunger is on the ground providing drinking water and survival kits containing buckets, soap and chlorine tablets. They’re also working to distribute sanitation equipment to prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases. They’re requesting assistance and you can help by donating online or by calling 1-877-777-1420.

Shelter

ShelterBox was already in the Philippines providing shelter after the 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on October 15. They are now expanding their operations to provide tents and essential equipment for families left homeless after Typhoon Haiyan. You can support their work in the Philippines either online or by calling 1-941-907-6036.

Habitat for Humanity is already providing help to 30,000 families with shelter repair kits to rebuild their damaged homes. You can support this work by donating from the Philippines to their Re-Build Philippines Fund or from the U.S. by contributing to their Disaster Response Fund. You can also make a donation by phone at 1-800-HABITAT.

Architecture for Humanity is mobilizing to assist with post-disaster reconstruction and the organization’s working with local architects to identify the most critical rebuilding needs. You can support their Super Typhoon Haiyan Response online, by calling 1-415-963-3511 or by texting REBUILD to 85944 to make a $10 donation from your mobile phone.

Medical assistance

Americares has an emergency shipment on the way to the Philippines with enough medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. You can support Americares with an online donation or by calling 1-800-486-4357.

International Medical Corps has pre-positioned medical supplies and their team is on the ground coordinating with their partners in the Philippines to distribute and provide medical aid. You can support their Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Response fund online or by calling 1-800-481-4462.

More than 1.5 tons of emergency medicine and medical supplies are en route to the Philippines from Direct Relief. The supplies include antibiotics, pain relievers, nutritional supplements, antifungal medications, wound dressings and chronic disease medicines. You can call in your donation by dialing 1-805-964-4767 or you can goonline to support the organization.

Helping children

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is helping children and their families in the Philippines receive shelter, clean water, nutrition and vaccines. Their emergency response can be supported online or by calling 1-800-367-5437. You can also donate directly to UNICEF in the Philippines here.

Save the Children is offering disaster relief support for children in the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam after Typhoon Haiyan. You can support their Philippines Annual Monsoon and Typhoon Children in Emergency Fund online. You can also donate by phone at 1-800-728-3843.

Emergency response teams from ChildFund Internationalprepositioned supplies, including emergency kits and tents, and made arrangements with local suppliers to access food and non-food relief supplies. The organization is also preparing to setup child- centered spaces where kids can feel safe. Donate to ChildFund online to help children cope and recover confidence after this disaster.

Teams from Plan are also on the ground responding to the needs of children and their families. Their priorities are vulnerable youngsters and communities in rural locations. You can support their appeal on their website.

Satélites ‘made in’ Colombia listos para ir al espacio

Satélites 'made in' Colombia listos para ir al espacio

Sequia Space se especializó en la construcción de picosatélites y nanosatélites.

La empresa colombiana Sequoia Space tendrá su primera misión internacional en septiembre.

La industria aeroespacial ya no es exclusiva de EE.UU., Rusia o Europa. Colombia se ha hecho un hueco en esa reducida elite gracias a la labor de cuatro ingenieros que, desde un discreto y modesto edificio del popular barrio de Chapinero, en Bogotá, desarrollan satélites y misiones espaciales.

Su primera misión internacional tendrá lugar el próximo mes de septiembre, cuando lanzarán desde Cabo Cañaveral, en Estados Unidos, su primer satélite, el peruano UAPSAT, informó Colombia.inn, agencia especializada en innovación y emprendimiento.

Los protagonistas son Iván Luna, Andrés Alfonso, Elkin Cifuentes y Carlos Suárez, fundadores de Sequoia Space, pioneros de este campo en Colombia desde el sector privado y caracterizados, además, por su juventud: la edad de tres de ellos ronda los 30 años.

Todo comenzó en la Universidad Sergio Arboleda de Bogotá, donde Iván y Andrés fueron designados para integrar el equipo que desarrolló un picosatélite, denominado así por su forma de cubo y bautizado como ‘Libertad 1’.

Ese satélite se puso en órbita en abril de 2007 desde Kazajistán y meses después estos jóvenes, entonces con apenas 25 años, crearon Sequoia Space, animados por las felicitaciones que les llegaron desde la Universidad de Stanford, en California (EE.UU.).

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Cali, ranqueada entre las diez ciudades con mejor futuro inversionista de América

El diario británico Financial Times situó a la capital del Valle, por primera vez, en el top de las 10 ciudades con mejor futuro inversionista en América. Importante reconocimiento.

