Twenty-two years in a maximum-security prison was deemed sufficient punishment for the favored hitman of former drug kingpin of Colombia, Pablo Escobar, on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. John Jairo Velásquez, also known by his nickname, “Popeye,” was released early from a prison located 100 miles north of Bogotá, Colombia, a place where he had confessed to atrocities far more numerous than the one murder for which he had spent his time serving.
On September 22nd and 23rd, the United Nations held its first annual International Conference on Indigenous Villages. Indigenous representatives from around the world gathered in New York City to discuss indigenous rights in order to bring equality to a group of people that have been oppressed and discriminated against since colonization. The indigenous population of the world totals 370 million people, which constitutes 5% of the total world population and they represent about one third of people living in poverty.1
The peace negotiations currently underway in Colombia between the Juan Manuel Santos government and the guerilla group known as theFARC are setting the conditions for the eventual electoral participation of FARC excombatants,including the opportunity for them to run for office. This Insights reportexamines the attitudes of Colombians towards the FARC’s formal participation in thecountry’s political system.
For the past two years, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, has been in negotiation with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, otherwise known as FARC.
After nearly two years of peace negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government, the FARC have done something they have never done before. In all the 50 years that FARC has been terrorizing Colombia, they have never once sequestered a government or military official, but on November 16th, 2014, a leading general in the Colombian military was captured while traversing a remote river in an indigenous region of the Colombian rainforest.
Rodrigo Vasquez–a self-described producer, film director, creative director, designer, cameraman and journalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina–has traveled to dozens of countries around the world where he has reported on issues of social, political and economic injustice. For an installment in Al Jazeera’s news program People & Power, Vasquez took his camera into the jungles of Colombia to investigate the state of the hemisphere’s longest lasting guerrilla war.
When societies urbanize and the demographic composition of the population changes, local administrations have to prepare proactively for future dead-disposal capacity and sustainable deathscapes. This situation occurs in the US and Europe, where the aging population requires more end-of-life and death services while urban space is scarce. In 2010 the New York Timesstated that “[c]emeteries are scrambling to create more space, and as lot prices have soared, the number of cremations has also risen” (Santora, 2010).
The capital of Colombia made headways in transportation in 2000 when they launched their Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, “TransMilenio.” The first rapid transit system of its kind implemented in the country succeeded in unifying thousands of independently operating bus companies under one system. Since it was opened to the public it has grown to include 12 lines serving 144 stations in the city of Bogota.1