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Hi ! Thanks for stopping by. I must confess that I haven't seen the last part of the docu on YouTube yet, but from what I saw I can very well imagine that Uribe is not overjoyed with the picture emerging from him. However, Langlois was by far not the first and will surely not be the last to make such allegations. Seems to be a standard tactic of Uribe though to link his opponents to terrorism, or at least question their "purity". Totally agree with your last sentence, which pretty much sums up what I tried to reflect in my article.
I found this a very strange title** from the Washington Post for their piece on the release last Wednesday of French reporter Romeo Langlois: "Freed French reporter has no apologies for covering Colombian conflict from all sides" What apologies should there be, I wonder, from a journalist for trying to cover his topic from all sides ? Isn't it exactly the duty of any journalist to try and do so and shouldn't those who try to live by this deontology not rather be lauded instead of being expected to offer apologies ? I truly wonder what the WaPo was hinting... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2012 at Colombia EnMotion
Update: this article was cross-posted on the English language website "Colombia Reports" under the "Perspective" section on May 16, 2012. With thanks to Adriaan Alsema, founder and Director of CR for publishing it. --------------------------------------------------------- I was thinking of writing about something totally different for my next article on this blog, but then, a little while ago, a Facebook friend told me something that, at first, merely sounded surprising, yet, the more I thought about it, actually became a quite offending piece of information. He told me that in Colombia there's allegedly quite a number of people who actually seem to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2012 at Colombia EnMotion
"A hero is a man who does what he can." (Romain Rolland, French writer) A while ago, I came across this 25-minute report from Al Jazeera on "The daredevil pilots of Colombia". Sitting through it, it felt like I was watching a combination of "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" and "The Flying Doctors". According to Wikipedia, "production of civil DC-3's ceased in 1942". We are now exactly seventy years later, yet in Colombia's Villavicencio's airport, there are some thirty of these workhorses from the Douglas factories still in commercial use, to transport passengers and bring necessary supplies from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2012 at Colombia EnMotion
Born in 1907, Francisco "Pacho" Rada Batista, died at the age of 95 in 2003, only two years after his marriage to his third wife. His hometown: El Dificil, a name given to the place by his father. His offspring: more than fourhundred children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. His legacy: inventor of the Colombian "Son". In the year 2000, German director Stefan Schwietert planted his camera's in El Dificil to log the days of this vagabond that eventually became known as the "King of Son". The result was "El acordeón del diablo", a heartwarming docu about the roots... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2012 at Colombia EnMotion
(picture taken from report "Avances en Defensa de la Libertad - Balance de la lucha antisecuestro - Octubre de 2010" by organisation "Fondelibertad") Good news reached us from Colombia. In a statement from the 26th of February*, titled "Declaración Pública: Sobre Prisoneros y Retenciones", the FARC announced on it's website: "Mucho se ha hablado acerca de las retenciones de personas, hombres o mujeres de la población civil, que con fines financieros efectuamos las FARC a objeto de sostener nuestra lucha. Con la misma voluntad indicada arriba, anunciamos también que a partir de la fecha proscribimos la práctica de ellas en... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2012 at Colombia EnMotion
I'm almost sure that those of you that ever visited Paris, like me at so many occasions, will have taken a leisurely stroll through the long-stretched Jardin des Tuileries, possibly on your way to the Musée du Louvre. On a spring or summerday, it's pure bliss to walk these gardens or simply to watch the other passers-by from one of the green metal chairs, strewn randomly in the vicinity of a round pond with a fountain that sits about right in the middle of the gardens. If the weather is fine, you will find a little push-cart on wheels next... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
As I expected and stated already in one of my previous posts, the municipal elections in Bogota are turning out to be a most interesting spectacle, but in a much different way than I had expected. Where I had anticipated originally a neck-to-neck race between the two candidates that, among themselves, have covered three legislatures (from 1995 to 2003) as Mayor of Bogota already, i.e. Enrique Penalosa (once) and Antanas Mockus (twice), the latest polls now show the former M-19 guerilla and Polo Democratico candidate Gustavo Petro to be firmly in the lead, Penalosa being the runner up trailing behind... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
"If you can't beat them, join them" But since I can't join them for now either, I just drink them :-) Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