Financial Times puso a Cali en el puesto número 10, entre 126 ciudades de todo el continente.Foto: Julio Sánchez | El País

Financial Times puso a Cali en el puesto número 10, entre 126 ciudades de todo el continente.Foto: Julio Sánchez | El País

Cali logró ubicarse por primera vez en el ranquin de las 10 capitales con mejor estrategia y futuro inversionista en América Latina, lo cual constituye un importante logro frente a otras ciudades del hemisferio.

Dicho reconocimiento fue hecho por la División de Inteligencia del prestigioso diario británico Financial Times (FDI Intelligence), uno de los centros de investigación sobre inversión extranjera directa más importantes del mundo.

En esta categoría, donde Montreal, Canadá, se quedó con el primer lugar, Cali compitió con otras 126 ciudades de Norte y Suramérica. La capital vallecaucana quedó en el puesto 10, después de Río de Janeiro (vea al final de esta nota el top 10).

“El esfuerzo de poner la casa en orden ha generado un ambiente de confianza y apertura al sector privado que hoy vemos con satisfacción, y es destacado por una publicación de la talla del Financial Times”, afirmó el alcalde, Rodrigo Guerrero Velasco.

Cabe recordar, que la estrategia para atraer nuevas inversiones en Cali y el Valle, ha sido liderada por la agencia Invest Pacific, una corporación sin ánimo de lucro de carácter público-privada, creada en 2010.

Desde entonces, la entidad ha logrado el arribo de importantes empresas internacionales y nacionales con inversiones por US$270 millones y la generación de 1.500 empleos.

Gracias a ese trabajo nueve empresas están en proceso de decisión para invertir en la región, mientras cinco compañías ya están decididas a invertir y otras nueve organizaciones se encuentran en proceso de establecimiento.

María Eugenia Lloreda, directora de Invest Pacific, afirmó que “figurar en el listado de las diez ciudades con mejor estrategia para atraer inversión es un reconocimiento al trabajo que ha venido desarrollando la Agencia y a la administración de la ciudad, que está haciendo las cosas bien para poner en orden la casa”.

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It’s Colombia Not Columbia T-shirts

“It’s Colombia Not Columbia is a social movement that promotes the beginning of achange on the perception held abroad about Colombia.” Step one: Spell it right!
This shirt is only $15 and for a limited time includes FREE SHIPPING!
(Available to US customers only)

It's Colombia Not Columbia

It’s Colombia Not Columbia

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A musical tribute from Medellin, Colombia‚ to the 500th Anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida

Miami Dade College’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Initiatives and City of Miami Mayor’s International Council present SERESTA A musical tribute from Medellin, Colombia‚ to the 500th Anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida Friday March 22, 2013 7-8pm

Miami Dade College’s Center for Latin American 
and Caribbean Initiatives 
and
City of Miami Mayor’s International Council 


present

SERESTA

A musical tribute from Medellin, Colombia‚ to the 500th Anniversary 
of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida

This Grammy Award-nominated Colombian instrumental group will deliver an
exquisite recital of traditional Latin–American music from three of their albums. The free
program and accompanying commentary will be presented in Spanish.

Friday‚ March 22‚ 2013
7 – 8 p.m.

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado will present the musical trio with a special recognition during the recital.

Miami Dade College
Wolfson Campus Auditorium
300 N.E. Second Ave.
Building 1‚ Room 1261 (second floor)

To RSVP, send an email to gbuitron@mdc.edu 
and include “Seresta” in the subject line. 

Parking is available at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus‚
Building 7‚ 500 N.E. Second Ave. Garage entrances are on N.E. Sixth and
N.E. Fifth Street (see map). Print and show this invitation to the attendant for parking.

This event is supported by:

Zambrano Foundation, Miami-Dade College, Avianca, Americas Global Alliance, The City of Miami-Dade Co. Florida

Consulado de Colombia en Miami cambia ubicación temporal por Remodelación

EL CONSULADO GENERAL CENTRAL DE COLOMBIA EN MIAMI
ESTARÁ TEMPORALMENTE UBICADO EN:

Consulado General Central de Colombia en Miami

100 N BISCAYNE BLVD – Piso 25

MIAMI FL 33132-2304

Por motivo de Remodelación de nuestra Sede Consular nos permitimos informar que a partir  de la Fecha:29 de Enero del año en curso estaremos en el Downtown de Miami.

POR TAL MOTIVO ESTAREMOS CERRADOS

EL 25 Y 28 DE ENERO

Sábado Consular Suspendido el próximo 26 de Enero

“TODOS UNIDOS TRABAJANDO POR EL BIENESTAR DE NUESTRA COMUNIDAD
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