If there's anything that can be named to have survived and outlived all civilisations, from man's very beginning in prehistoric times to the time of today, it must be war. We have fought each other relentlessly for a myriad of reasons, one even worse than the other and we still continue doing it, as if we can never have enough. However, this human obsession with war, which at certain times and in some -ever shifting- places seems to have become it's very "condition humaine", also has given rise to a whole compendium of artistic production that is trying in all... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
"Mao Tse-tung, who for decades held absolute power over the lives of one-quarter of the world's population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth century leader." (opening line from: "Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang & Jon Halliday, UK, 2005) There's several things that strike when you enter Tian'anmen square in Beijing, it's sheer size being one of them, for instance. Another one is definitely the portrait of Chairman Mao, looming large over the gate that gave it's name to the square in front of it, the Gate of Heavenly Peace,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
“You don’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do” (Henry Ford) “It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than with a bad reputation” (Friedrich Nietzsche) There is an interesting discussion going on about the new movie, produced by French director Jean-Luc Besson, “Colombiana”. The movie depicts the life of a young Colombian woman (played by Zoe Saldaña) who, after witnessing her parents murder as a child in Bogota grows up to be a stone-cold assassin in the United States. With a plot summary like that, there’s very little chance that I will go and see the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
Couple of months ago, I went to see my very first Colombian movie, screened on a small but very nice festival for worldcinema which had it's focus this year on Latin-America. The movie was "Los Colores de la Montaña" (2010) from director Carlos César Arbelaez, a story about a group of kids in the village of "La Pradera", somewhere in the vast Colombian countryside, that love to play soccer. It's not the first time that the soccer-theme is used as a vehicle to expand on larger societal issues. In "Bend it like Beckham" (2002) for instance, we follow the rebellion... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
They called the 2008 Beijing Olympics "the coming-out party of China" on the global stage. This event, for which China had lobbied for over a decade, was intended to open the eyes of the world to this giant that had been dormant for so long and had to prove that the country was now playing in the major league. After the Olympics were over, I don't believe there was any doubt left: the Chinese pulled off probably the best Olympics ever, from an organisational and entertainment point of view (anyone remember that opening ceremony ? Wouldn't like to be in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
Elections: you can either love them or hate them, but boy, they sure do create a buzz ! Take my country for instance. Last time we took to the polling stations on June 13, 2010, the northern part of the country voted the nationalists in pole position while the southern part stuck traditionally to the socialists. 430 days have passed since that day and while the world is scrambling to get it's act together and weather the avalanche of crises on the economic, financial or revolutionary front, this country is scrambling simply trying to get ... a government together. In... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
Ingrid Betancourt, in her latest book "Even Silence Has an End - My Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle" (2010), adds another dimension to that picture: it's a world without horizon. A horizon which she had to miss during the six and a half years she was kept as a hostage by the FARC guerilla's. Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
I gave due credit to my friend who inspired me the passion to start writing about topics that I'm, as of yet, quite unfamiliar with, but I should have named another woman as well who has been instrumental in raising this interest for Colombia in me. I'm talking about Ingrid Betancourt. Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
On how a "curious shift" happened in my life, making me direct my main focus towards Colombia instead of China. Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
To those of you who are actively booking their next holiday already and were considering a virgin forest as number one destination on their list, I would recommend a thorough reading of Paul Theroux's " Mosquito Coast" before doing so. This superb story about a man engaging his entire family to trade their comfortable life in the city for an adventure to produce ice in the midst of the hostile Honduran jungle, is mind-boggling in it's description of the forest as a biotope. Theroux's "main character" is, literally, a green hell where stench and decay are the masters of ceremony. Ingrid Betancourt, in her latest book "Even Silence Has an End - My Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle" (2010), adds another dimension to that picture: it's a world without horizon. A horizon which she had to miss during the six and a half years she was kept as a hostage by the FARC guerilla's. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2011 at Colombia EnMotion
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Mar 18, 2011